Rising sea damage may cost millions, coastal study warns

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MONMOUTH COUNTY — Without a plan to mitigate the impacts of rising sea levels, life along the Jersey shore could change dramatically, according to a federal and state study released last week.

To ensure that shore areas throughout the state, including Monmouth County, remain habitable, the United States Army Corps of Engineers [USACE] and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection [NJDEP] released the study, with suggestions for minimizing the impact of rising sea levels.

“Further vulnerability to coastal storms and the potential for future, more devastating events due to changing sea level and climate change is significant,” the report, titled the New Jersey Back Bays Coastal Storm Risk Management Interim Feasibility Study and Environmental Scoping Document, said.

“Addressing these problems requires a paradigm shift in how we work, live, travel and play in a sustainable manner as a large extent of the area is at very high risk of coastal storm damage as sea levels continue to rise.”

USACE, along with the NJDEP, studied all 3,400 miles of shoreline in New Jersey, seeking solutions to reduce damage from coastal flooding to infrastructure, property, the environment and residents of the shore.

“New Jersey is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of sea-level rise caused by climate change,” NJDEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said in a statement.

“The NJDEP and the USACE are committed to ongoing public dialogue on solutions needed to make our economically vital and environmentally fragile coastline more resilient.”

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.