The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently announced the selection of 149 applications totaling nearly $642.5 million in available grant funding for fiscal year 2022. A total of 25 New Jersey projects were selected for a value of $46.2 million with 10 of these projects in Atlantic & Cape May Counties totaling $32 million.
The largest New Jersey project to be selected was the Cape May City Seawall, a $24.3 million improvement planned along Beach Avenue. This project will be leveraged by seawall improvements planned by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
The second largest project in New Jersey is a $4.1 million effort to raise homes that was sponsored by the City of Margate. The towns in Atlantic County have been working together since 2016 to apply for partial funding to elevate homes. This year’s application will provide funding for 22 homes. FEMA provides grants for 75% of the eligible cost to elevate homes.
Other project selected includes:
Two projects in West Wildwood – a $1.9 million living shoreline planned along 26th Street and $162,067 towards a Borough wide scoping study to evaluate various options to make the community more resilient. This scoping grant will allow the Borough to retain an engineering firm for surveying, mapping, evaluation of flood issues, and develop a capital plan, and cost estimates.
Two projects in Atlantic City – two $178,762 grants to develop resiliency plans for the Ducktown/Chelsea and Venice Park neighborhoods. Last year, the Atlantic City neighborhoods of Bungalow Park and Chelsea Heights received similar funding.
Two projects in Stone Harbor – two $157,500 grants, one for the 81st Street Flood Mitigation Plan and another for the 93rd Street Area. The goal is to develop proposed improvements for each project area that will provide a complete solution.
Longport was selected to complete Phase 2 of the Winchester Avenue Resiliency Project. Phase 1 of this project was awarded $1,128,750 in 2020 which includes upgrades to the existing stormwater pump station at 34th Avenue and the bay, construction of a new stormwater pump station at Winchester Avenue and 31st Avenue, and connection of the new pump stations to the existing storm sewer system. The Phase 2 grant of $849,375 will fund the replacement and installation of storm sewer infrastructure on Winchester Avenue, 31st Avenue, and 34th Avenue within the project area, including larger storm sewer pipes and new inlets.
Somers Point was selected for design work for the Gulph Mill Road Pump Station which benefits a residential area bounded by West Laurel Drive, Dogwood Drive, the Greate Bay Country Club, and the Garden State Parkway.
All the applications were prepared by Rutala Associates, a local coastal planning firm. The FEMA funding process is highly competitive. A total of 149 projects were selected in 28 states and the District of Columbia under FEMA’s flood mitigation assistance program.
“Every dollar that we spend in resilience – like this money right here – saves us $6 in response and recovery costs,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said. “We want to reduce that complexity of the recoveries, which saves money on the disaster relief fund, because then we don’t have to spend as much to help communities recover from these types of disasters.”
Investing in flood mitigation measures through this grant program is a cost-effective way to reduce the risk of flooding and associated economic losses compared with the cost of responding to and recovering from flooding.
This funding will address effects of climate change and prepare the communities for additional FEMA funding for construction projects in the selected areas.