US Army Corps of Engineers
Philadelphia District & Marine Design Center

New Jersey Back Bays Coastal Storm Risk Management Study

Interim Report

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection announced the release of an Interim Report for the New Jersey Back Bays Coastal Storm Risk Management Study, and a virtual meeting on March 14, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The Interim Report presents a focused array of alternative plans that manage risk and reduce damages from coastal storms as well as the engineering, economic, social, and environmental analyses that have been conducted to develop the focused array of alternatives outlined in the report. The Army Corps and NJDEP invite the public to comment on the report by April 1, 2019. Comments can be submitted by email or in writing to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Planning Division, 100 Penn Square E. Philadelphia PA 19107. 

Public Meetings


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection hosted 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 were discussed at the public meetings included 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.  


Study Background


Historic storms, including Hurricane Sandy, have severely impacted the back bay communities of coastal New Jersey. The New Jersey Back Bay Study developed out of the larger North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study which identified nine high-risk areas on the Atlantic Coast for further in-depth analysis. The 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 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. 

Public Meeting in Toms River, NJ on Sept 13, 2018

Public Meeting in Ventnor City, NJ on Sept. 12, 2018

Examples of Measures Under Consideration

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.