Atlantic City, NJ – Last night, the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters (LCV) launched a new coalition to support local stormwater programs and help communities protect against stormwater flooding. The new group, Flood Defense New Jersey, includes more than a dozen state and local environmental organizations. The announcement came at the annual League of Municipalities conference in Atlantic City.
The coalition will work to protect New Jersey counties, cities and towns from frequent stormwater flooding that is causing millions of dollars of damage, snarling traffic, threatening drinking water and even endangering lives.
“Flood Defense New Jersey wants to empower our communities to help them address the growing threat of stormwater,” says Ed Potosnak, executive director of New Jersey LCV. “Local flooding is a huge problem and local leaders want the ability to protect their communities from it. The coalition is working to give them a tool to do just that.”
During heavy rainfalls, stormwater runs off of hard surfaces like rooftops and pavement. When not properly managed, it can overwhelm storm sewers and flood roads, homes and businesses. Coalition members say that New Jersey is one of the most densely populated states in the country, yet the Garden State is one of the few states that lacks the authority to enact local stormwater programs. More than 1,800 local stormwater programs exist in 40 states across the country.
The New Jersey General Assembly is currently considering the Flood Defense Act (A2694/S1073), which would give cities and towns the authority to fund much-needed local stormwater programs to control flooding and reduce pollution. Without this legislation, New Jersey counties and municipalities would remain unable to create dedicated stormwater or flood defense programs, even as the threat continues to grow.
“If we don’t give our local leaders the power to create stormwater programs, municipalities will be faced with a terrible choice – to raise property taxes to fund the necessary flood defense projects, or do nothing and continue to put their communities at risk,” said Potosnak.
Flood Defense New Jersey supports the state legislation and is looking forward to its passage so that members can begin working directly with municipalities to construct proven on-the-ground projects that protect against flooding, capture polluted runoff and repair failing infrastructure.
Flood Defense New Jersey is a coalition of state and local nonprofit organizations working to protect our communities from damaging floods and harmful stormwater pollution. #FloodDefenseNJ