Hoboken joins regional coalition aimed at reducing flood risk

Resilient Northeastern N.J. initiative seeks community input to build equitable long-term climate adaptation strategy

The Resilient Northeastern New Jersey initiative to implement flood risk reduction strategies is seeking information and recommendations from business owners, workers and residents for how on minimize risk in flood-prone North Jersey as well as improve long-term regional environmental and economic resilience.

The request came Monday, when the group got its latest member: Hoboken.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla said the city is joining a coalition of stakeholders including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Jersey City, Newark, Bayonne, Hudson County, Ironbound Community Corp., HOPES Community Assistance Partnership and project consultant Arcadis in the effort.

Specifically, the Resilient Northeastern New Jersey initiative will work to address flooding from coastal storms, high tides, heavy precipitation and overflowing riverbanks. It is seeking input to ensure an equitable approach to resilience.

The Resilient Northeastern New Jersey project is expected to be completed in May 2022.

The partnership aims to build upon ongoing resilience work and provide a clear roadmap for ensuring long-term social, environmental and economic vitality by reducing flood risk.

The project will be conducted in waves in order to account for public input at every point in its development. Input from residents of flood-prone areas will be integrated into a risk assessment to evaluate future risks to critical infrastructure and valued community facilities, which will give residents and workers the opportunity to contemplate the potential impacts of future flooding on their communities.

Results of the risk assessment and public feedback will be used to develop potential solutions for addressing identified risks. The final plan will delineate a path for implementation of these solutions in the future. Community members will be able to follow the project’s progress on the various channels available for engagement.

Bhalla said Hoboken is eager to join the effort.

“As a coastal community, Hoboken knows firsthand the impacts of storm surge and heavy flooding events,” he said. “While we continue to make major strides in creating a more resilient city through our Rebuild by Design Project and comprehensive flood mitigation strategies, we are always striving to do more.

“The partnership we are entering into with key stakeholders and cities through Resilient Northeastern New Jersey will allow Hoboken to take a regional approach to adopt other best practices, and also share our successes with other communities as well. I encourage residents to provide their input through the Resilient NJ website.”

Community members interested in sharing their perspectives, recommendations and experiences can contact the team through a variety of channels, including:

  • Downloading the project’s app for your smart phone: IRYS;
  • Visiting the website at resilient.nj.gov/nenj;
  • Engaging on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter at @ResilientNENJ;
  • Leaving voicemail feedback on the multilingual project hotline: 201-275-0861;
  • Participating in virtual public meetings and focus groups.

Carly Foster, the project manager for Arcadis, said the initiative impact is great.

“Anyone who lives or works in New Jersey has been, or knows someone who has been, affected by flooding,” she said. “The people familiar with this area understand its strengths, limitations and needs and are uniquely capable of helping identify what neighborhoods and streets are most susceptible to flooding.

“We are eager for input to make sure this plan effectively and impactfully protects these communities.”