Our third Community Meeting was held on May 18th to advance the regional resilience action plan to reduce flood risks in Raritan River and Bay Communities: Carteret, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, and Woodbridge. The project team gave a presentation on our progress so far and introduced the preferred scenario, which will form the basis of the action plan. Community members joined breakout sessions to discuss the physical and non-physical (i.e., policy, program and outreach) solutions being proposed to address flooding and offered their feedback on what to prioritize and additional ways to reduce flooding and address other concerns in their communities.
The meeting was held from 6:00PM – 7:30PM and included live American Sign Language and Spanish interpretation.
What did we hear?
All of the feedback that we received at the Community Meeting is compiled and reviewed. We invite you to explore our website and add your feedback!
Here’s a summary of what we heard, by topic. If you feel that we’ve missed anything or got something wrong, we encourage you to let us know by emailing ResilientRRBC@dep.nj.gov or calling 732-661-3808.
We heard feedback from community members on our preferred scenario and suggestions for how to implement the plan.
Regarding the policy & governance strategies:
- We discussed the competing interests amongst diverse stakeholders, and the challenges to municipalities of limiting growth and implementing policies that will reduce flood risk.
- We heard about the need for state-wide policy change to mediate between conflicting local interests and reduce flood risk.
- Participants recommended that communication around policy change needs to be clear and approachable so that residents and decision makers alike can understand the issues and solutions and have the resources they need to make informed decisions.
In discussing physical solutions North of the Raritan River (in Carteret, Woodbridge, and Perth Amboy):
- We heard about the desire for integrating multiple strategies to address all sources of flooding.
- We heard about the need for actionable, implementable projects and in particular projects aimed at managing stormwater and hardening physical infrastructure to reduce risk.
- We discussed the need for smart development that allows for growth while also adequately planning for future risk.
In discussing physical solutions South of the Raritan River (in South Amboy, Sayreville, South River, and Old Bridge):
- We heard about the importance of protecting critical assets, like utilities, and ensuring that all communities are protected.
- We discussed the need to restore areas where buyouts have occurred to ensure the area is usable by the community.
- We discussed the critical need to protect evacuation routes and develop actionable evacuation plans for the most vulnerable areas.
This Summer, we will release the regional resilience action plan! Stay tuned for additional outreach events as well!
MISSED THE MEETINGS, OR WANT TO SHARE ADDITIONAL FEEDBACK?
You can also check-out the meeting materials linked below.
Attended the meeting and have thoughts on how it went?
Take our post-meeting survey here.