What Does a Resilient Northeastern New Jersey Look Like to You?
Please use the form below to send us information about your vision.
Possible Resilience-Building Approaches
The Resilient Northeastern NJ program brings together people who live, work, and play in the region, as well as resilience experts, local leaders, community organizations, and regional infrastructure entities. Together, they are working to develop solutions to reduce flood risk and build resilience to improve quality of life now and in the future. These solutions may take many forms. They might create physical change that we can see. They might improve our governmental decision making processes or our codes and standards. They may increase access to information. They may encompass all of the above and anything in between, depending on what the data and people say is needed.
When it comes to building resilience, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Because there are many potential ways to reduce risk, a comprehensive strategy will require a mix of tools and strategies at various scales, including physical projects, policies, and programs. Through this process, we will work together to develop flood-reduction strategies. Following are some examples of what form these strategies might take, but, ultimately, they will be shaped through collaboration and engagement.
Scenarios for the region to address flood hazards likely will involve solutions that fall into one or more of these three general pathways:
- Protect from the water
- Live with the water
- Move away from the water
Truly building resilience requires a multifaceted approach. In this approach, physical measures and policy must work alongside efforts to increase social preparedness, awareness, and education around flood risk and how to manage it.
Protect from the Water:
This pathway involves policy that might affect building codes or land use, as well as the construction and management of new infrastructure such as floodwalls or levees that reduce the risk of flood waters entering an area. It can also include other measures to reduce the force of waves, such as breakwaters or wetlands. When major construction is required, this approach can entail high costs and often requires outside sources of funding through, for instance, the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Construction of new flood protection infrastructure can have environmental impacts and is therefore best suited to areas that are densely settled and/or include vulnerable critical infrastructure.
Live with the Water:
Reduce the impacts of flooding by improving coping and adaptive capacity for flooding through education and changes in personal and community behavior, policy, or through adapting buildings, infrastructure, and other assets to withstand flood waters.
This pathway involves helping reduce the negative effects of flooding on people and property when it occurs. The approach involves making changes in personal and community behaviors and policies and adapting buildings and infrastructure assets to better withstand flood waters. Strategies might include education, encouraging changes in behavior, and enacting new land use and building codes, as well as floodproofing or elevating assets. It can also include stormwater management to minimize the impacts of heavy rainfall. This approach is broadly applicable and can be used in combination with the flood risk reduction pathway described above.
Move Away from the Water:
Reduce exposure to flood risk by managing growth or investment in areas exposed to flood hazard and moving highly at-risk communities or assets.
This pathway involves moving highly vulnerable assets or buildings away from areas with high flood risk and potentially buying out private properties. It can also include using zoning tools to manage growth and mandate setbacks and restoring ecological systems to manage flood waters. Other strategies may include managing investment and focusing incentives and investment in lower-risk areas. Because this approach can lead to the displacement of residents and tax losses, it should be implemented thoughtfully and with care. Nevertheless, unmanaged risk often leads to movement away from the water in an uncontrolled and detrimental way.
Resilient Northeastern New Jersey Roadmap
Below are links to resiliency efforts in the Northeastern New Jersey region that helped pave the way to Resilient Northeastern NJ and a look at the program’s anticipated timeline.
- Newark Sustainability Action Plan– Vision for a sustainable Newark. Read the plan here.
- Hoboken Resiliency and Readiness Plan– Proposed actions for Hoboken to take based on damages experienced during Hurricane Sandy. Read the plan here.
- Hoboken Green Infrastructure Strategic Plan– Strategy for implementing green infrastructure across Hoboken, incorporating public input. Read the plan here.
- Jersey City Sandy Recovery Strategic Recovery Planning Report– Documented damages from Hurricane Sandy in Jersey City. Includes proposed draft action plan. Read the report here.
- Hudson County Sandy Strategic Recovery Planning Report – Documented damages from Hurricane Sandy across Hudson County; includes proposed repair measures and a draft action plan. Read the report here.
- Visualizations of Adaptation Scenarios and Next Steps White Paper– Concept plans and visualizations for proposed resiliency measures in Jersey City, prepared by Michael Baker for Jersey City. Read the report here.
- South Ironbound Resiliency Action Plan– Resiliency recommendations for the South Ironbound neighborhood, prepared by Ironbound Community Corporation and American Planning Association. Read the plan here.
- Hoboken Resilient Building Design Guidelines– Summary of construction requirements in flood hazard areas and guidance on best practices. Read the guidelines here.
- Engaging and Strengthening Hudson County– Concurrent with development of 2016 Hudson County Master Plan Re-examination, Parks Master Plan, Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Plan, and County Capital Improvement Plan. Read more about the planning initiative here.
- Updated Hudson County Land Development Regulations– Updated land development regulations focused on flood resilience and complete streets. Read the updated land development regulations here.
- Jersey City Resiliency Master Plan, Adaptation Master Plan, and Urban Environmental Green Infrastructure Plan– Vulnerability and risk assessments for Jersey City, further-developed proposed resiliency measures that had been identified in Michael Baker Report, and strategies for green infrastructure across the city. Read a summary document of the reports here.
- Newark Coastal Vulnerability Assessment– Coastal vulnerability assessment for portions of downtown Newark, prepared by Rutgers. Read the report here.
- Hoboken Master Plan Green Building and Environmental Sustainability Element– Numerous sustainability and resiliency recommendations, including those related to coastal and rainfall flooding. Read the plan here.
- Bayonne Master Plan Re-examination Report– Focus on redevelopment and economic revitalization across Bayonne. Read the report here.
- Essex County Hazard Mitigation Plan – Newark participated in the Essex County 2020 update to the Hazard Mitigation Plan. Access the plan and additional information here.
- Hudson County Hazard Mitigation Plan– Bayonne, Hoboken, and Jersey City each participated in the Hudson County 2020 update to the Hazard Mitigation Plan. Access the plan and additional information here.
What do we want our region to look like in 2070? What should stay the same and what should change? What do we want our relationship with water to look like?
What neighborhoods and infrastructure in our region are most at risk of flooding today and in the future (2070)? What tools do we have to address these risks?
What policies, programs, or projects can be implemented to address risks and achieve the identified visions? How will the solutions impact our region?
What actions do we commit to? What is needed to accomplish these actions? How can each person in our region do something to help?
If you live or work in Jersey City, Newark, Hoboken, or Bayonne, you are the most important stakeholder. Most likely, you have already been impacted by flooding in some way and the long-term effects of Resilient Northeastern New Jersey will affect your community. Your input is vitally important to support the development of an effective roadmap for flood reduction that will also improve the daily quality of life in your region.
Get Resilient NJ project updates!
You can easily get project updates by signing up via the form below, or simply leave a voicemail with your email address and/or comments on our project hotline at 201-275-0861. Staffing constraints do not allow for callbacks, but all comments will be reviewed and considered. Look forward to hearing from you!
Tell us what is important to you!
Take this survey so you can tell us about the places you value most in your neighborhood or areas where you have seen flooding.
Download the Irys app on your mobile phone to report current or past flooding, share your input directly to the project team, and get regular project updates. You can also plot your thoughts on our map!