New Jersey Conservation Foundation
 
New Jersey Conservation Foundation Menu
NJCF Homepage Contact Us Donate Events Search NJCF
New Jersey Land Conservation Organization
Donate to New Jersey Conservation Foundation
State We're In New Jersey Conservation Foundation Blog
Blue Acres: A win-win for open space, owners of flooded homes
8/18/2016 Volume XLIX, No. 32

Like many residents along the Delaware Bayshore, Natalie and Don Fisch of Downe Township worried about the future of their community after Superstorm Sandy devastated New Jersey’s coastline.

They saw that street flooding was increasing during high tides, full moons and rainstorms, making it hard for residents to get in and out of their homes. They were concerned that the neighborhood’s water and sewer infrastructure would be compromised. Uncertainty about the future of their community weighed heavily on their minds.

Fortunately, the New Jersey Blue Acres program was there to offer a solution to the Fisch family and other residents of flood-prone areas around the state.

The Fisch family recently became the 500th homeowner to sell their property to the Blue Acres program. Their house will be demolished to create an open space buffer to absorb water, and proceeds from the sale allowed them to buy a new home in Tuckerton. About a dozen additional Downe Township homeowners are accepting Blue Acres buyouts, and more are considering it.

Blue Acres, a program of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), has been moving families out of harm’s way since 1995.

After Superstorm Sandy hit in October 2012, Blue Acres shifted into high gear. With an infusion of federal funding, the post-Sandy buyout program was launched in May 2013 and is still underway.

The 500-plus properties purchased by Blue Acres after Sandy come in addition to the 126 properties acquired between 1995 and 2012. The program is now at a grand total of 632 acquisitions and counting.

The pace of Blue Acres buyouts won’t slow down anytime soon.

After Sandy, the administration set an ambitious goal of purchasing up to 1,000 homes in tidal areas affected by the storm, and another 300 in other communities that have flooded repeatedly.

With the four-year anniversary of Sandy approaching, the Blue Acres program is well on its way toward its goals. So far the program has:

  • Secured funding for 846 properties;
  • Made offers on 811 homes;
  • Completed 506 closings; and
  • Demolished 371 houses.

“The Christie Administration’s effort to protect lives and property from dangerous flooding has not wavered since Superstorm Sandy struck New Jersey,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Commissioner Bob Martin.

The Blue Acres program looks for clusters of homes - or even entire neighborhoods - that have experienced flood damage from Superstorm Sandy or previous storms. Owners must be willing, there must be an opportunity to improve the environment or public health and safety, and there must be local government support for the buyouts.

In addition to Downe Township, buyouts have occurred, or are in the process, in East Brunswick (Middlesex), Lawrence Township (Cumberland), Linden (Union), Manville (Somerset), Newark (Essex), New Milford (Bergen), Ocean Township (Monmouth), Old Bridge (Middlesex), Pompton Lakes (Passaic), Rahway (Union), Sayreville (Middlesex), South River (Middlesex) and Woodbridge (Middlesex).

Kudos to the Blue Acres program on its post-Sandy milestone!

Retreating from flood-prone areas is a wise move as our climate becomes more unpredictable, sea levels rise and strong storms become more frequent.

The Blue Acres program is sure to provide a lasting benefit to this state we’re in, and it has just received a new source of funding through New Jersey’s corporate business tax dedication.

For more information on the Blue Acres Program, visit www.nj.gov/dep/greenacres/blue_flood_ac.html. For information on Sandy Recovery, go to www.state.nj.us/dep/special/hurricane-sandy.

And to learn more about preserving New Jersey’s land and natural resources, visit the New Jersey Conservation Foundation website at www.njconservation.org or contact me at info@njconservation.org.

 

POSTS

Explore the Pine Barrens through paddles, hikes and tours

Like to jog? 'Plog' instead and keep NJ clean

Love Jersey fruit? Thank our native pollinators!

Good news for globally rare swamp pink lilies

Say cheese! Remote cameras aid wildlife research

Begone, single-use plastic bags!

3,000 birds and counting for 'bluebird grandfather'

The Pine Barrens gets some help from its friends

A clean energy future for New Jersey

Cowtown and rare grassland birds, perfect together

Fight light pollution during International Dark Sky Week

New film tells story of how Petty's Island was saved

Ten years of nipping invasive species in the bud

Welcome spring in a county park

Go for a walk and feel better!

Grab a friend and go outside

Recycle your way to zero waste!

Last call for winter wildlife watching on Jersey coast

Without its 'understory' layer, the forest will collapse

From whale songs to poetry, a remarkable journey

A cleaner, greener New Jersey

Let's keep New Jersey the Garden State, not the Pipeline State

New Jersey's winter hikes

'Trees don't vote' but Byrne saved Pine Barrens anyway

Governor-elect Murphy should set new course on the environment

Protect soils to keep the garden in our state

Clean, plentiful water is New Jersey's lifeblood

A breath of fresh air for New Jersey?

Keep Liberty State Park free and open

A green agenda for Governor-elect Murphy

Life, liberty ... and a clean environment

New Jersey's aging water infrastructure

The land before time: NJ's Kittatinny Ridge & Valley

While bats hibernate, scientists hope for survival

Natural Resource Damages fund new parks and preserves

Save menhaden, a humble but mighty fish

Ballot question approval would lock in environmental funds

Sandy Millspaugh: Conservation Trailblazer

Extreme hurricanes highlight concerns about climate change

'Head start' for corn snakes

Protecting the Highlands - it's the water

When you could walk from New Jersey to Morocco

A bold plan for the planet

New Jersey's energy future at a crossroads

Tiny insect will have a huge impact on New Jersey

Protect New Jersey's Pine Barrens

Enjoy New Jersey's forests!

Maine-to-Florida urban trail celebrates 25 years

Rare plants and animals need help!

Ban offshore drilling and seismic testing off NJ coast!

ARCHIVE

June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011

CLICK FOR RECENT POSTS


New Jersey Conservation Foundation on FacebookNew Jersey Conservation Foundation on TwitterNew Jersey Conservation Foundation on FlickrNew Jersey Conservation Foundation YouTube ChannelShare      
New Jersey Conservation Foundation           Bamboo Brook, 170 Longview Road, Far Hills, NJ 07931           908-234-1225           info@njconservation.org
home  | nj statewide eventscontact us  |  sitemap  |  privacy policy  |  DONATE