DESCRIPTION: Requires DEP to update Shore Protection Master Plan
POSITION: Support with amendments
TO: Senate Energy & Environment Committee
Thank you for hearing about this issue.
We are strongly behind the idea of updating the Shore Protection Master Plan, as it hasn’t been done since 1981.
The Shore serves as a vital economic stimulus and provides essential recreational services to New Jerseyans and tourists from around the world. However, our shore is highly vulnerable to the anticipated impacts of climate change. Therefore, it is essential that the work done promotes building resiliency within the communities along the coast, and details achievable and comprehensive recommendations for reducing risk.
Our concern with this bill though is the timeline permitted for updating the plan. Specifically, extending the timeline to 18 months. Six months is entirely way to short to fully develop a thorough and comprehensive plan that encompasses the entire 130 mile coastline of New Jersey.
In addition, we suggest the following amendments to strengthen the Protection Plan:
- Include an evaluation of land use management alternatives, including land acquisition as a means of risk reduction within its planning and implementation.
- Provide language that requires the Plan utilize and incorporate into its research methodology, analysis, and recommendations, estimates of current sea level rise projections and detailed risk assessments as the basis to evaluate funding allocation and project approvals.
We will be submitting formal, written recommendations in the coming days that speak to these issues.
Thank you for your time.