Resilient NJ Atlantic County Coastal Region

Comprising Atlantic County, Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, Longport, Northfield, Pleasantville, and the American Red Cross

Preparing the region for current and future natural disasters

The State of New Jersey, through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Climate and Flood Resilience Program’s Bureau of Climate Resilience Planning (BCRP), has commenced a Regional Resilience and Adaptation Action Plan (“Action Plan”) process that will align local visions for a flood resilient future with projects and implementation strategies for the Atlantic County Coastal Region. The goal is to identify actions that will aid the Region in being better prepared for current and future flood events and chart a regionally collaborative pathway forward toward a more resilient future.

Why this plan is vital?

In the last 10 years, this Region has fought through Hurricane Sandy, Nor’easters such as Jonas, economic downturn, and the outbreak of a pandemic. In spite of these challenges, the Region remains the seaside gaming and resort capital of the East Coast, typically hosting over 27 million visitors per year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States.  This Region boasts casinos, world class restaurants and entertainment, conventions, a college campus, pristine beaches, and environmental treasures with back bays and wildlife refuges.  The communities are resilient in their strength and have survived many disasters that resulted in chronic flooding, power outages, and the 2020 pause in the operation of the majority of the businesses in the region that are linked to tourism. Unlike other coastal areas of New Jersey, coastal Atlantic County is marked by its year-round population and its urbanized area with much of the region reflecting the economic center of Atlantic City. This Region has adapted repeatedly; however, with each shock, there is an effect on the local economy, community members, and infrastructure. Community needs before and after these disasters are both social and structural.  Even though Sandy was a coastal event and the pandemic a health event, the impacts are similar with thousands of displaced families, mental and physical health effects, damaged and destroyed possessions, and disrupted work, school, and living. This Region has some of the most economically distressed communities in New Jersey.  Addressing infrastructure improvements without increasing taxes on property owners is an added pressure to this region, specifically when the pandemic has further stressed municipal and county budgets.

Therefore, this planning process comes at a time when strategic action is vital to assist this region in its recovery from the pandemic and preparedness for the next coastal or other natural disaster.

How will the state and region decide what projects and actions to move forward?

This Plan will be driven through community input.  The State has hired a Consultant Team to provide technical expertise and guide project development. The Consultant Team will be meeting with residents, businesses, environmental groups, youth organizations, infrastructure managers, government agency representatives, and community based organizations (CBOs) throughout the planning process.  Stakeholder feedback is extremely important to understand past and current factors that have had the greatest impact on the economic and physical recovery of these communities.  These factors could range from aging infrastructure, unemployment, long lasting flooding, frequent power failure, crime, access to transportation, and other challenges. The Team will collaborate with the communities to drive the success of these projects and to achieve the goals established by the plan, including reducing the impacts of flooding hazards, increasing resilience in infrastructure systems, improving the needs of socially vulnerable populations, and attracting equitable investments.

What are the next steps?

In the coming weeks the communities of Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, Longport, Northfield, and Pleasantville,along with Atlantic County and the American Red Cross will be working with the Consultant Team to identify stakeholders and focus groups to participate in planning and decision-making in this effort.  There will be virtual meetings, surveys, stakeholder interviews, and many opportunities for feedback over the course of the project.  This website will have surveys and other opportunities for feedback, including a crowdsource mapping tool where particular sites can be pinpointed as areas of concern, opportunity, and interest.

The American Red Cross will be working with the Project Team to facilitate outreach and make sure the needs of highly burdened and socially vulnerable groups are heard, understood, and prioritized.  The American Red Cross has a large presence in South Jersey and their efforts were extraordinary in the wake of Sandy. The Red Cross has a history of providing disaster relief support to all communities, and they will help to ensure that regardless of socioeconomic status all members of these communities have the opportunity to participate in this planning process.

We are asking you to engage and help develop and implement the Regional Resilience and Adaptation Action Plan for Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, Longport, Northfield, Pleasantville, and Atlantic County.

What is the background story for this effort?

The Resilient NJ program is administered through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Climate and Flood Resilience Program’s Bureau of Climate Resilience Planning (BCRP) to identify and implement innovative regional solutions to address vulnerabilities to increased coastal and river flood risk and other stressors. Resilient NJ is an important piece of a New Jersey’s comprehensive efforts to make the state of New Jersey more resilient.

As part of the federal government’s Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) established the  National Disaster Resilience Competition  (NDRC), which made $1 billion available to communities struck by natural disasters in recent years. The competition was designed to promote risk assessment, planning, and implementation of innovative resilience projects to better prepare communities for future storms and other extreme weather events. The competition was funded by Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds provided by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 (PL 113-2). In January 2016, the State of New Jersey was awarded $15 million as part of the competition. From that award, $10 million will fund Resilient NJ.

The Regional Team consisting of Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, Longport, Northfield, Pleasantville, Atlantic County, and the American Red Cross competed and was awarded grant funding to support the development and implementation of a community-driven Regional Resilience and Adaptation Action Plan over the course the coming months, by May of 2022.

As we set off to launch Resilient NJ  in an era of new safety precautions and increasingly virtual interactions, we are going live with our first-generation webpage early on so that can begin connecting with all of you from the start. We will build the site out over the coming months with additional project details and ways to engage with us.

To help build the foundation of our risk assessment and resilience planning process, we invite you to contribute to identifying local needs and local assets (whether it may be a particular building, service, or natural area) through the website. What is important to you in your neighborhood and region? Our crowdsource mapping tool will launch in the spring so users can place comments on the map regarding areas of interest, local assets, and problem areas in need of resilient and adaptation solutions.

Engage with our crowdsource map

The crowdsource map will allow users to comment on areas of concern, such as those with a history of flooding, and identify locations of existing and possible future resilience improvements. Tell us what you think, learn about what others think.

Share Your Comments!

Events & Announcements

Advisory Group Sign-Up/Survey

In the coming weeks the Communities of Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, Longport, Northfield, Pleasantville, the American Red Cross, and Atlantic County will work with regional leaders to identify stakeholders and advisory groups. These stakeholders shall represent businesses, residents, environmental groups, the socially vulnerable, and community based organizations. Therefore, if you would like to be one of our advisory group members please complete our survey so that you can be placed in a group.

Steering Committee Meeting #7

Our steering committee meets the 4th Wednesday of every month.

Focus Group/Resident Advisory Group Meetings

The first round of Focus Group and Resident Advisory Group meetings commenced in May and will continue through July. There is still time to sign up. These are smaller group sessions for facilitated conversations on various resilience topics. Please let us know if you are interested in participating!

Past Events

Downbeach Annual Hurricane Preparedness Meeting

The meeting will educate the public about how to properly prepare for a major weather event, such as a nor’easter, snowstorm and especially for hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season starts in June and ends in November when the population is at its highest.

The meeting will last about 90 minutes. No reservations are required and the public is strongly encouraged to attend.

Public Meeting #1 - Recordings Now Available!

The Atlantic County Coastal Region #ResilientNJ virtual open house meetings were held on 6/15/2021. Recordings of the meetings are at the links below. (The same presentation was given at each session, although additional Spanish Translation was provided for some content in the evening session.) We are asking for your help in defining a vision and goals to help the tackle the challenges of today while also working to prepare for, plan, and adapt to our changing climate. Take our survey below to give your input! Survey participants that provide contact information will be entered into a drawing to win one of six free adult First Aid/CPR courses from the American Red Cross after the survey closes.

Mailing List & Feedback

Have a question, comment or want to receive plan updates and learn about upcoming events? Sign-up for email updates and send us your comments or questions by completing the form on this page.

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Our Project Team communities have taken considerable steps over the past several years to approach resilience, creating a new sense of cooperation with communities realizing that being physically, economically, and socially resilient takes planning across community boundaries.

Superstorm Sandy was not a one-off event, and the physical effects of the storm (such as flooding and wind damage) and our continuously changing climate will continue to resonate and recur in the Project Team communities in the years ahead.

The Resilient NJ program is an unparalleled opportunity to achieve and arrive at a regional resilience and adaptation action plan together. While challenges and opportunities vary across respective communities, a joint effort will allow for new synergies and effective use of resources to be realized.

Get Involved!

To help build the foundation of our risk assessment and resilience planning process, we invite you to contribute to identifying local needs and local assets (whether it may be a particular building, service, or natural area) through the website. What is important to you in your neighborhood and region? Let us know by completing the form on this page.

Advisory Group Sign-Up/Survey

The Communities of Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, Longport, Northfield, Pleasantville, the American Red Cross, and Atlantic County have been working with regional leaders to identify stakeholders and advisory groups. These stakeholders shall represent businesses, residents, environmental groups, the socially vulnerable, and community based organizations. Therefore, if you would like to be one of our advisory group members please complete our survey so that you can be placed in a group.

Take Our Survey

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