Mark N. Mauriello, 2023. “The missing link in New Jersey’s Hurricane Sandy recovery: Land use management”, Shore & Beach, 91(4)/92(1), 46-54.
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The missing link in New Jersey’s Hurricane Sandy recovery: Land use management
Mark N. Mauriello
Mark Mauriello Consulting, LLC
51 South Bath Avenue, Unit 8, Long Branch, NJ, USA
Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey with record storm surge, coastal erosion and inundation, widespread flooding, and associated property damage. The federal response to this catastrophic storm event was swift, with passage of a supplemental appropriation bill in excess of $60 billion to facilitate response and recovery. In New Jersey, hurricane recovery included a range of positive mitigation actions, including structural elevation of residential and smaller commercial buildings, property acquisitions, restoration of natural resources, enhanced construction standards, and large-scale beach nourishment. However, New Jersey’s recovery plan promoted quick rebuilding without consideration of long-term storm vulnerability concerns, and without fully understanding the cause of damages and appropriate land use management actions that could mitigate future storm and flood damages. There was a conspicuous absence of land use planning and management strategies in the context of future conditions of increasing sea level rise, chronic coastal erosion and increasing risk to people and property. This deficiency represents a significant gap in New Jersey’s Hurricane Sandy recovery and a missed opportunity to address a long-standing vulnerability.