Since its inception in 1995, DEP Blue Acres has worked to better protect public safety and the environment by relocating New Jersey families whose homes are subject to repeated flooding and acquiring property for use as natural flood storage, parks, and community open space.
Today, DEP Blue Acres has two core missions:
- Disaster Recovery: Blue Acres helps New Jersey residents whose homes have been damaged in flooding events, such as those whose homes were destroyed or damaged when the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida impacted New Jersey in September 2021.
- Preparedness: Blue Acres contributes to New Jersey’s Climate Change Resilience Strategy through a proactive approach to guide state acquisition of lands that increases host community resilience through the strategic acquisition of lands that have been damaged, or may be prone to future damage, due to sea-level rise, storms, or storm-related flooding, or that may buffer or protect other lands from such damage.
Important Program Alerts and Updates
In consultation with NJ Office of Emergency Management, NJ Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office, the Borough of Manville and local partners, Blue Acres has submitted an application to FEMA’s FMA program to fund buyouts for 31 homes in Manville Borough, Somerset County, which was devastated in 2021 by Hurricane Ida.
The $50 million in new funding for the Blue Acres Buyout Program consists of $40 million FEMA COVID-19 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds and $10 million in FEMA “Swift Current” funds. HMGP funds can be used for flood or other general hazard mitigation projects that align with the State’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. FEMA Swift Current Program funds were dedicated specifically to New Jersey for home buyouts and elevations for structures with a National Flood Insurance Program policy that meet severe repetitive loss, repetitive loss, or substantially damaged requirements.
The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has launched a survey to collect data on New Jersey’s assistance needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, including demand for buyouts as a recovery option. The survey will support development of DCA’s Action Plan which outlines how the agency will use and apply $228M in disaster recovery funding from HUD’s’ Community Development Block Grant program.
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