Climate Change

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Background

Flood risk across the state is growing because of climate change. Areas that have never flooded before may see significant flooding now or in the future. There are many online tools and resources available to help you better understand, visualize, and reduce the risk.


Tools & Resources

DEP’s first Scientific Report on Climate Change identifies and presents the best available science and existing data regarding the current and anticipated environmental effects of climate change in New Jersey. The report details how and why we will see an increase in flooding across the State.

  • Good for: Getting scientific information on a wide variety of climate change factors and understanding why we are seeing the impacts we’re seeing and what we can expect to see in the future. Can provide a scientific basis for decision-making.
  • Who it’s for: Decision-makers and members of the informed/interested public who’d like a better understanding of the climate threats facing New Jersey.

In addition to the Scientific Report, DEP released two Extreme Precipitation Studies confirming increases in precipitation across New Jersey over the last 20 years, and projecting further increases in precipitation intensity through the end of this century due to climate change.

  • Good for: Increasing the understanding of the potential for increased flood events from precipitation and informing stormwater management decisions and decisions around development in flood-prone areas.
  • Who it’s for: Decision-makers and the informed/interested public.

These studies are accompanied by an interactive Extreme Precipitation Projection Tool that helps users identify regional local estimates of projected changes in extreme rainfall amounts.

  • Good for: Visualizing how extreme precipitation will change locally over time.
  • Who it’s for: Decision-makers and the informed/interested public.

The MyCoast: Know Your Tides site includes steps to be tide smart so you don't get stuck in sunny day floods that occur all around New Jersey. These tips include checking your local tides, signing up for flood alerts, and preparing in advance for flood emergencies.

  • Good for: Informing day-to-day planning to ensure you stay safe and enjoy the coast at its peak, whether that’s to avoid driving through flood waters or making prime clamming hours.
  • Who it’s for: Individuals planning a day on tidal rivers, bays, or the ocean..

The MyCoast site also hosts Rising Together NJ, a forum for anyone to share their flooding experiences.

  • Good for: Understanding the flood experiences of others and sharing your own.
  • Who it’s for: General public, particularly those who have experienced flooding.

The Resilient NJ Local Planning for Climate Change Toolkit can be used to inform climate resilience planning efforts, including completing a climate change-related hazard vulnerability assessment. Understanding a community’s vulnerability can help guide effective decision-making to prevent or eliminate flood risk.

  • Good for: Understanding the resilience planning process and the steps to complete a climate change-related hazard vulnerability assessment as required by the Municipal Land Use Law.
  • Who it’s for: Local decision-makers, officials, and planners.

$2 million is available through the Stormwater Utility Feasibility Technical Assistance Grants to provide individualized services to conduct comprehensive feasibility studies for forming stormwater utilities.

  • Good for: Identifying a path to provide stable funding for the maintenance, operation and upgrades to new and existing stormwater infrastructure This is particularly critical given the expected changes in precipitation due to climate change.
  • Who it’s for: Local decision-makers, officials, and planners.

NJDEP's Grants and Loans page provides a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities for local governments and other types of organizations to fund numerous environmentally based projects.

  • Good for: Identifying funding opportunities to assist in environmental projections across the state.
  • Who it’s for: Local decision-makers, officials, and planners.

What to do

Flooding is occurring more than ever in New Jersey. Being smart about your flood risk can help keep you, your family, and your property safe. Here’s what you should do:

  • DEP’s Flood Indicator Tool will tell you if your property has the chance to flood now or in the future.
  • Extreme Precipitation Projection Tool allows you to visualize how extreme precipitation will change over time in your area.

Share your experience. We want you to share how you’ve been impacted by flooding. Sharing your story and your knowledge will help others to understand, plan for their future, and document flood impacts. Rising Together NJ.

Sign up for local flood alerts on Nixle to get emergency advisories texted to your phone. For more robust flood alerts by email, sign up for the Steven’s Flood Advisory System.

Be prepared before floods happen. Know your evacuation route and leave when told. Do not drive, walk, or swim through floodwaters. Remember: Turn around, don’t Drown!

Get flood insurance. Extreme precipitation and storm events are getting more intense, resulting in more flooding. Remember that most homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding, leaving your home or business unprotected.

Have an emergency kit and a family plan. A plan and an emergency kit help you to be ready for the unexpected and reduce your stress in a flood – or in any kind of emergency. Learn more here.


Technical Assistance & Funding Opportunities

For communities interested in undertaking comprehensive resilience planning, consider applying to the Resilient NJ program. Resilient NJ is the State’s flagship resilience planning program, providing direct technical assistance to regions and municipalities.

  • Who is eligible: Municipalities and/or multi-municipal regions, depending on the funding source.
  • When is funding available: The program is dependent on funding availability. Funding opportunities are announced regularly, with the most recent funding round underway with awards anticipated in 2023.

If a home is experiencing repeated and severe flood damage, homeowners may want to consider moving to a lower-risk area. The Blue Acres program offers buyouts and relocation assistance to families whose homes are subject to repeated flooding.

Following the severe flooding from Ida in September 2021, New Jersey has access to $84M in federal funds for buyouts ($50M from FEMA and $34M from HUD). These funds compliment the dedicated state Blue Acres funding available to help families and communities recover and be more resilient in the face of future storms and rain events.

  • Who is eligible: Individual homeowners. Blue Acres only accepts offers from willing sellers. Eligibility criteria may vary depending on the buyout funding source.
  • When is funding available: Anyone interested in selling their property may submit an application online or via standard mail to Blue Acres. As funding becomes available and properties are selected, the program will contact homeowners that may qualify to receive a buy-out.