October 26, 2022
Dear Friends,
This October marks 10 years since Superstorm Sandy altered our landscape, upended our lives, and enhanced our appreciation for New Jersey’s vulnerability to large-scale flood events. In addition to billions of damage left in its wake, Sandy is responsible for firmly installing “resilience” into our lexicon and consciousness. In the years since, New Jersey Future has endeavored to advance storm preparedness and flood mitigation, knowing full well these efforts rest on responsible land use, reasonable development, and resilient infrastructure. 

While the majority of people know flooding events will worsen and some of the steps needed to address this reality, the effort to buttress New Jersey against future storms remains a long, arduous process. In many ways, last year’s encounter with Ida and last month’s deluge from remnants of Ian demonstrate how far we have to go in fostering a truly resilient state. 

In this month’s newsletter you’ll find a few encouraging developments and resources. Firstly, NJF is proud to have testified in support and helped advance a new bill in the State Senate, S3110, that requires transparency for homebuyers and renters on the history and future of flooding at their prospective new address. This is a crucial step in increasing the information people have when forming important decisions. This bill will contribute to widespread increased awareness of the financial and health impacts of living in a flood zone. 

Another tool to communicate the persistent and present threat of flooding was developed by Jersey Water Works (JWW) in collaboration with Rutgers University. The NJ Water Risk and Equity Map gathers data on water risks in order to understand the potential inequities tied to them. The map allows users to explore data showing different water risks, with the aim of helping community members and decision makers visualize the impacts of flooding, and identify the communities most affected. Earlier this year, this tool was co-awarded, along with Jersey Water Check, the 2021 Water Data Prize for the Risk Equity Map by the national organization Environmental Policy Innovation Center, an important recognition of the hard work JWW and their partners put into this important project. We encourage residents, advocates, and policymakers to utilize this tool to understand water risks in their communities

We’ve also compiled resources we’ve developed over the years into one place for municipal leaders, agencies, and the public. The Stormwater Center hosts resources to implement green infrastructure, establish a stormwater utility, or learn more about our call for transparent flood disclosure for homebuyers and renters in New Jersey. Please take a moment to review and share those resources widely. 

Finally, our annual Smart Growth Awards are fast approaching on November 10thour 20th year! This year we’re holding two virtual screenings of our signature awards series honoring six projects and two leaders from our great state. Altogether they embody the approach NJF advocates forsensible development and planning that prioritizes rich transportation options and affordable housing, while working with our landscape to capture stormwater and mitigate flooding. With the reminders of Sandy, Ida, and Ian fresh on our minds, it’s all the more imperative that we model the efforts of this year's 2022 Smart Growth Award winners throughout our state. Learn more below, and register in advance for the free screening.

Peter Kasabach
Executive Director
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the monumental piece of legislation known as the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA plays an important role in cleaning water pollution and protecting healthy waterways in the State of New Jersey for drinking water supply, healthy habitat for fish and wildlife, and economic and recreational activity. As we look ahead, we also acknowledge the work that still must be done to ensure that the CWA’s legacy is lived out in full. Read More.
New Jersey has started down the path to join 29 other states that require home sellers to disclose past flood damages to potential buyers. Senate Bill 3110, which would benefit renters in addition to homeowners, was introduced last week at the Senate Environment and Energy Committee hearing on Thursday, October 6. This bill took shape two months after a joint Assembly and Senate Environment Committee hearing in which New Jersey Future testified on the need for robust flood disclosure legislation. Read More.
The Summer 2021 floods in New Jersey, none more widespread and damaging than following Hurricane Ida, showed the damage that stormwater can wreak on communities. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) anticipates that rainfall intensity will increase due to climate change, meaning that flooding will become more frequent. To prepare for future floods, it is essential to understand which areas are at risk of flooding and which communities are in harm’s way. Read More.
New Jersey Future has announced the 2022 Smart Growth Award winners, recognizing the best in planning, development, and redevelopment across the state! The 20th anniversary 2022 virtual celebration, hosted on the interactive event platform Accelevents, honors six incredible winning projects and our two Cary Edwards Leadership Award winners for their groundbreaking contributions to making New Jersey communities sustainable and strong. Register today to join us for free on November 10 from 12:001:00 p.m. with an encore showing from 5:006:00 p.m. Read more about the 2022 winners.
Demonstrate your commitment to smart growth by becoming a sponsor. View the available sponsorship opportunities or contact Michele Glassburg, 609-393-0008 x 107.
Sandy was a turning point, a rude awakening that climate change fueled storms are here to stay, and exposed our vulnerability to flooding from heavy rains and storm surge throughout the state. In the 10 years since Superstorm Sandy, we’ve maintained a commitment to better preparing New Jersey for future storms. New Jersey Future has made strides to implement green infrastructure, establish stormwater utilities, and much more which you can explore on our new Stormwater Center, a hub for resources on these topics.
This is a time to reflect and acknowledge the work that has been done to recover, rebuild, and make our communities more resilient to future storms. Organizations across the region have come together to create a shared calendar of events that represent the work taking place to make our communities stronger than ever. Join in recognizing the 10th Anniversary by attending an event near you or by contributing an event to the calendar through this form.
Coming Up
  • November 10: The New Jersey Future Smart Growth Awards virtual showcase will premiere at 12:00 p.m. with an encore showing at 5:00 p.m. There is no cost to attend but pre-registration is required.
  • December 2: The Jersey Water Works annual conference will be held in person from 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at The War Memorial in Trenton, NJ. Learn more and register today.
Smart Growth for Everyone
Smart Growth is equitable growth. It is also restorative, as smart growth and redevelopment can help correct systemic racial and economic disparities. As New Jersey Future drives land use decision-making toward more equitable outcomes, we will be sharing useful resources and lessons in this monthly spotlight. Please give us your feedback and share with us any particularly insightful articles, talks, events, or videos that you come across.

As the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approached, we took the initiative to examine a looming question: how have New Jersey shore towns changed, in terms of the year-round vs. seasonal nature of their populations and housing stocks, in the wake of such a major flooding event?

Both before and after Superstorm Sandy, the trend at the Jersey Shore has been toward higher home values, a smaller percentage of housing units being occupied year-round, and an increasing presence of retirees among year-round residents. Is the Shore becoming a playground for the rich? And specifically rich retirees? Given the increasing risks from rising sea levels and future storms, how many people should be making the Shore their year-round or part-time place of residence at all?
We found that, indeed, shore towns have outpaced the state median in property values while populations have declined while becoming older. Read more in our blog, “Ten Years After Sandy, a Look at Population and Housing Trends at the Jersey Shore” and learn which of the 51 “Jersey Shore municipalities” most embody these trends.
Come Work with Us
  • Development and Administrative Associate: New Jersey Future seeks a skilled, organized, and motivated individual to provide support for activities in development (fundraising/marketing/events) and administration (finance/human resources).
  • Advocacy and Government Affairs Manager: New Jersey Future is seeking an advocacy and government affairs manager with relevant New Jersey experience and appropriate existing state network. The candidate must be energized and motivated by New Jersey Future’s policy agenda and issues, and committed to state policy change and the advancement of social justice.
New Jersey Future in the News
Featured Resources

This quarterly primer from the JWW Lead in Drinking Water Task Force provides key information on how lead pipes can be replaced quickly, cost-effectively, and with community support.

New Jersey Future has prepared Creating Great Places To Age: A Community Guide to Implementing Aging-Friendly Land Use Decisions to provide communities with a step-by-step process to make designing for the needs of older residents easier.

We are proud to partner with New Jersey's leading environmental and social justice organizations to promote this Green in '21 policy guide.

The New Jersey Stormwater Utility Resource Center is a one-stop shop housing technical, legal, and financial information, case studies, and helpful guidance on stormwater solutions, community process, and public engagement.

The Developers Green Infrastructure Guide 2.0 breaks down New Jersey’s Stormwater Rule amendments and helps developers and decision-makers more clearly understand green infrastructure options and advantages, compare alternatives, and evaluate costs and benefits.
Founded in 1987, New Jersey Future is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes sensible and equitable growth, redevelopment, and infrastructure investments to foster healthy, strong, resilient communities; protect natural lands and waterways; increase transportation choices beyond cars; provide access to safe, affordable, and aging-friendly neighborhoods; and fuel a strong economy for everyone. New Jersey Future does this through original research, innovative policy development, coalition-building, advocacy, and hands-on strategic assistance. Embracing differences and advancing fairness is central to New Jersey Future’s mission and operations. New Jersey Future is firmly committed to pursuing greater justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion through its programs, internal operations, and external communications.