Splinters and Sand – the Emotion of Rebuilding

We continue with Sandy anniversary themed posts because for many, the indelible memories came three weeks or so after landfall. This was the first time that volunteers were allowed into certain places to start the cleanup, that (summer) homeowners were allowed on to barrier islands, and for some when they got their electricity back; although some islands had no gas, water or power for weeks more.

Splinters and Sand is a Ledger-Live video by Brian Donohue of NJ’s Star Ledger was made three months after Sandy. It gets to the heart of why we rebuild by exploring the charm of the Jersey Shore and the spell that is casts on all of us. This is why rethinking the Jersey Shore will be hard, but we firmly believe these two ideas are not incompatible. We can love this place and have our children and grandchildren love it while we make it safer and more resilient to the sea level rise and stronger storms that we know are coming.

 

The $100 Billion Hurricane

Think a $100 billion hurricane can’t happen; think again. It already has. The Hurricane of 1821 has been analyzed by the re-insurance company Swiss Re. A re-insurance company insures insurance companies. They took at closer look at available information from the 1821 storm and determined that if it were to hit today, it would cause $100 billion in losses. Full report here, which they have just called, The Big One. 

Mind you folks, this is not  some meteorological fantasy; mother nature has already dished this one up for real. The reasons it would cause $100 billion in losses now are a combination of:

  • Much increased population since 1821
  • Much more development along the coast since 1821
  • Higher sea levels, approx 2 feet higher

Get the short version from a WNYC radio report here by Ilya Marritz.

Oh and when we were on the Swiss Re website, we noticed they have a whole tab devoted to Re Thinking.  Guess what most of that is about? Just sayin!

Record Rainfall and Floods in NJ, Islip, & Pretty Much Everywhere

Rain, rain here to stay?  In the Eastern US a ridiculous amount of rain fell this week, flooding Detroit on August 11, the Mid-Atlantic on August 12th, and Long Island on August 13th. 

If rainfalls of 6, 10 or 13 inches are going to become more commonplace, we need to plan for that water.  Give it a place to go.  NJ’s version of events. 

It makes you think that rain barrels, rain gardens and efforts to slow and store water are worth every penny.

 

Time for Activism on NJ Coastal Development Rules

We recently posted about the proposed rules in NJ that would make it easier to develop in the coastal zone, here.

Please read the additional opinion pieces from the Press of Atlantic City here, and from the Star Ledger here.

Additional opinion pieces from Bill Potter, a notable environmental lawyer in NJ here and from Bob Sandberg of the Sierra Club.

We need your help to stop this insanity! Take the time to register your comments, info below. Here are some suggested elements.

  • This is a 1000 page rule proposal. Public hearings began just as the summer vacation season got underway in late June, and the written comment period ends on August 1st. This is not an appropriate amount of time for the public to digest this sweeping rule overhaul.
  • The proposed coastal development rule changes do not take into account climate change, future storms, or rises in sea level along the Jersey Shore, which is a recipe for future disasters.
  • The proposed coastal development rule changes do not incorporate lessons learned from the devastation to New Jersey coastal communities from Superstorm Sandy, calling for increased development in hazardous coastal areas.
  • A proposed new class of permit, “permit-by-certification” is also cause for concern, as this will allow permit seekers to obtain a permit automatically through a website, without review by NJDEP staff.

Make it personal! Add your true thoughts, feelings, and experiences. We all lived through this!

To make your voice hear on this disastrous rule change please go to http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/comments/   Fill in your information (don’t worry you will not be added to any lists as a result) Where it says Select Rule-making, choose DEP Docket No. 03-14-04 Coastal Zone Management Rules and Coastal Permit Program Rules; proposed consolidation with amendments
3. Add a comment, up to 20,000 characters.

 

 

 

NJ Rules Propose More Development in Coastal Zone

Please take a good look at the picture above.  The state of NJ just guaranteed that we will all go through that living hell again.

I guess the state didn’t get the message we posted yesterday about the Rutgers Climate Adaptation Alliance’s new reports on the impacts of climate change.  It seems like they learned nothing from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy either.

Because today was the final public hearing on a 1000-page overhaul of the state’s development rules in the coastal zone and guess what?  They call for more development in these areas while also making it easier to get these development permits.  Kirk Moore of the Asbury Park Press nails it here. 

Climate Impacts in NJ, Local Expert Reports

The Rutgers Climate Institute has done great things to help us Re-Think the Coast.  Most recently their “working briefs” as the NJ Climate Adaptation Alliance on climate impacts in NJ found here. The reports are available for download at that site, most are not too long, and they are full of good advice for the NJ Coast. Their working brief on Coastal Communities includes information on what other East Coast States are doing to deal with climate change and sea level rise.

There is much more on their website here http://climatechange.rutgers.edu/