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New Jersey Back Bays Coastal Storm Risk Management

News & Updates

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection are hosting public meetings regarding the New Jersey Back Bays Flood Risk Management study on Sept. 12, 2018 in Ventnor City, N.J. and on Sept 13 in Toms River Township, N.J. Some of the measures that will be discussed at the public meetings include structural solutions such as storm surge barriers, tide gates, levees, and floodwalls; non-structural solutions such as elevating homes; and nature-based features such as marsh restoration and the creation of living shorelines. The final plan may also include recommendations of actionable and policy implementable items such as floodplain management and Community Rating System enhancement opportunities. 

The general public and other stakeholders are invited to attend the meetings to learn more about the study process and current status. In addition, the public will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the study and interact with project team members. The meeting details are as follows:

Meeting Materials

Draft Integrated Feasibility Report/Environmental Impact Statement

A draft of the New Jersey Back Bays Study Integrated Feasbility Report/Environmental Impact Statement will be released in early 2019 for concurrent public review. This represents an opportunity to share stakeholder/public input on the study process and progress. 

Study Background

Historic storms, including Hurricane Sandy, have severely impacted the back bay communities of coastal New Jersey. The New Jersey Back Bay (NJBB) Study developed out of the larger North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study (NACCS) which identified nine high-risk areas on the Atlantic Coast for further in-depth analysis. The NJBB study area is located behind the New Jersey barrier islands of Monmouth, Ocean, Burlington, Atlantic and Cape May Counties and includes the set of interconnected water bodies and coastal lakes that are separated from the Atlantic Ocean. The purpose of the study is to investigate Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) strategies and solutions to reduce damages from coastal flooding affecting population, critical infrastructure, critical facilities, property, and ecosystems. The Study will consider the full array of structural, non-structural, and natural and nature-based measures. Examples are highlighted in the below chart. 

Study Process

The study will consider past, current, and future coastal storm risk management and resilience planning initiatives and projects underway by the USACE and other Federal, State, and local agencies. Three overarching efforts will be performed: 

  • Assess the study area’s problems, opportunities and future without project conditions;
  • Assess the feasibility of implementing system-wide coastal storm risk management solutions such as policy/programmatic strategies, storm surge barriers at selected inlet entrances, or tidal gates at selected lagoon entrances; 
  • Assess the feasibility of implementing site-specific perimeter solutions such as a combination of structural, non-structural, and natural and nature-based features;
  • Assess the impacts of back bay strategies and solutions on the Atlantic Coast CSRM Program towards developing recommendations within a systems context given likely future scenarios.

Also included in the report: recommendations of actionable and policy implementable items for non-USACE entities, including floodplain management, landscape architecture, hurricane evacuation plans, and Community Rating System enhancement opportunities. Additional recommendations will be provided for incorporating existing USACE and external programs, projects, plans and actions into the NJBB framework. Environmental impacts will be assessed through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes.


Philadelphia District
Planning Division

100 Penn Square E.
Philadelphia, PA 19107