Assessing Flood Risks and Planning for Resiliency in New Jersey: A Case Study on the Use of Online Flood Mapping and Resilience Planning Tools
Abstract:The highly developed nature of New Jersey’s coastline, barrier island and lagoon communities make them particularly vulnerable to storm surge, sea level rise and flooding. The impacts of Hurricane Sandy have enlightened coastal communities to these realities. Recognizing these vulnerabilities, the Jacques Cousteau National Research Reserve (JC NERR), Rutgers Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA), Rutgers Bloustein School and the Barnegat Bay Partnership (BBP) have developed web-based tools to assist NJ’s coastal communities in visualizing and planning for future local impacts.
NJFloodMapper and NJAdapt are two complementary interactive mapping websites that visualize different current and future flood hazards. These hazard layers can be combined with additional data including critical facilities, evacuation routes, socioeconomic and environmental data. Getting to Resilience is an online self-assessment tool developed to assist communities reduce vulnerability and increase preparedness by linking planning, mitigation, and adaptation. Through this interactive process communities will learn how their preparedness can yield valuable points through voluntary programs like FEMA’s Community Rating System and Sustainable Jersey. The assessment process can also increase the community’s understanding of where future vulnerabilities should be addressed through hazard mitigation planning.
Since Superstorm Sandy, more than thirty communities in New Jersey have been provided technical assistance in assessing their risks and vulnerabilities to coastal hazards, and have begun to understand how to better plan and prepare for short and long-term changes along their shorelines.