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New Jersey Senate Bill (SB) 2607: Requiring land use plan element of municipal master plan to include climate change-related hazard vulnerability assessment

February 4, 2021

On February 4, 2021, New Jersey enacted Senate Bill (SB) 2607 amending the required components for municipal master plans in New Jersey to incorporate climate change risks and adaptation strategies. Specifically, the land use element of any master plan adopted after the bill’s passage must include a climate change and extreme weather vulnerability assessment as well as natural hazard mitigation strategies. 

Related Organizations: State of New Jersey

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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New Jersey Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) Program

In 1971, New Jersey implemented the Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) Program. Through this program, the state pays municipalities to protect and conserve open, undeveloped lands owned by the state and tax-exempt nonprofit organizations. This program was created to benefit environmental quality, quality of life, and economic health in New Jersey by conserving open space for natural resources and recreational purposes. While this program has been amended throughout its tenure, it is a noteworthy example of a state program that creates incentives for local governments to create open space by mitigating the impacts of lost tax revenue and land maintenance costs. In a managed retreat context, a similar program could be coupled with hazard mitigation buyouts and open space acquisitions to encourage local governments to conserve vulnerable properties impacted by sea-level rise and flooding. 

Related Organizations: State of New Jersey

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — Woodbridge Township, New Jersey: Post-Hurricane Sandy Buyouts

July 15, 2020

Woodbridge Township, New Jersey is working with the New Jersey Blue Acres Program to implement a neighborhood-wide buyout that can serve as an example for other jurisdictions considering larger-scale retreat from coastal areas. Following significant damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Woodbridge applied to participate in the New Jersey Blue Acres Buyout Program. With the support of the state, local elected officials in Woodbridge, including the mayor, committed to a community-based approach and prioritized flood mitigation and future safety and emergency management benefits over potential tax base losses if residents relocated outside of the township. As a result of this approach and an extensive community engagement process, nearly 200 property owners accepted a buyout offer. Once structures are demolished, the township is restoring bought-out land to create a natural flood buffer. The township established an Open Space Conservation/Resiliency Zone to institutionalize protections for this area by prohibiting new development and discouraging redevelopment. Woodbridge’s example demonstrates how comprehensive, community-based approaches to buyouts can maximize long-term benefits for communities and the environment. Other local governments can consider partnering with their states and residents, among others, to use buyouts as a retreat strategy to make communities more resilient. This case study is one of 17 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas: Lessons and Tools from 17 Case Studies.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — State of New Jersey: Blue Acres Buyout Program

July 15, 2020

The New Jersey Blue Acres Buyout Program is a nationally recognized example of a longstanding, state-run buyout program. Blue Acres works closely with municipalities throughout the state to identify privately owned properties that are routinely threatened or flooded due to sea-level rise and more frequent weather events. The program works directly with local governments to prioritize comprehensive buyouts of affected neighborhoods, instead of individual properties, and restores and protects the properties to maximize the flood and cost-reduction benefits for communities and the environment. To accomplish effective state-local coordination, the program has a diversified staff that meets local needs including case workers who work directly with participants in each buyout area, and a financial team that negotiates mortgage forgiveness with banks and other financial lenders on behalf of homeowners. As climate change worsens and makes extreme weather events more common, other states and local governments may increasingly evaluate the potential for buyouts, particularly in coastal jurisdictions. Decisionmakers could consider institutionalizing buyouts as a part of comprehensive climate adaptation and coastal and floodplain management strategies to encourage neighborhoods to relocate to safer, higher ground areas and restore ecosystems to attain flood, natural resources, and other community benefits.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Rise to Resilience - Our Communities Our Future: Policies and Investments for a Climate-Resilient New York and New Jersey

July 2020

The Rise to Resilience Report (R2R), developed in May 2020 by the Waterfront Alliance, provides “actionable recommendations” for policymakers at federal, state, and local levels to create more flood-resilient communities in New York and New Jersey in a transparent and equitable manner. The report establishes a vision for a climate-resilient New York and New Jersey: “A resilient future is well-managed and funded in a manner that is transparent, just and green.”

Related Organizations: Waterfront Alliance

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New Jersey EO 100: Protecting Against Climate Threats (PACT); land use regulations and permitting

January 27, 2020

New Jersey Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 100, also known as PACT, is designed to help New Jersey both mitigate greenhouse gases, and adapt to climate change. The order directs the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to make regulatory reforms for permitting development or construction at risk of the impacts of climate change. New projects will be required to take into account how climate change could impact the project, and the project's related GHG emissions. The rules would also apply to the construction of state-funded projects.

Related Organizations: State of New Jersey

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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New Jersey Executive Order 89 Establishing Statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy

October 29, 2019

On October 29, 2019, New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy signed Executive Order No. 89, establishing new requirements aimed at building statewide and community resilience, including the development of a Statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy.

Related Organizations: State of New Jersey

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Mid-Atlantic Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A Report from the Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Response Framework Project

October 2018

This U. S. Forest Service report develop provides an assessment of the vulnerability of forest ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic region and was designed to help resource managers incorporate climate change considerations into management practices. The report synthesizes the best available scientific information on climate change and forest ecosystems, focusing on a study area including 60 million acres of land across eastern Maryland, southern New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Of this area, about 32 million acres are forested.

Related Organizations: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), USFS Northern Research Station

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Building Gulf Coast Resilience - Lessons from the Hurricane Sandy Recovery

August 1, 2018

This report on Hurricane Sandy Recovery is part of a series of case studies that the Georgetown Climate Center developed to inform efforts to implement innovative restoration projects in the Gulf Coast region after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The synthesis report, Building Gulf Coast Resilience: Opportunities After Deep Water Horizon, and accompanying case studies present lessons for improving coordination among state and federal decisionmakers, expediting environmental review and permitting, and accounting for climate impacts in the design and management of restoration projects.

Related Organizations: Georgetown Climate Center

Author or Affiliated User: Jessica Grannis

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Patterns and Projections of High Tide Flooding Along the U.S. Coastline Using a Common Impact Threshold

February 2018

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) analyzes "high tide flooding" (also known as "nuisance flooding") in this report, and finds that it is becoming more commonplace due to sea level rise. High tide flooding impacts roads, beaches, parks, and private property, and is generally more disruptive than damaging. However, there are places such as Norfolk, Virginia; San Diego, California; and the U. S Marshall islands where it is currently a serious problem. Even more, with continued sea level rise, flooding is likely to increase.

Related Organizations: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Authors or Affiliated Users: William Sweet, Greg Dusek, Jayantha Obeysekera, John Marra

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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