Posted on September 21, 2021
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is hosting virtual public meetings next week on the New Jersey Back Bays Coastal Storm Risk Management Study. Meeting details are as follows:
- September 20 from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
- Click here for meeting link
- Meeting number: 199 656 2189
- Meeting password: gyFgyis@243
- Join by phone: +1-844-800-2712
- Phone access code: 199 656 2189
- September 21 from 1:00-2:30 p.m.
- Click here for meeting link
- Meeting number: 199 176 1020
- Meeting password: HYwMr4dZ@72
- Join by Phone: +1-844-800-2712
- Phone Access code: 199 176 1020
In August, USACE released a draft report for the study. The report outlines a ‘Tentatively Selected Plan’ framework, which includes three storm surge barriers, two cross-bay barriers, and the elevation of more than 18,000 structures to reduce the risk of flood damages associated with storm surge. It’s important to note that the plan is subject to change. It has not yet been approved by higher authorities, including Congress, and has not been funded for implementation at the federal or state level.
During the virtual public meetings, study team members will present a summary of the report findings and answer questions (Note: it is possible that demand could exceed capacity on the Cisco WebEx system; however, meetings will be recorded and posted to the study webpage).
The Army Corps, in partnership with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, is conducting the feasibility study within the New Jersey Back Bay area, defined as the network of interconnected tidal water bodies located landward of the New Jersey ocean coastline in Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic, Burlington, and Cape May Counties. The study area includes approximately 950 square miles and nearly 3,400 miles of shoreline. The objective of the study is to investigate problems and solutions to reduce damages from coastal storm-related flooding that affects population, critical infrastructure, property, and ecosystems. Engineering and economic analyses indicate the study area could experience $1.8 billion in average annual flood damages if no action is taken.
The study team prepared the draft Report to present findings, technical analyses, and outline the Tentatively Selected Plan. The document describes engineering, economic, social, and environmental analyses. The Tentatively Selected Plan includes the following conceptual features:
- Storm surge barriers at Manasquan Inlet, Barnegat Inlet, and Great Egg Harbor Inlet
- Cross-bay barriers along Absecon Boulevard/Route 30 in Atlantic County and along an extension of 52nd Street in Ocean City/Upper Township in Cape May County.
- Elevating 18,800 structures (including homes and businesses) in Monmouth (135 structures), Ocean (8567 structures), Burlington (66 structures) Atlantic (1491 structures), and Cape May (8579 structures) counties. (Note: there are approximately 182,000 structures in study area)
- Other non-structural measures and natural and nature-based features (such as enhancing marshes or creating living shorelines) could be added to the plan in the future.
The study is being cost-shared by the NJDEP and the Federal government. The study developed out of the Army Corps’ North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study, which was undertaken after Hurricane Sandy. The public and stakeholders are invited to provide comments on the draft report by October 12, 2021. To view the report or virtual public meeting instructions, visit http://www.nap.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/New-Jersey-Back-Bays-Coastal-Storm-Risk-Management/
- Submit comments by email: PDPA-NAP@usace.army.mil
- Submit comments by mail: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Planning Division, Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square E. Philadelphia PA 19107