Governor Murphy and DEP Announce New Investments in Flood Protection for NJ Communities
Governor Phil Murphy announced new investments in flood protection for NJ communities, including a $50 million investment in the Blue Acres Buyout Program for communities affected by Ida, and $10 million in community storm water assistance grants.
The intent of these new investments, the Governor explained, is to build NJ's resiliency to climate change and extreme weather, like the flooding seen across the state from Tropical Storm Ida.
After Ida, Murphy's disaster declaration allowed NJ residents, including those in Passaic County, to receive FEMA assistance, over 247 million has been given out to 44,866 NJ residents impacted by Ida.
But FEMA’s assistance addressed only the most immediate recovery; there are still unmet, long-term rebuilding needs. The $50 million investment in the Blue Acres Buyout Program is the first phase of Governor Murphy’s Ida Recovery Strategy. Developed in collaboration with the NJ DEP and NJOEM, it also includes programs funded by a $228 million federal U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding.
The Governor explained “As NJ continues to experience more extreme weather events, we must become proactive in our approach to protect communities that bear the brunt of damage from these storms,” He continued, “This $50 million investment in the Blue Acres program will allow homeowners to facilitate market-rate purchases of properties which have experienced repetitive flood losses."
NJ’s Blue Acres Program is a nationally recognized buyout program that allows homeowners to sell flood-damaged or flood-prone homes at a market rate to the State. The Program demolishes the home, and preserves the land for open space, recreation, or for permanently preserved wetlands to avoid the cycle of flood-damage-rebuild seen in the State’s worst flood zones.
After Ida, the Blue Acres program is prioritizing homes that are uninhabitable after being destroyed or severely damaged by the storm and is working to identify homes that fit the criteria.
To learn more about blue acres funding, visit the DEP's site here.