Resilient NJ

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As part of the federal government’s Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) established the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC), which made $1 billion available to communities struck by natural disasters in recent years. The competition was designed to promote risk assessment, planning, and implementation of innovative resilience projects to better prepare communities for future storms and other extreme weather events. The competition was funded by Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds provided by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 (PL 113-2).

In January 2016, the State of New Jersey was awarded $15 million as part of the competition. From that award, $10 million will fund Resilient NJ. The program will be administered through the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Office of Coastal and Land Use Planning (OCLUP).  The remaining $5 million will be used by DEP’s Bureau of Flood Resilience to develop a toolkit of best practices for regional stormwater infrastructure systems.

For more information about the NDR Toolkit, visit

Planning for Resilience

In the past several years, many communities in the state have worked to reduce flooding and increase resilience. Both coastal and riverine towns continue to work with consultants, the state, and the federal government to identify ways to protect their infrastructure, homes, businesses, and way of life from the damage and disruption of storms and frequent flooding.  Simultaneously, DEP has been working to develop data, tools, and protocols to aid in these efforts. Often these projects have been in response to a specific storm, limited to a single town, or relied on federal programs for the solutions.

Resilient NJ will build on the existing efforts and capabilities within the state to create and implement creative regional planning solutions to address current and future flood-related hazards, environmental resource protection, and the promotion of sustainable/smart growth development in both riverine and coastal communities. The program will bring together consultant teams to help communities imagine creative and implementable solutions to flooding issues that increase resilience, enhance the value and integrity of the ecologic and economic resources in the region, improve public access and recreation opportunities, and reach underserved and socially vulnerable populations.  

Resilient NJ will fund the development and implementation of a Regional Resilience and Adaptation Action Plan (Action Plan) in four multi-municipal regions. These multi-municipal regions were selected from the nine Sandy Most Impacted and Distressed counties in New Jersey: Bergen, Hudson, Essex, Union, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic, and Cape May. Each region includes a minimum of three contiguous municipalities.

For more details on the selected regions, visit the Projects by Region webpage

Program Approach

Resilient NJ is designed to reduce flood damages in both coastal and riverine towns through community-based resiliency planning.  The Resilient NJ program will be implemented in two phases.

Phase 1 will bring together municipalities, counties, utility authorities, community-based organizations, and other regional entities with consultant teams to identify community assets, assess current and future flood risks, and develop various potential actions to address flooding. These actions will form the basis of a Regional Resilience and Adaptation Action Plan.

Phase 2 will implement planning actions that were developed in Phase 1.

Regional Planning


Action Plan Implementation

  • Public and Stakeholder Engagement
  • Flood Hazard Risk and Vulnerability Assessment
  • Strategy Scenario Planning
  • Scenario Evaluation
  • Final Deliverable: Regional Resilience and Adaptation Action Plan (Action Plan)
  • Public and Stakeholder Engagement
  • Project Teams work on actions selected from Action Plan
  • Final Deliverables: Completed Products such as planning documents, the design of green or gray infrastructure projects, and resilient building codes