This initiative involves working with public and private utility and transportation infrastructure providers to relocate and/or elevate essential infrastructure outside the floodplain areas. As the State Capital and County Seat, the City has a unique opportunity to be the showcase community for Climate and Natural Hazard Resiliency. To accomplish this task, the City should hire a Chief Resiliency Officer to identify partnerships with private and governmental entities to make the City more resilient from future storm and climate changes. Through cooperation, the riparian areas can be restored, which would help mitigate the flooding effects experienced along the Assunpink Creek and the Delaware River north of the Delaware River Falls (Duck Island). Projects such as the Waterfront Reclamation and Redevelopment Project demonstrate how coordinated efforts with State and Regional agencies can result in plans to redesign infrastructure that will improve drainage and reduce flooding. This project can be an example of how such efforts can be coordinated to further other City, County and State objectives (i.e. improve City resident access to the riverfront and encourage economic development). Partnerships with PSE&G, Public Works, NJDOT, AMTRAK, and NJ Transit will be key to successful completion of this initiative.
In addition to working on building utility and infrastructure resiliency, the City must also focus on the efforts to protect residential areas from future flooding events. Residential areas along waterways that fall within 1% and .05% flood zones are of particular concern. The cost of persistent flooding to those areas is likely to be significant as will be the cost of insuring in those areas. The City will need to develop community-driven plans based on sound economic principles to protect those homes from flooding.
Finally, the City should coordinate their efforts on the Protect and Promote Natural Resources and Open Space Initiative
with efforts to protect the built environment. Projects such as the Assunpink Creek Park demonstrate that efforts to improve the natural environment can and will have positive economic and social impacts as well.