FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 2, 2014

Christie Administration Announces $380 Million In Federal Funding For Two Innovative Flood Mitigation Projects For Communities Plagued By Repetitive Flooding

Funding Awarded To New Jersey Design Teams As Part Of National Rebuild By Design Resiliency Competition

Trenton, N.J. – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Secretary Shaun Donovan of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that New Jersey will receive $380 million to implement two flood mitigation projects designed and selected through a HUD-sponsored design competition, Rebuild by Design.  The funds are included in the third round allocation of Superstorm Sandy Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds, totaling more than $881 million, including significant assistance for New Jersey’s recovery and rebuilding programs benefitting Sandy-affected homeowners and renters.

“I want to thank HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan for his innovation in leading the Rebuild by Design competition and working closely with New Jersey to bring meaningful flood hazard mitigation projects to the State,” said Governor Christie. “Sandy was the most sizeable storm to hit in 100 years, bringing billions of dollars in unprecedented destruction to New Jersey’s communities. Through the work of the talented Rebuild by Design teams and this collaborative process to find effective ways to protect our people, homes, businesses and infrastructure, these important projects will become a reality that will significantly enhance resilience in the face of future storms.”

Rebuild by Design was initially comprised of ten multi-disciplinary teams, which included architects, designers, planners, and engineers, who were charged with proposing regional and community-based projects that promote resilience.  The teams included experts and thought-leaders from around the world, including the Netherlands, a world leader in flood mitigation.  At the conclusion of the Rebuild by Design competition, HUD selected two winning projects for New Jersey, with designs that will help communities with repetitive flooding challenges along the Hudson River and in the Meadowlands region.  The State provided technical and other assistance to the Rebuild by Design teams throughout the design phases of the process, including lending subject matter expertise from a variety of state agencies and authorities, providing project-related data, and working through preliminary regulatory and logistical challenges.

“The State of New Jersey and HUD will be investing in significant hazard mitigation measures in areas of northern New Jersey that have been confronted with repetitive flooding challenges for many years,” Governor Christie said. “Complementing the beach and dune resiliency projects already underway by the State and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers along New Jersey’s coastline, the Rebuild by Design projects are expected to reduce flood risk and protect people and property in communities in the Meadowlands and along the Hudson River.”

The winning Rebuild by Design projects will address flood risk in densely populated communities where the Army Corps does not have implementable solutions identified.  By contrast, the Army Corps is implementing critical beach and dune construction projects along New Jersey’s coastline, providing the state with the most comprehensive and continuous coastal protection system it has ever had.  The Army Corps projects, valued at more than $1 billion, will provide protection to most of New Jersey’s Atlantic Coast communities, from Cape May to Sandy Hook.  The Corps is also currently studying repetitive flooding challenges facing Delaware Bayshore communities at the southern end of New Jersey to identify potential flood risk solutions. For more information, view the North Atlantic Division comprehensive map.

The projects showcase the State’s comprehensive approach to hazard mitigation, leveraging resources from HUD, the Army Corps, FEMA, EPA, and the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Energy, Interior and Agriculture, as outlined in the State’s most recent Action Plan Amendment approved by HUD.  Communities like Little Ferry, Moonachie, Carlstadt, Teterboro and South Hackensack, as well as Hoboken, Weehawken and Jersey City, face significant repetitive flooding challenges.  To help identify additional regional and community-based opportunities, the State engaged six universities to study repetitive flooding challenges in these and other areas of New Jersey and propose a range of mitigation strategies.  The universities worked with the Rebuild by Design teams and the final designs reflect this collaboration.  In addition, Governor Christie signed an Executive Order creating the Office of Flood Hazard Risk Reduction Measures within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to coordinate the State’s flood mitigation efforts and oversee implementation of projects like these.  The State continues to evaluate these and other potential regional mitigation opportunities, including those identified through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Comprehensive Study. 

With the funds from this third round allocation—and the recently approved second round Action Plan— the State will also continue to address unmet housing needs that remain in the aftermath of Sandy.  Before the State can draw down any of the $881 million in the third round of federal CDBG-DR funds, the State must submit another proposed substantial amendment to its Action Plan to HUD for approval.  Today, the Administration also announced Federal approval of its plan to distribute second round recovery funding, which provides assistance for homeowners, renters, financially strained communities affected by Sandy, additional buyouts of homes in repetitive flood areas, and resiliency projects across the state.


While more information about the Rebuild by Design competition and the winning projects may be found at HUD’s website and, below is a brief description of the two New Jersey projects selected by HUD:


Meadowlands Region (“New Meadowlands”)

This CDBG-DR funded flood risk reduction project consists of a large natural reserve along the Hackensack River, designed to help reduce flooding in Little Ferry, Moonachie, Carlstadt, Teterboro and South Hackensack.  It will connect and expand marshland restoration efforts by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.  The design envisions using an intricate system of green infrastructure, including berms and marshes, to protect against ocean surges and help reduce sewer overflows in adjacent towns. 


Hudson River Region (“Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge”)

This CDBG-DR funded flood risk reduction project is a comprehensive urban water strategy that will use hard infrastructure and soft landscape for coastal defense, while also addressing systemic drainage issues.  It includes a park landscape at Weehawken Cove; green infrastructure measures, such as permeable paving and rain gardens; a range of rainwater storage initiatives; and a variety of flood risk reduction infrastructure that will be built along the Hudson River, stopping flood waters from intruding into Hoboken and parts of Weehawken and Jersey City.  This new infrastructure will complement resilience measures undertaken in the area by New Jersey Transit, including proposals currently being reviewed by the Federal Transit Administration for competitive recovery funds.