Hurricane Sandy Damage Still Impacts NJ Today

Michel Boufadel, Director of the Center for Natural Resources Development and Protection at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, talks about the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, and the ways it continues to affect New Jersey’s coastline.

5/6/17 #107






"State of Affairs welcomes Michel Boufadel... is Director of the Center for Natural Resources Development and Protection at NJIT. That's the New Jersey Institute for Technology. Good to see you. Thank you. Michel, let me ask you, you are an expert on the subject of climate change? Fair to say? Well, I mean, that's one of my areas. But I'm not one of the foremost experts. But yeah, I mean, we have a decent awareness of climate change issues. You understand a whole range of complex environmental issues? Mm hmm. What would you say the number one issue we face as a country when it comes to environmental threats to us? I mean there's no doubt. Climate change is of major concern. Not because of the acute impacts, but there's more about the overall larger scale impact on the... on... also, on the economy. So it's not an issue of whether the water will be of high quality or not. Which could be affected, but I think it is a very important issue, because it impacts the local economy at different regions. Like we know, I mean, definitely in New Jersey we would be affected by global climate change. Well, one of the reasons is because many of our prime areas on the shorelines, they would be inundated. They would be covered with water. Hmm. And now what to do with it? I mean, you know, there are some novel ideas, which is to really try to pull back. But I think that's unlikely to happen. I think because of the values of properties there, most likely what, you know, we're gonna just hunker down there, build seawalls, and... So let's stay on this. Sorry for interrupting. Yeah. At the New Jersey Institute of Technology, you have these experts who studied post Sandy? Mm hmm. You and your colleagues studied what happened? Why it happened? What the implications were? And now decisions are being made about land use, about development, down at the Jersey Shore? Some of us live down there. Some of us live pretty close to the ocean. To what degree do you believe you and your experts and your colleagues at the New Jersey Institute of Technology are being asked, "Hey, what should we do? How close should we be to the ocean? How high should these homes be? Where should these businesses be? Or should we be much further back?" Mm hmm. And what about all this sand that we're pumping up and building up these dunes? We're you asked and consulted on these things? Yeah, we were asked, and we have different colleagues who are directly involved in some design, and build operations in terms of..."