The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection released an Interim Report that presents a focused array of alternative plans that manage risk and reduce damages from coastal storms. The report also outlines the engineering, economic, social, and environmental analyses that have been conducted to date.
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.
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 Coastal Storm Risk Management Program towards developing recommendations within a systems context given likely future scenarios.