Spencer Statement on Extent of Sandy Damage, Rebuilding Jersey Shore Following Tour of Devastated Areas

(TRENTON) – Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee Chair L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex) released the following statement on Thursday following a tour of the storm-ravaged Jersey Shore with Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin earlier this week:

“As Chair of the Environment and Solid Waste Committee, I was given the opportunity to tour the storm-ravaged Jersey Shore with Com. Martin and his staff. The purpose of the tour was to view the storm’s devastation and environmental impact, and survey the state’s debris disposal operation.

“After witnessing first-hand the devastation from Sandy, it’s evident that reconstruction and restoration must take place. The shore towns impacted were decimated. Without assistance from the federal and state governments these towns will not be able to rebuild and some will become abandoned.

“It was also clear that careful consideration must be given to what restoration will look like. With new flood maps being released we should not rebuild in areas that are likely to flood and cause significant damages to homes and properties. Purchasing homes in flood-prone areas must be part of the discussion, which means we need to discuss the refunding of the Green Acres and Blue Acres funds sooner rather than later.

“Lastly, the state must remain diligent to ensure that our beaches and towns are cleared of debris and waste material and that they are disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner, and that beaches are rebuilt with consideration given to the construction of dunes and other structures that can help protect property.”