News & Announcements Blog

This blog is about NJAFM News and Announcements. Posts can only be made by NJAFM Administrators, however comments to the posts can be made by all registered members. If you have an announcement that you would like posted to this blog, send the request to This blog is viewable by the public.

  • Monday, October 05, 2015 3:36 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    Federal government not following N.J.'s lead in setting strict flood protection standards | Opinion

    Brian Donohue | NJ Advance Media for


    By Star-Ledger Guest Columnist 
    Follow on Twitter
    on October 02, 2015 at 8:00 AM, updated
     October 02, 2015 at 8:11 AM

    By David Kutner, John Miller and Joel Scata

    From the Passaic River south to the Delaware Bay, communities in New Jersey are expected to experience more frequent and more severe flooding due to climate change.

    But instead of sitting back and waiting for the next flood – which could come sooner than we'd like, with Hurricane Joaquin churning up the coast – New Jersey communities are already hard at work making sure new structures are built higher and stronger.

    In Monmouth County's Little Silver borough, for example, new homes and apartment buildings must be built four feet above the predicted 100-year flood level to lessen flood damage. That's the highest such standard in the state.

    And everywhere else, there's a minimum one-foot, statewide flooding standard to which almost all new or substantially improved buildings must adhere.

    Those kinds of standards make a lot of sense. They show that New Jersey is putting the latest science and the best available flood maps to good use. And they help protect our communities from the growing dangers and the rising costs of floods worsened by climate change.

    Unfortunately, smart local- and state-level standards don't currently apply to projects the federal government funds in New Jersey – or in any other state that has smart, tough flood standards. Right now, per the federal government's own outdated flood protection standard, federal projects only have to be built to the level of the 100-year flood, a flowrate used to estimate the probability and magnitude of floods nationwide.

    That's a big problem. Why? Because our ability to predict flood risk is questionable. Looking back over the past century of floods has not led to accurate predictions of flood risk. In addition, climate change is disrupting our weather patterns and raising our sea levels. In New Jersey, the National Climate Assessment predicts that within the next 85 years, we will likely face nearly four feet of sea level rise.

    This means the federal government's current standard needlessly – and repeatedly – exposes our schools, hospitals, treatment plants and other projects to more frequent and more severe floods. And again and again, it's the U.S. taxpayer left holding the soggy cleanup bill.

    But things are beginning to change. In January, President Barack Obama updated via executive order the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard. Once put into effect, federally funded projects built in New Jersey – and everywhere else in the United States – must be built to meet tougher standards.

    These smart standards will result in stronger, more resilient communities and a more conservative investment of taxpayer dollars.

    Unfortunately, just as we're making progress, some in Congress are trying to include language in must-pass appropriations bills to prevent the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard from being implemented.

    These maneuvers harm the American public, including the citizens of New Jersey. They undercut smart local and state policies that have the potential to save billions of dollars in disaster costs due to flooding – costs that are increasingly borne by the federal government.

    Because they've lived through the aftermath of monster storms like Sandy, New Jersey's congressional delegation is in a prime position to defend tougher new federal flood standards, just like the ones we know are already working in communities like Little Silver.

    That's why Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) – along with every other member of Congress from New Jersey who has seen, firsthand, the damage from more frequent and more severe flooding – should speak out against using appropriations procedures to block fiscally sound measures that protect New Jersey taxpayers, businesses and our families.

    David Kutner is the recovery planning manager at New Jersey Future. John Miller is the legislative committee chair for the New Jersey Association for Floodplain Management. Joel Scata is a water policy advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group headquartered in New York City.

    Follow The Star-Ledger on Twitter @starledger. Find The Star-Ledger on Facebook.

  • Friday, September 04, 2015 10:46 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    ASCE South Jersey - September 2015 Meeting

    Thursday, September 17, 2015, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

    Hurricanes like Sandy, Irene, tropical storm Lee have revealed the gap in response time and have elevated the need of preparation required to face the challenges of climate change. These storms have caused a great amount of damages to homes, business, and transportation infrastructure. They have damaged wastewater and potable water treatment facilities, and left thousands of people without electricity and other utilities. Due to Super Storm Sandy in NYC, 43 New Yorkers lost their lives, many more lost homes and businesses, In addition, 10 out of 14 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) either lost electric power or became damaged. In New Jersey Ninety-four wastewater treatment plants were impacted during the storm and $1.3 billion was allotted to the repair of the wastewater systems. 

    In order to increase the resiliency of WWTP infrastructure, and examine the component vulnerability against riverine (inland) and coastal flooding due to the impact of climate change (such as mean sea level rise) and extreme natural events, an in-depth analysis has been completed. The impact of flood water at high risk plants can be simulated to determine when and why the sewage systems overflow. The flood depth of various hurricane storms can be compared to the locations of wastewater treatment plants. Coastal flooding, inland flooding, and wind damage can be determined and the monetary and structural damage of the facilities can be identified.  Further analysis can produce flooding drainage methods at particular locations, to show the progression of a storm and its flooding effects. In addition, select locations of high risk can be isolated and resiliency techniques can be assessed.

    For more information see attachment:  ASCE-South Jersey Section September 2015 Meeting.pdf

  • Thursday, July 30, 2015 5:41 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    NJAWRA Stormwater Committee Intiatives






    July 2015




    Fall Stormwater Seminar and Two Soil Health Webinars



    Fall Stormwater Management Seminar - Infiltration BMPs and Groundwater Mounding

    The Stormwater Committee of the NJ-AWRA is sponsoring a new seminar series that will allow for education and discussion of different stormwater related topics.  The seminar is free to existing NJ-AWRA members and $15 for new members (includes NJ-AWRA membership for remainder of 2015).  The first seminar will be held on September 17, 2015 at Duke Farmsin Hillsborough, NJ.


    Event Schedule:

    8:30—9:00 am        Networking, Light Breakfast

    9:00—10:00 am     NJ Infiltration Basin Performance Study

    Jeromie Lange, P.E., Maser Consulting

    10:00—11:00 am   GWMound—a new software application for estimation of groundwater mounding

    Glen Carleton, U.S. Geological Survey

    Continuing Education Credits:

    NJ P.E., 2 Credits, Self-Report
    AICP CM, 2 Credits, Requested



     Soils, BMPs and Redevelopment: A two-part webinar series *

    Soils 101, Best Management Practices and the Landscape 

    September 25th at 11 am

    Registration :

    • What are the five functions of soils?  Do soils have limits?
    • How do you protect soils from erosion?
    • What is healthy soil?  How do you assess it?

    Soils Health, Planning, Development and Redevelopment Aspects 


    October 30th at 11 am


    Registration :


    • Do you know what type of site and soils you have?  How are they impacted?
    • How do you locate a BMP on site?  What criteria do you use?
    • What do you do about soil compaction?  How do you improve soil biodiversity?


    Continuing Education Credits:
    NJ P.E., - Self Report 1 credit per webinar
    AICP CM, - 1 credit requested per webinar

    NJ Public Works Managers - credits requested per webinar


    * Note:  You can attend either or both of these webinars.

  • Wednesday, May 27, 2015 1:36 PM | Richard Franks
    The New Jersey Building Officials Association recently recognized the efforts of Bob Burlew,  construction official for Union Beach and Keyport, by voting unanimously to name him state “Inspector of the Year.” 

    Many NJAFM members will know Bob from his appearances at our annual conference, click here for details of his work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

  • Friday, April 17, 2015 4:23 PM | Richard Franks

    Resilient Communities: Strategies for Survival and Growth in the Face of Natural Hazards

    April 28, 2015:  8:00 am to 12:00 pm

    Please join the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders for a workshop exploring the resources and assistance programs available to strengthen your municipality's capacity for resilience.

    These sessions will be held at the Middlsex County Fire Academy, 1001 Fire Academy Drive, Sayreville, NJ 08872.

    For more details, click here.

  • Tuesday, April 14, 2015 5:18 PM | Richard Franks

    Webinar: Resolving "Water Wars" : Use of Mediation and Collaboration in Stormwater Conflicts

    Friday May 15, 2015, 12 noon to 1:30pm ET

    • Is water runoff from off-site, damaging your property?
    • Are increasing storm intensities creating complaints from other property owners?
    • Is it going to cost almost as much on legal and expert fees as cost to remediate?
    • Does court seem like the only place you can get help?

    For more details, click here.

    To register for the webinar, click here.

  • Tuesday, April 07, 2015 3:22 PM | Richard Franks
    The Bergen County Division of Open Space is hosting a workshop on the newly established Floodplain Protection Program, which is part of the Bergen County Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection, Farmland & Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

    The workshop will be held on Thursday, April 23, 2015 (1:00 p.m. registration) from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Bergen County Administration Building, Room 460 (Learning Center), 4th Floor, One Bergen County Plaza, Hackensack.

    The Land Conservancy of New Jersey will present how a municipality prepares a municipal Floodplain Acquisition Plan and representatives from Rutgers University Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program will discuss floodplain restoration and implementation strategies a municipality can take after structures are removed.

    Please register for the workshop by clicking here.

    If you have any questions, please contact Adam Strobel at either or 201-336-6458.

  • Friday, March 06, 2015 2:22 PM | Richard Franks

    March 12, 2015 (2:00 pm to 5:30 pm)

    Bay Head Yacht Club, Ballroom, Bay Head, NJ

    Check-In 1-2pm. Refreshments will be served!

    How do you elevate buildings without adversely affecting historic character?

    What do elevations do to a streetscape? What are the best design options?

    What happens to the residents who can't afford to elevate or rebuild?

    Click here for more details and registration

  • Wednesday, February 04, 2015 9:40 AM | Richard Franks

    Move could make Jersey Shore communities less vulnerable to damage from storms like Hurricane Sandy.

    Click here for the full article.

  • Wednesday, February 04, 2015 9:34 AM | Richard Franks
    Monmouth County’s Community Rating System (CRS) Assistance Program has been recognized by two national organizations, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Association of Counties (NACo).

    “It is an honor for Monmouth County to be recognized on a national level for a program that stemmed from a way to help our residents recover from a horrible storm,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, liaison to the County’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM). “In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, our towns needed to get fully engaged in flood hazard mitigation and better understand the CRS and how it can help the community and the residents save money.” 

    For more details click here.

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