USA: Senator Underscores Importance of Coastal and Storm Protection
Continuing the push for federal resources for New Jersey’s recovery after Superstorm Sandy, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) yesterday emphasized the need for the inclusion of funds to protect against future storms and disasters and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in the $60.4 billion Sandy relief package currently before the U.S. Congress.
“I will say it again, this storm proves what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, academic studies, and local community officials have been telling us for years. Beach engineering works. It protects lives, protects property, and saves us money in the long run,” said Senator Menendez. “If we don’t rebuild smarter, better, and with stronger coastal protections, we’ll be back here again after the next storm paying the same price, both in terms of human suffering and federal funds.”
As the Senate debates the Sandy relief package this week, Senator Menendez yesterday outlined both the severity of the damage to New Jersey and advocated specifically for funds to rebuild better, stronger and smarter.
Since Superstorm Sandy struck more than six weeks ago, Senator Menendez has surveyed storm affected areas with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and worked with him as well as New Jersey mayors from both sides of the aisle to understand their needs and work toward rebuilding New Jersey better and stronger than it was before the storm.
“Mitigation simply means rebuilding smarter – rebuilding in a way that protects New Jersey better during future storms,” Menendez added. “Superstorm Sandy demonstrated that the U.S Army Corps of Engineers’ coastal defenses are effective. Where they were not, there was often devastation. The rest of the country is not rebuilding, but we are, so we need to do it in a smart way.”
Senator Menendez made this point as well last week as he led a delegation of his Senate colleagues through two storm-affected areas of New Jersey’s Long Beach Island. The area around 49th Street and Ocean Boulevard had been protected by a USACE beach restoration project and sustained comparatively less damage than the unprotected area of Holgate. Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini, a Republican, accompanied the delegation through the tour.
Press Release, December 19, 2012