Christie vs Cuomo

Rebuild vs. Retreat: Christie and Cuomo offer contrasting plans in wake of Sandy

March 15, 2013
Written by Shawn Boburg – Amy Newman, Photo

In New Jersey, owners of damaged coastal homes would get cash to stay put and rebuild. In New York, those on the water’s edge would get generous incentives to walk away.

It’s a difference that could mean divergent futures for both states’ shorelines. And the calculus that goes into the two approaches — by Governor Christie in New Jersey and Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York — has set off a complex debate among environmentalists, planners, economists and government officials about which is a bigger threat: rising sea levels that could pose a future risk to rebuilt communities, or the economic and emotional impact of peeling back development from the coast.

It also underscores the differences between two popular politicians on different sides of the aisle, each of whom has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2016.

Read complete article here.

Coastal Commission OP – Ed

Opinion:  NJ Needs Coastal Commission to Focus on Long-Term Future, Not Immediate Sand Rebuilding

March 9, 2013
Times of Trenton Guest Opinion Columnist Barry Chalofsky

Since Superstorm Sandy, we have been inundated with proposals on how to address rebuilding the coast, both now and in the future. Some of our representatives in the Legislature believe that the state needs to take a stronger role in the process. Assemblyman Peter Barnes (D-Middlesex), for example, wants to create “a state commission that would assume much of the authority for rebuilding the battered shore towns” (“A state agency should oversee Jersey Shore rebuilding in battered towns, lawmaker says,” nj.com, Jan. 4). Andrew Wilner, former New York/New Jersey Baykeeper, has also called for the creation of a coastal commission.

It appears that the governor, and probably much of the state, probably would not endorse the idea. While I think that we need to carefully rethink our rebuilding plans for the coast, I would have to agree that a state commission to oversee rebuilding is probably not going to fly. However, I would like to encourage the creation of a coastal commission that would plan for the future of our coast.

View complete Op-Ed here.

Buyouts of Flooded Properties

Watchdog: Some Seek Buyouts of Flooded Properties

March 4, 2013
Video by Thomas P. Costello
Article by Todd B. Bates

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.”

View complete video and article here.

Dunes vs. Replenishment

Hurricane Sandy and the Jersey Shore:
Did Engineering or ecology protect us better?
Ledger Live for Feb. 1, 2013 – Ledger Live with Brian Donohue.
On today’s Ledger Live, Donohue compares the highly engineered beaches of Sea Bright, New Jersey with the wind-formed dunes of Midway Beach in the South Seaside Park section of Berkeley Township. While Sea Bright was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Midway was unscathed. Donohue asserts that outcome runs counter to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s assertion that towns with “engineered beaches” fared better in the storm.

View Dunes vs Replenishment video here.