Response to Rising Ocean Levels

Response to Rising Ocean Levels

As a fragile barrier island, the communities of Long Beach Island have responded to climate change and rising ocean levels in a variety of ways.

Beach replenishment efforts have created tall dunes that protect the oceanside homes. Bayside homes are vulnerable to flooding because the bay side is at a lower elevation than the ocean side and there is no barrier to keep the bay water from rising onto the land.

House lifting has become a common strategy to preserve older homes. The entire home is temporarily jacked up using steel I-beams and then set back down on a new, higher foundation of pilings, cinderblock, or cement. Flood prone homes are often eligible for grant money to undertake the expensive process. After the home is raised, the cost of flood insurance is more affordable.

Newer homes are built with ground floors able to withstand flooding, with breakaway walls and all vulnerable utilities and furnishings located on upper floors.

The crown of the road of Long Beach Boulevard has been raised by up to eighteen inches in flood-prone areas, although flooding caused by rain and tides often makes the shoulder lanes impassable. Brant Beach is fortunate to have Ocean Boulevard, which sits on the higher side of the island, running along its entire length, although residents still must navigate the main Boulevard in Ship Bottom to reach the bridge.

Large underground pumps have been installed in low areas to keep roadways clear. Recent zoning ordinances limit impervious ground cover to reduce flooding due to storm runoff.

The Township strives to secure funding for beach replenishment, and protects the sand dunes by installing dune fencing, planting dune grasses, and keeping beachgoers off the dunes.