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.

Our Vision

The Resilient New Jersey Atlantic County Coastal Region (ACCR) is a resilient and sustainable place where protections from natural disasters, flooding, and sea level rise will enable the region to thrive; residents’ sense of belonging and pride in their communities is enhanced by advancing quality of life through economic, housing, transportation, and infrastructure developments; and visitors are offered an inviting recreational and cultural experience that honors the ocean and optimizes the waterfront, public spaces, and regional assets that make the region a national destination.

Our Goals

  1. Innovation in design. Design critical infrastructure to ensure continued service to all communities during and after major storm events and in the face of rising sea levels impacting the urban landscape.
  2. Efficiency and equity. Ensure efficient and equitable response and adaptation to current and future operational and climate-change disruptions to infrastructure and communities.
  3. Agility and balance. Be agile in balancing human needs with the limitations land use, environment, engineering, policy or funding may present.
  4. Conscientious investment. Provide infrastructure improvements that create benefits in proportion to the need, consider historical public investment patterns in the region, and without causing displacement.
  5. Education and collaboration. Facilitate topical education to residents to empower their input and collaboration on project prioritization and outcomes.
  6. Hyperlocal workforce. Create hyperlocal workforce development opportunities to support projects.
  7. Diversify economy. Continue to diversify the economy to include additional water-oriented tourist attractions, as well as offshore renewable energy.
  8. Neighborhood character and features. Preserve and enhance the neighborhood features that represent and are cherished by the people who live here.

Our Values

  1. Friendly & inclusive: The Region is welcoming to a diversity of residents and visitors year-round
  2. A special place in the state, region, and country: Residents value the preservation and enhancement of ACCR’s unique characteristics — natural and human-made — that set it apart from anywhere else
  3. Stronger in numbers: Residents understand that the region will continue to experience challenges over time, and therefore collaboration leads to greater safety and success
  4. Thriving communities: Residents value the Region’s numerous economic, educational, and recreational opportunities with a diverse and growing workforce, improved connectivity and mobility, and social equity and environmental justice at the heart of decision-making and investments
  5. Resilience and adaptation: Residents value the ability to minimize negative effects, manage emergencies, recover rapidly when challenges arise, and continuously regenerate and improve baseline conditions over time in the face of climate change

Why is this plan 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

NOTICE OF ATLANTIC COUNTY COASTAL REGION RESILIENT NJ OPEN HOUSE

Join us for the virtual open house on May 18, 2022 at 9:00-10:30 AM to discuss the Resilient NJ regional resilience and adaptation action plan. The NJ Department of Environmental Protection has launched a planning process to prepare for the impacts of climate change - including protection against hurricanes, flooding, and other hazards. At this third public meeting we are asking for your feedback on the preferred scenario and projects that will enable the Atlantic County Coastal Region to prepare for, plan for, respond to, and adapt to our changing climate. Your participation will help inform how the region can best tackle current issues while looking to the future. Register for the morning session at https://bit.ly/ACCR51822. Once you register, Zoom information will be provided.

Regional Resilience Planning Scenarios Now Available!

Engagement

Survey Now Open!

Take the ACCR Survey to let us know what you think of the proposed projects to consider in the region.

Take Our Survey

Upcoming Advisory Group Sessions & Next Public Meeting

Our next round of Community Conversations and focus group sessions will occur early in the new year. We will follow these smaller group discussions with a larger public meeting open to all. These discussions will center on (1) the findings of the flood risk assessment and (2) the development of three scenarios that present different pathways for achieving desired regional resilience and adaptation outcomes. Your feedback on the planning scenarios is critical! We greatly value your input and hope you will join us to provide ideas, questions, and recommendations for evaluating scenarios and guiding development of the Action Plan. All sessions will be held virtually to observe latest safety regulations and guidance from state and federal levels.

Past Events

Notice of Atlantic County Coastal Region Resilient NJ Open House

Join us for the virtual open house on February 10, 2022 at 9:00-10:30 AM and/or 6:00-7:30 PM to discuss the Resilient NJ regional resilience and adaptation action plan. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has launched a planning process to prepare for the impacts of climate change - including protection against hurricanes, flooding, and other hazards. At this second round of public meetings we are asking for your help in ranking scenarios and selecting projects that will enable the Atlantic County Coastal Region to prepare for, plan for, respond to, and adapt to our changing climate. Your participation will help inform how the region can best tackle current challenges while looking to the future. Register for the morning session at https://tinyurl.com/accr9AM. Register for the evening session at https://tinyurl.com/accr6PM. Once you register, Zoom information will be provided. Learn more about the project at resilient.nj.gov/accr. Contact the project team at resilientaccr@dep.nj.gov.


View resources from the February 2022 Resilient NJ ACCR Public Meeting here:
> Presentation
> AM Video | PM Video

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!

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.

Add me to mailing list: *

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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