NJ to get $1 billion to fight flooding and climate change after Hurricane Ida. Here’s where it’s going.


For nearly five decades, efforts to control flooding in the Green Brook sub-basin near the Raritan River were stalled by lack of federal funding.

But the project, which began in 1973, could finally be completed, thanks to the $499.2 million approved by Congress in response to the devastating flooding in New Jersey from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

The federal funding will total $966 million for New Jersey and is included in President Joe Biden’s bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure act and separate federal spending legislation that includes disaster relief for States hardest hit by Hurricane Ida. Besides New Jersey, these are Pennsylvania, New York and Louisiana.

The money is earmarked for US Army Corps of Engineers projects across the state to reduce flooding, tackling a problem that has worsened due to climate change. They include flood control, ecosystem restoration, maintenance and repair of existing navigation channels and beach restoration.

“As New Jersey continues to experience increased precipitation, extreme weather events and flooding, we must do everything we can to plan and prepare for the impacts of climate change, including continuing to invest in major infrastructure projects. infrastructure that will help protect lives and property,” said state Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette.

The September storm has been blamed for the deaths of 30 people in the state. Biden traveled to New Jersey to survey the damage and said residents could apply for federal assistance.

“While addressing the causes of climate change is of the utmost importance, there is also a need to mitigate the impacts of climate change that are already occurring,” said Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12th Dist. ., Member of the Chamber. Credit Committee. “The deadly floods in central Jersey last summer show how devastating climate change can be to already threatened communities.”

The Green Brook project encompasses three counties – Middlesex, Somerset and Union – and 13 municipalities that “continue to experience severe and even catastrophic flood damage,” LaTourette said.

Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-7th Dist., said the work will “help us come out stronger on the other side” after the hurricane.

There is also $153 million for design and construction to mitigate flooding along the Peckman River Basin in Essex and Passaic counties. The river flows from the town of West Orange to the Passaic River in Woodland Park, and the Army Corps of Engineers attributes the flooding to extensive development.

And $128.7 million is included to complete the Raritan Bay and Sandy Hook Bay project in Union Beach, which is often inundated by coastal storms and was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. There is an additional $5.6 million for flood control studies in nearby communities in Monmouth County.

“This is critical funding that will support projects across New Jersey that will protect communities from the devastating effects of climate change and flooding, improve our rivers and waterways, and restore our beaches,” the senator said. American Robert Menendez.

Along the Jersey Shore, the Corps will restore beaches along 14 miles of coastline from Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet and along 21 miles from Sandy Hook to Barnegat Inlet. at a cost of $54.6 million.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-4th Dist., who opposed his party and supported the infrastructure bill, said the project “will go a long way toward repairing significant erosion resulting from intense storms and solve serious security problems”.

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Jonathan D. Salant can be attached to [email protected]. Follow him on @JDSalant.

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