New Jersey Members Push to Rebuild Beaches & Flood Protection Projects

Nov 20, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the Jersey Shore ravaged by Hurricane Sandy and significant flooding experienced inland, New Jersey Congressmen Frank LoBiondo (02), Jon Runyan (03) and Chris Smith (04), Frank Pallone (06), Rush Holt (12) and Albio Sires (13) have requested federal funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete necessary repairs and preventative measures on projects authorized by Congress across the state. Two letters regarding beach replenishment and flood protection projects authored by the New Jersey lawmakers were sent to President Barack Obama and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (KY-05) respectively requesting federal resources.

            The full text of the letter to President Obama from the New Jersey lawmakers is as follows:

Dear President Obama:

            We write to request full funding to immediately complete all previously authorized New Jersey Army Corps of Engineers’ beach replenishment and flood control projects. As you are well aware Hurricane Sandy had an unprecedented devastating impact on the New Jersey coast. Our coastline sustained billions in damages that will take, in some cases, years to rebuild. 

            After assessing the damages it appears that areas lucky enough to be protected by completed Army Corps flood control and beach replenishment projects fared significantly better than those areas still waiting for funding to complete their beach and flood control projects. This storm clearly illustrates that we need to finish these beach and flood control projects as soon as possible. These projects prevented untold economic damages, and certainly saved the tax payer money in post storm recovery. In fact, the Army Corps estimates that for every dollar spent on beach replenishment projects there is a seven dollar savings on post storm recovery costs.

            New Jersey has over 127 miles of coastline, which is the leading engine behind a multi-billion dollar coastal tourism industry. Tourism is New Jersey’s second largest industry, and provides jobs for many of the 35 million people living within 100 miles of our beaches. There is no doubt that it will take years for our tourism industry to return to its pre-Sandy levels. While the industry is in the process of recovery, we need to do our part to ensure future disasters will not deal nearly as damaging a blow by completing our beach and flood control projects.

            We all agree that it is necessary to immediately prioritize investments in beach replenishment and flood control projects to ensure the future safety and economic well-being of our residents. With the appropriate budgetary decisions we can ensure that another Super-Storm to strike New Jersey won’t deliver near the devastation that Sandy has. We thank you for your time and look forward to your response.

Representatives Bill Pascrell (08) and Steve Rothman (09) selectively signed on to the aforementioned letters.