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Jersey Shore Faces Increasing Threats

But Christie Administration Promoting More Growth, Abandoning Land Use Planning, and Gutting Regulatory Protections

It is beyond shortsighted and recklessly foolish to reduce coastal flood protections at a time when global warming science is telling us that there will be sea level rise and an increased frequency and intensity of coastal storms. Bill Wolfe

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Kirk Moore and Todd Bates of the Asbury Park Press wrote a wide ranging story on a complex set of issues facing the shore, from global warming sea level rise and storm surge to land use, over-development, and the pro-growth anti-regulatory policies of the Christie Administration (see: Shore growth, flooding expected to increase

I’d like to compliment them on the story, and especially on the photo, which perfectly illustrates the issues they write about.

For years now we’ve written extensively about this set of “coastal hazard” issues, e.g. hit the link and read these two posts:¬†Adapt or Die and Another Emergency Declaration Along the Shore

The new angle that Kirk and Todd bring out in the story, however, is the Christie Administration’s attacks on state land use planning and DEP regulation.

So, I will connect the dots and highlight just one important point that was lost in the complexity of the story.

The Christie Strategic Plan and Executive Order #78 require that all state agencies “align” their functional plans and regulations with the Strategic Plan.

Institutionally, this initiative is quarterbacked by Lt. Governor Guadagno, Christie’s “Red Tape” “regulatory Czar”.

DEP has already abandoned the Landscape Map and the WQMP regs in implementing this policy.

Thus, the Plan is a direct threat to DEP regulations, including CAFRA.

The Christie Strategic Plan also abandoned the former State Plan Policy Map, so all decisions are now ad hoc (e.g. “site specific”) and totally divorced from real planning.

So, Governor Christie and DEP Commissioner Martin are just as great a threat to the Shore as are developers and global warming.

There is no ambiguity here and no need for so called academic experts, or professional planners, or environmentalists to deny, hope, pretend, or withhold criticism (see: Well Past Time to Circle The Wagons on Christie Environmental Assaults).

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