More flood mitigation money heading to the Jersey Shore

    Tidal flooding in Stone Harbor in Feb. 2016 as photographed by Zeke Orzech (‏@Zeke_O via Twitter).

    Tidal flooding in Stone Harbor in Feb. 2016 as photographed by Zeke Orzech (‏@Zeke_O via Twitter).

    Stone Harbor is receiving a $2.7 million grant to fund a stormwater and storm surge mitigation project that will protect structures in the downtown area and ensure the accessibility of a coastal evacuation route, state officials announced. 

    The project includes the installation of remotely operated tide control values at existing bayside stormwater discharge pipes, according to a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection release.

    During storm events, the pipes can be closed to prevent a surge from overwhelming the stormwater management system. The project also includes the elevation of streets to improve rainwater collection, which will divert to a bayside pump station.

    Officials say a surge from the Great Channel between Storm Harbor and Middle Township routinely flows into stormwater discharge pipes during storms, leading to flooding in the downtown section and disrupting rainwater discharge into the waterway. 

    The funding is from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program.

    Last month, the state awarded about $22 million in grants to Wildwood and North Wildwood to fund coastal flood resiliency projects. 

    At the time, New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel said the project won’t be successful unless the state takes sea level rise and climate change into account.

    “The Christie Administration giving out these grants are just part of the failed policies of the past that actually have made things worse and given people a sense of false hope,” he said. “We are concerned that these stormwater projects will fail by causing more flooding and pollution in other areas like what happened with the Barnegat Bay.”

    Tittel added that Christie “believes climate change isn’t a crisis, but he has actually caused the crisis at the Jersey Shore.”

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