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NJ's environmental leaders spoke out today for smarter, more resilient re-building in the wake of Super Storm Sandy.

Trenton, NJ – Leaders from local, regional, state, and national groups in New Jersey joined together today to release guiding principles in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and discuss a letter sent to Congress on Sandy-related disaster funds.

"There will be many decisions to be made as we move forward from Sandy," said the American Littoral Society's Tim Dillingham. "These principles if followed by state, local and private decision makers will result in a restored coastal environment and more resilient communities."

"In the aftermath of the storm we must all pull together to help New Jersey rebuild and to protect us from future climate disruptions. We can either repeat the mistakes of the past or together move the state forward towards a smarter and better future. We can protect the environment and grow our economy through better planning, clean energy, and enhanced environmental protections," stated Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

"The storm highlighted the vulnerability of infrastructure along our urban waterways. Billions of gallons of raw and partially treated sewage were released because of failures at our wastewater treatment plants. As we repair these facilities we not only need to ensure they are capable of withstanding future extreme weather events, but are also making the investments needed to improve long-term water quality," said Debbie Mans, Executive Director, NY/NJ Baykeeper. "New Jersey: Better, Smarter; Guiding Principles to Recover, Rebuild, and Protect from Extreme Weather" (attached) is intended to guide state-wide response to this Super-Storm, the most recent storm to expose weaknesses, mistakes and vulnerabilities in planning, regulation, and financial policies, that will define our economic and environmental future for generations.

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Comment Preferences

  •  yeah but what are the chances (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Regarding infrastructure we learned some lessons from Sandy. What are the chances the political will is there to act on any of them? As only as right wing spite and hatred of all things government commands 47% of the vote the chances of any forward looking policies or investments are very small.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 02:06:16 PM PST

  •  Beach fees (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26, Lujane

    The NJ Republicans are insisting that if the public - as in the generic taxpayer - pays for the replenishment of the beaches, then the public - as in the generic beach-goer - should get feeless access.  Strangely for Republicans, they feel that taxpayer money should not go solely for the benefit of the people who live near the beach.   The townships say that they charge so that they can provide essential services, such as lifeguards, for the tourists.

    I'm divided between both points of view.  Long ago, I was very annoyed that along the Navesink riverfront, the Rumson Park was for Rumson residents only.

    Any thoughts?

    •  beach tags = elitist beach (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norm in Chicago, Lujane

      The beaches need to be free, or at least free for NJ residents. They should be paid for via $ coming from the state sales or income taxes. NJ can feel free to charge my PA rear end a fee if they'd like, but NJ residents should get on for free.

      Where the real action needs to be in building bigger, better, and badder dunes. Beachfront houses should not exist.

  •  The tri-state area is in serious need of an (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    global citizen, Mostel26, grrr, Lujane

    overhaul in infrastructure. This area of the country has some of the oldest infrastructure for power distribution in the country and not enough has been done to modernize it. We've gone by the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." mentality for far too long. Once everything is back up and running completely we need a large scale project to modernize the power grid, move it underground, and make it as efficient as possible.

  •  Smarter often means NOT rebuilding (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26, divineorder, Lujane, chimene

    I'm sorry to be blunt, but the next superstorm to hit New Jersey may well be stronger than Sandy.  Lesson #1 is that no structure that was flooded by salt water should ever be rebuilt.  That high tide mark is the new sea level, and thou shall not build below sea level.

    Rebuilding smarter means reconizing that the coastline must be restored to nature and wetlands, not to houses and sprawl.

    Clear the rubble, restore the land to wetland wildlife refuges and parks.  Then rebuild on higher ground.

    Yes there will be those who will whine that they have a God given right to live 3 feet from the ocean.  Those people are fools who will only get themselves or others killed, and will drain our treasury with FEMA bailout after FEMA bailout that we cannot afford.

    Nature has spoken, sea level has risen and people must move out of harms way.

    •  Amen! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mostel26, divineorder, Lujane, chimene

      NJ has an absurd provision in its coastal areas facilities review act that provides for a right to rebuild on the shore.  Those who care about environmental protection, fiscal prudence, public safety, and just plain sanity should weigh in with their members of Congress and demand that the $60 billion headed from Washington to help the states hammered by Sandy should come with some mighty big strings that block rebuilding in harm's way.

      NJ politicos are hell bent to get federal money in to rebuild with no strings attached.  We need some strings!

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