The Jersey Shore Partnership was created as a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization as a result of the 1991 devastating Halloween storm with the mission to guarantee that state and federal funding would be available to protect New Jersey’s 127 miles of coastal shoreline from the damages that storms can inflict. The Partnership is dedicated to raising the awareness of state and federal officials and the public to the need for safeguarding the shoreline through beach restoration and other shore protection methods.
A Success Story Continued...
The Partnership’s first successful advocacy effort resulted in the enactment of an annual $15 million dedicated Shore Protection Fund in 1992, the first such legislation to be passed in the nation.
In 1998, that amount was increased to $25 million, where it stands today.
This unprecedented legislation created the opportunity to advance a cost-sharing partnership with the Federal government that typically has provided 65% of federal funding for beach replenishment projects with the local share at 35%.
Of that local share, the State matches 75% to the receiving municipality’s share of 25% of the match cost or roughly 9 cents on the dollar of the total project cost.
This cost-sharing partnership has enabled the state to safeguard its shoreline through beach restoration, re-nourishment and ongoing maintenance management.
Superstorm Sandy taught us that future costs of mitigation will be more complex and expensive. Successful resiliency projects must include the impact of coastal storm surges on the bays, streams, lakes and rivers that are impacted by coastal storms and cause severe flooding
More Sandy-like storms are anticipated as a result of sea level rise and global warming. The Department of Environmental Protection, related Government departments, academic institutions and environmental organizations are collaborating to achieve mitigation strategies that will address climate change, support shore protection and stimulate economic development.
The Shore Protection Fund is severely underfunded for future Corps/State cost-sharing partnership projects and to also continue its state/municipal projects. For the past four Legislative sessions, the Partnership has presented bills to the Senate and Assembly Environment committees seeking an increase in funding through the Realty Transfer Fee, the Fund’s source. We will continue to address this issue throughout the current Legislative session and beyond to ensure that all the efforts of the state to address the growing threats of climate change can be realized.
S. Thomas Gagliano Scholarship Program
The Jersey Shore Partnership Foundation awards scholarships to college students engaged in the fields of marine science and coastal resiliency from the net proceeds of the annual Summer Celebration.