Spotlight on NJ Coastal Lakes

Twelve Monmouth County lakes, prone to flooding and able to wreak havoc on communities in coastal towns, will now be included in a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study of New Jersey’s Back Bays, according to Representative Chris Smith.

He hosted a meeting regarding the matter with federal officials and representatives from shore communities in his congressional district yesterday.

Smith, who has worked for years on a variety of efforts to secure federal support for mitigating the flooding associated with New Jersey’s coastal lakes, intensified efforts in the past six months to convince the Army Corps to include the lakes in this upcoming study, which originally was only planned to include four tidally-connected lakes.

Though lakes like Sylvan Lake and Wreck Pond may not normally be tidally-connected, after Sandy all of the lakes and the ocean were one big body of water, so I know it is imperative to the coastal municipalities that the non-tidal lakes would be included in the study of how to help combat flooding, and that is why I pushed to have them included,” he said.

The New Jersey Back Bays study is the result of a larger, comprehensive, post-Sandy study called the North American Comprehensive Coastal (NAACS) Study, which Smith supported in testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water on March 13, 2013.

Representatives from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the municipalities with coastal lakes, as well as the offices of Assemblymen Sean Kean and David Rible, attended the November 12 briefing, which took place at the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Southern Communication Center in Neptune.

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