News / USA

Rising Seas, Regulations Push Poor New Jersey Residents to Move Inland

Rising Seas, Regulations Push Poor New Jersey Residents to Move Inlandi
X
July 30, 2013 10:15 PM
The devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy last year along the northeastern coastline of the United States has convinced many skeptics that global warming and rising sea levels are now a real and present danger. The state of New Jersey is spending millions of dollars to build up sea walls and sand dunes to protect popular beaches but, as VOA’s Brian Padden reports, in some poor coastal communities, people are being urged to flee their homes and move inland.
Brian Padden
The devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy last year along the northeastern coastline of the United States has convinced many skeptics that global warming and rising sea levels are now a real and present danger. The state of New Jersey is spending millions of dollars to build up sea walls and sand dunes to protect popular beaches but, in some poor coastal communities people are being urged to flee their homes and move inland.

William Bowen is the oldest living resident of Money Island in New Jersey. He remembers a time when there was a wide beach in front of his home.

Now workers are helping him replace the small sand embankment that was washed away by Hurricane Sandy last year.  He says neither the storm damage nor the encroaching sea will make him leave his home.   

 “I am here to stay, okay?  I love it here. This is my roots," he said. "I have some problems with being here at my age. I’m 85. And where am I going to go?”

Money Island is not an island. It's a small village of modest homes and trailers in the wetlands of southern New Jersey where the Delaware River meets the Atlantic Ocean.  

Mayor Robert Campbell says ever since Hurricane Sandy there seems to be a concerted effort by regulatory agencies to force residents to move away from the coastline. Houses located in flood zones must be elevated. He says the county is imposing stricter sewage and septic standards, forcing residents to spend thousands of dollars to upgrade their systems.

“I don’t know what their agenda is but they are using all the regulatory powers that they have to scare and intimidate people along the bay and make them want to sell out to programs like Blue Acres,” he said.

Blue Acres is state program to buy houses in floods zones.  Renee Brecht, who is with the environmental organization The American Littoral Society, has been urging many in Money Island to move.  She's against governments spending millions of dollars to protect a small number of houses from rising sea levels.  

“I mean you can put up big sea walls and so forth but those things a lot of times will not only cost an enormous amount of money for tax payers but they also will only be a short term solution," she said. "So 20, 30 years down the road you’re back in the same position.”

Brecht says she would like to make much of the bay area a natural preserve like the Nature Conservancy’s restoration project in nearby South Cape May.

That project received some government funding and turned 86 hectares of abandoned homes into a wildlife habitat that protects the community from storms like Sandy.

“The dune actually held which was wonderful and protected the local town from the storm water coming in, the storm surge,” said Adrianna Zito Livingston, a project coordinator with the Nature Conservancy.

She says it will cost $35 million to maintain the Cape May preserve over the next 50 years. Which leaves many in Money Island wondering why it is worthwhile to spend millions to return these areas to nature but not to help the people who live there.

You May Like

Photogallery Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid