(CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ)—The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the 2021 Cape May County Hazard Mitigation Plan which, for the first time, addresses climate change and future sea-level rise for resiliency purposes. The Plan was drafted over the past year with over 1,000 hours of effort by County and municipal officials, along with representatives from chambers of commerce, environmental and insurance experts, and public utilities.
Additionally, the Plan will assist the Cape May County Department of Emergency Management with providing assistance for the municipalities to apply for various grant funding that remains available.
“This Plan represents the most significant and long-term approach to resiliency that the County has ever put together”, said Cape May County Commissioner Director Gerald Thornton. “FEMA has recognized that the plan, in its own words was ‘well done’ and includes ‘clearly developed tangible solutions’ to current and future mitigation projects”.
The Cape May County Hazard Mitigation Plan relies on design and science while
addressing both short and long term challenges to resiliency. For the first time, the Plan will serve as a dynamic document to both the County and municipalities as updates to local flood relief planning and projects are required to be updated over the next five years so at all times the County has an accurate record of projects being designed, built, or planned with information shared with other communities for their individual planning purposes.
“Every town and every interest had a seat at the table during this year long Plan update project”, said Cape May County Emergency Management Director Martin Pagliughi. “Every project that will be developed will have a finite lifespan before it becomes obsolete. This plan culls all of this information together so communities can learn from each other while allowing the County to take an aggressive stance to help communities get funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant program, Flood Mitigation Assistance program, and FEMA’s own Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program”.
Local communities will be able to update their individual annexes of the Plan via new software program that results in their own specific plan maintenance.
During the next five years, towns can update their town individual projects which will serve as the foundation for the next plan update in 2026. All 16 communities are approving resolutions that support this major update to the Plan. A link to view the Plan is available at https://www.capemaycounty2020hmp.com/draft-plans/