Op-Ed on Insurance Companies and Climate Change

Note this piece says we are “socializing the risk” for sea level rise in places like Florida.  Remember the other side – that we privatizing the benefit (living near the water.) Eugene Linden in the LA Times

We wrote about this insurance company lawsuit against municipalities before, with the company claiming the towns should have known and prepared for the damage caused by flooding and sea level rise.  We will follow it closely.



Re-think Dutch Style, Let the Water In

As a country below sea-level, the Netherlands has been dealing with water issues for centuries.  In the 1950’s they  began building the Delta Works, a series of massive barriers built to protect against the 10,000-year storm.  They have stopped doing that since they don’t believe it is possible anymore in the face of sea level rise.  They have re-thought their approach which is now to let the water in and live with the water.  Henk Ovik was in charge of this in the Netherlands and was brought to the US to guide the Rebuild by Design competition.  More on the man in the NY Times from April 9, 2014 by Russell Shorto http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/magazine/how-to-think-like-the-dutch-in-a-post-sandy-world.html

Never Coming Back

Here is a powerful reason to Rethink the entire Coast.  Imagine whole neighborhoods and communities falling apart.  The cost of not thinking before we develop is high.  If people are flooded and they are not in a position to rebuild right away, whole neighborhoods could be lost.  Maybe this is a neighborhood that should be bought out.  Original article in the Press of Atlantic City January 4, 2014 by Donna Weaver.  I would skip the video though.


Dutch Team Helping Rebuild By Design

Raritan Bayshore – September 20, 2013 – Asbury Park Press Article by Ken Serrano

Henk Ovink knows something about how to keep the ocean at bay.

Hailing from the Netherlands, which started flood planning some 800 years ago, he served as the second in charge of a department in the Dutch government that deals with planning and water.

Now on loan to the U.S. government, Ovink arrived on the Bayshore Thursday with teams of engineers, architects, planners and scientists to learn how the locals live and to come up with better ideas to combat hurricanes and flooding.

“You’re facing something we’ve been facing for ages,” he said.

Ovink is heading Rebuild by Design, a federally funded program that has 10 transnational teams working on ways to shore up areas at risk from extreme weather. Watch the video above to learn more about the program. Full article here.

Watchdog: Some seek buyouts of flooded properties

Written by Todd Bates

Original article can be read at: http://www.app.com/article/20130303/NJNEWS2001/303030013/Some-seek-buyouts-flooded-properties?gcheck=1

Floodwaters flowed into Fran O’Connor’s low-lying Sayreville home three times in the past three years, with devastating results.

The first two storms – a March 2010 nor’easter and Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011 – brought about 4 to 5 feet of water into the house. But that was just a warm-up to superstorm Sandy, when at least 10 feet of water inundated the home.

“It actually looked like a war zone here after the storm,” said O’Connor, 54, a 16-year resident of hard-hit Weber Avenue. “The entire contents of everyone’s homes was ripped out and piled up on the curb of their houses.” …

Time to Remove Beach Homes

Inquirer Editorial: Time to Remove Beach Homes

March 29, 2013

A broken house on the beach in Mantoloking, N.J. (APRIL SAUL / Staff Photographer)

Gov. Christie is wisely setting aside $250 million in post-Sandy federal relief funds to buy out homeowners in flood-prone areas. But he should do more.

Christie’s premise is sound: to remove buildings repeatedly damaged by storms, which cost tax payers and property owners when they have to be replaced or repaired. The answer is to return the land to a floodplain and attempt to restore vital wetlands and sand dunes that could help mitigate future damage. However, this developing program must be tightly focused on the most vulnerable areas, and it needs more money. New York plans to spend $400 million in a similar effort.

The administration doesn’t expect many barrier-island property owners to take advantage of the program. But that disappointing outcome could be avoided by sweetening the deal with additional incentives – in particular for those homes and businesses on narrow sand spits with a few swamp reeds, a bay in the back, and an ocean view out front, as well as buildings along narrow causeways through the marshes.

Read complete article here.


Christie’s Buyout Program

N.J. Governor Vows Buyout of Residents Flooded in Sandy

March 27, 2013
By Sergio Bichao – Courier News

MIDDLESEX BOROUGH, N.J. — By the end of next week, New Jersey should know whether it can set aside $250 million of the state’s $60 billion Sandy relief allocation to buy perennially flooded homes and turn them into public open spaces, Gov. Chris Christie said.

If it happens, the governor promised a Sayreville, N.J., resident who lost her home to the hurricane that state officials will come to her neighborhood to discuss buying out flooded property owners.

View video & read complete article here.