Nicholas Brown and Travis Merritts, 2023. “Ocean City, New Jersey coastal flooding management: A case study”, Shore & Beach, 91(2), 3-8.
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Ocean City, New Jersey coastal flooding management: A case study
Nicholas Brown (1) and Travis Merritts (2)
1) ACT Engineers, Inc., 320 South Shore Road, Suite D, Marmora, NJ, 08223
2) Anchor QEA, 755 Business Center Drive, Suite 220, Horsham, PA, 19044
Coastal flooding from both extreme storm events and sea level rise is impacting low-lying areas globally within the coastal zone. The intensity and frequency of these impacts are expected to increase as a result of climate change, thus requiring resilience planning to address both short- and long-term coastal change dynamics. Rates of actual and projected sea level rise in southern New Jersey are relatively high when compared to other portions of the eastern coast of the United States – partially due to glacial isostatic adjustment specific to that region. Numerous municipalities are attempting to adapt to these climate-driven coastal flooding hazards by adopting, or enhancing, integrated coastal resiliency programs. Located in southern New Jersey, the City of Ocean City has implemented numerous mitigation measures and policies focused on bolstering community resilience and managed through the implementation of various management plans. These adaptive plans’ purpose is to guide waterway maintenance; mitigate flooding through the implementation of numerous mitigation projects such as installing or upgrading pump stations and focused public engagement programs; and manage stormwater, while also protecting the environment through restoration-focused projects. Projects undertaken by the city as part of plan implementation include restoring tidal wetlands at Shooting Island, management of back bay waterways, and analysis of flooding impacts. The objective of this study is to examine one municipality that has been proactive in its climate adaptation and mitigation efforts and to disseminate the outcomes, solutions, and lessons learned for coastal managers and decisionmakers to allow them to utilize this information as the impacts of climate change continue to increase.