11/11/12

Rebuilding with Climate Change in Mind

Environmentalists and shoreline planners are urging the state of New Jersey, its shoreline devastated by Hurricane Sandy, to consider whether to rebuild the Jersey Shore in the face of climate change.

Over the next century, scientists say, storm surges like those that wiped out low-lying areas of New York and New Jersey will be more frequent. 

Scientists have joined shoreline advocates in advising moving homes and businesses back from the shore, replenishing sand dunes and building more seawalls.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says he wants to rebuild the Jersey Shore, but will leave it up to individual homeowners in hard-hit areas to decide whether to rebuild or sell their property to the state for conservation. 

Until now, New Jersey has bought flood-prone homes primarily in inland flood plains.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo disagrees with Christie, saying that prevention needs to be part of the decision whether to rebuild after Sandy.

A spokesman for New Jersey Future called it problematic to encourage rebuilding by providing subsidies, including flood insurance.  We've built in places where we never should have built in the first place, he said  -- places that are increasingly dangerous and expensive to stay in. Rather than pouring more money into those places, he said, we need to zone them out and make people build their homes father back from the ocean.

A spokesman for the Surfrider Foundation said he hoped that New Jersey communities would choose to lead the nation by rebuilding father back from the ocean, rather than invest in rebuilding on an increasingly unpredictable shoreline.

The article from Huffpost.

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