Baraka, local leaders launch initiative to reduce area flood risk

NEWARK, NJ — Mayor Ras J. Baraka, along with a coalition of local leaders and technical experts, announced April 15 the launch of the Resilient Northeastern New Jersey initiative. This joint effort between the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Jersey City, Newark, Hoboken, Bayonne, Hudson County, Ironbound Community Corporation and HOPES Community Action Partnership, supported by a team of consultants led by Arcadis, will identify and implement flood-risk reduction strategies for the Northeastern New Jersey region to improve long-term environmental and economic resilience.

To ensure an equitable approach to resilience, the project team is seeking input, information and recommendations from residents, workers, businesses and organizations regarding their own experiences with flooding and storm events. Specifically, the Resilient Northeastern New Jersey initiative will work to address flooding from coastal storms, high tides, heavy precipitation and overflowing riverbanks.

“The short-term impact of floods and hurricanes create long-term damage to the lives, property, and economy of the city of Newark and its surrounding communities,” Baraka said. “It is critical that we work with our state and county partners as well as local municipalities, organizations and nonprofits to address the serious consequences of this flooding before it happens and build long-term flood resilience, equitably. We are proud to be a part of this initiative, and ask everyone who lives, works and plays in Newark to provide feedback so that we can develop solutions that truly work for our residents and our community.”

Resilient Northeastern New Jersey is one of four regional action plan efforts across the state that are being administered by the NJDEP Bureau of Climate Resilience Planning.

“We are excited to work with municipal and county leaders in the Resilient NJ regions to identify locally-driven regional solutions to current and future flooding,” New Jersey Chief Resilience Officer Dave Rosenblatt said. “Strengthening New Jersey against today’s climate threats is an important part of our long-term approach to climate resilience and we applaud these leaders for their vision and initiative.”

Community members interested in sharing their perspectives, recommendations and experiences can contact the team through a variety of channels including: visiting the website at www.resilient.nj.gov/nenj; downloading the project’s IRYS app for on a smartphone; engaging on Facebook or Twitter at @ResilientNENJ or on Instagram @Resilient_NENJ; leaving voicemail feedback on the multilingual project hotline at 201-275-0861; emailing feedback to ResilientNENJ@dep.nj.gov; and participating in virtual public meetings and focus groups.

“Anyone who lives or works in New Jersey has been, or knows someone who has been, affected by flooding. The people familiar with this area understand its strengths, limitations and needs, and are uniquely capable of helping identify what neighborhoods and streets are most susceptible to flooding. We are eager for input to make sure this plan effectively and impactfully protects these communities,” said Carly Foster, project manager for Arcadis. 

The Resilient Northeastern New Jersey project is expected to be completed in May 2022. The project will be conducted in waves to account for public input at every point in its development.

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