A playground in Middlesex flooded by Irene
To protect the residents of New Jersey from the catastrophic effects of climate change, the Murphy Administration needs to act now.
Step 1: Let the NJDEP bring the state's environmental regulations into the 21st Century.
Update rainfall data to include all the major storms that have struck New Jersey with catastrophic flooding from 1999 until now — including Hurricanes Ida, Sandy, Irene, and Ivan; Tropical Storms Isaias, Andrea, and Lee; and the severe Delaware River floods in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011, and 2021.
Better data means better-designed stormwater control systems, able to capture and store more runoff. Less runoff means less water dumped into rain-swollen creeks, streams, and rivers.
Update the state’s flood maps, and base floodplain elevation upon the observed and predicted flood levels from intense rainfall events, such as the ones we’ve endured since 1999. This will keep new homes from being built in areas that are likely to experience destructive flooding.
It will also help protect existing homes by keeping additional stormwater out of water bodies already inundated by rainfall.
Homes in Manville flooded by Ida
Satellite image (c)2021 Maxar Technologies
A endangered headwater in Bloomsbury
Keep our vital headwater streams from being filled in and paved over. Current state policies allow developers to build right on top of the myriad small channels that collect and disperse huge volumes of runoff and keep it from overwhelming larger streams.
Not only do these policies leave roadways, homes, and business more vulnerable to flooding, they are inconsistent with—or not allowed by—federal law.
Step 2: Quit holding up NJPACT and make New Jersey a safer, healthier, more prosperous place to live.
The original NJPACT announcement stated that "our state is ground zero for rising sea levels, more intense storms and flooding, and rising temperature. The effects of climate change present real threats to New Jersey's economy, way of life, environment, and public health and safety."
It's time to move forward on this critical policy.
A water rescue in Paterson