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/

Business as Usual is Risky Business

A new report called Risky Business is saying the US economy faces graves threats from global warming.  This report was not written by academics or environmental leaders, but by some serious capitalists like Henry Paulson and Michael Bloomberg, ably assisted by folks with extensive policy experience including George Schultz and Olympia Snowe.

They call climate change nature’s “interest-only” loan, which is the type of loan where you pay less now but pay much more later with higher risk and higher interest rates.  The report does not get into the solutions to climate change, it just examines the risks in terms of dollars and concludes that $507 billion worth of coastal property will be underwater by 2100 with a chance of another $730 billion inundated at high tide.  Forbes review by Mike Scott here

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Futurecoast – The Future That We Imagine

Futurecoast is getting people to think about climate change by playing a game instead of reading the news or scientific reports.  Participants record voice-mail messages from a future that they imagine.  The “game” is that those messages are transported back in time on a disk and people hunt for those disks in the real world to hear these messages from the future.  More in Scientific American by Julia Pyper.

Listen to some of the messages on http://futurecoast.org/ or on WNYC.org

Rebuild by Design Winners!

Over 150 teams submitted proposals to make the NY / NJ region more resilient, ten finalists were selected and the winning six designs were announced yesterday by HUD Secretary Sean Donovan.  This finishes a year an a half long process where HUD promised to create areas where the rebuilding was not business as usual.

Congrats to all the winners, there are some terrific, very forward-thinking designs in there.  We have to admit we are a little disappointed that nothing along the Jersey Shore was selected.  Story on NJ.com by Erin O’Neill of the Star Ledger