News & Announcements Blog

This blog is about NJAFM News and Announcements. Posts can only be made by NJAFM Administrators, however comments to the posts can be made by all registered members. If you have an announcement that you would like posted to this blog, send the request to This blog is viewable by the public.

  • Friday, August 05, 2016 8:51 AM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)


    (16/P73) TRENTON - Nearly four years after Superstorm Sandy, the Blue Acres Buyout Program has reached milestones of more than 500 property buyouts completed, including a closing on its first property in Downe Township, Cumberland County, and more than 800 buyout offers made, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.

    Blue Acres buyouts have been under way in a number of flood-prone communities across New Jersey for more than three years, as recovery from Superstorm Sandy remains a steadfast commitment of the Christie Administration. The $300 million buyout program recently closed on its 500th property acquisition in Downe Township.

    "The Christie Administration's effort to protect lives and property from dangerous flooding has not wavered since Superstorm Sandy struck New Jersey," DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said. "The Blue Acres Buyout Program's many milestones, including the 500th buyout and more than 800 offers made, demonstrate our ongoing commitment to assist as many residents as possible by helping them leave flood-prone communities in order to improve their quality of life."

    Downe Township's property closing is just the first of 11 properties in the Delaware Bayshore community that are lined up for closing. An additional 12 homeowners have already indicated a desire to sell their properties to Blue Acres.

    Natalie Fisch, a school bus driver, and her husband, Don Fisch, who owns a drywall business, had lived at a high point on Bayview Road in Downe Township for approximately 15 years before deciding to pursue a buyout.

    The couple found that lower portions of their road experienced flooding during high tides and full moons, as well as during bad weather, and they grew increasingly concerned about the viability of the local water and sewer line infrastructure after Sandy hit.

    Since accepting their buyout, the couple has purchased a home on Osborn Island in Tuckerton, Ocean County. The ability to keep their boat in their backyard to go fishing and crabbing, and knowing that utility lines are underground, are important to her and her husband, Mrs. Fisch said.

    "Everything went so smooth for us," she said about the Blue Acres Buyout Program and process. "We've been blessed. I'd recommend the program to anyone in a bad flooding area that needs to get out."

    Since its launch in May 2013 as part of Superstorm Sandy recovery, the Blue Acres Buyout Program has secured funding to purchases properties in 14 municipalities, with buyouts under way in eight counties. Closings have been completed on 503 properties, of which 371 have been demolished. So far, offers have been made to 806 homeowners and accepted by 618.

    "Immediately following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, Woodbridge Township went to work to assist homeowners in the hardest hit properties in our flood zone," said Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac. "Today, more than 175 Woodbridge Township home and property owners in the flood zone have applied to the Blue Acres program for property buyout relief, with 130 properties having been purchased at pre-Sandy value.

    "It goes without saying that the DEP and the Blue Acres program administrators have been incredibly responsive to the Township Administration and, even more importantly, to the residents who have been removed from harm's way and no longer reside in the flood zone.  And, the work of Blue Acres is not finished.  Blue Acres is committed to financing additional buyouts of the families that still remain in harm's way."

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HGMP); the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program; the Blue Acres fund and the State Land Acquisition (Urban) fund provide funding for buyouts. The DEP will continue to submit buyout applications to the federal government for additional properties on a rolling basis.

    Recently, FEMA recognized the Blue Acres Buyout program as a Best Practice, citing the program's Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA) approach to significantly reduce the number of properties requiring extensive and time-consuming reviews. Additionally, the program has negotiated more than $3.6 million in mortgage forgiveness on properties where the amount owned exceeds the home's value - an achievement recognized by HUD in 2015.

    Governor Christie designated the Blue Acres Buyout Program in 2013 to run the state's post-Sandy initiative to purchase homes from willing sellers in flood-prone areas, at pre-Sandy values. A special team expedites the buyout process, and includes individual case managers that work closely with homeowners to personally guide them through the process. After a Blue Acres purchase is completed, the homes are demolished and the land is permanently preserved as open space for recreation or conservation purposes.

    A number of Sandy-damaged communities were among the first to take advantage of the Blue Acres Buyout Program, including Sayreville Borough, South River Borough and Woodbridge Township in Middlesex County. Purchases also have been made in other flood-prone areas of the state including: Manville Borough in Somerset County; Linden in Union County; Lawrence Township and Downe Township in Cumberland County; East Brunswick Township and Old Bridge Township in Middlesex County; Pompton Lakes Borough in Passaic County; and Newark City in Essex County. The program has also moved into New Milford in Bergen County and Ocean Township in Monmouth County.

    Homeowners interested in selling their homes or who have questions about the buyout program may call the DEP's Blue Acres Buyout Program at (609) 984-0500.

    For more information on Blue Acres, visit

  • Friday, July 15, 2016 6:45 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    The latest CRS statistics is at:  CRS Stats.pdf

    Upcoming Training opportunities for CRS and registration information can be found at:

    The following are upcoming training opportunities:

    August 16 Preparing an Annual Recertification
    August 17 Developing Outreach Projects  (Activity 330)
    September 27 Preparing an Impact Adjustment Map
    September 28 Flood Warning & Response (Activity 610)
    October 18 Preparing for a Verification Visit
    October 19 CRS and Class 4 Prerequisites
    November 15 Introduction to the CRS
    November 16 Developing a PPI and a Insurance Coverage Improvement Plan
    December 20 Preparing for a Verification Visit
    December 21 CRS and Coastal Hazards

  • Friday, July 15, 2016 6:19 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    Latest newsletter includes articles on:

    • Candidates Sought for 2016 CRS Award
    • CRS Connections at ASFPM Conference
    • Elevation Certificate and Checklist Ready
    • Success with CRS
    • CRS User Group Liaison report
    • And More!  See NFIPCRSNewsletterMayJune2016.PDF
  • Thursday, June 30, 2016 6:12 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    At best, hurricane season predictions are uncertain. This year El Niño and La Niña are set to make the season’s forecast even more volatile. No matter the forecast, it is important to ensure that your community is ready for every possibility. Even with an uncertain season, Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science predicts a 97 percent chance of a named storm making landfall in the United States. Now is the time to take action and talk to encourage your residents to be financially prepared for the next flooding event.   Read more at: Hurricane Stakeholder Article 2016 FINAL.pdf

  • Wednesday, June 29, 2016 10:50 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    Governor Kean gives his opinion on the newly adopted DEP Flood Hazard Rule.                                                                                                                                  GovKean DEP Flooding Rule Makes Drinking Water Unsafe.pdf

  • Friday, June 24, 2016 5:30 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)
    Displaying IMG_20160623_135421_0571.jpg

    Left to right, Maria DiSalvatore, Vice Chairperson, NJAFM and Diane A. Brown, Outreach and Events Manager, ASFPM

    New Jersey Future received the Tom Lee State Award for Excellence in Floodplain Management  at the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) Conference held June 20-24th in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The award was accepted on behalf of NJ Future by Maria DiSalvatore, Vice Chairperson of NJAFM, at the ASFPM conference.

    The Tom Lee State Award for Excellence is given annually to recognize an outstanding floodplain management program or activity at the state level. It preserves the memory of Tom Lee (1935-1976), a visionary floodplain manager responsible for some of this country's finest state-level programs, and for his instrumental work in developing the regulatory framework that ASFPM and NJAFM still seek to implement and improve today.

  • Sunday, June 19, 2016 12:30 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    A fillable version of the 2015 Elevation Certificate (EC) (FEMA Form 086-0-33) is now available on the FEMA website at   The PDF form has been enabled to be filled and saved using Adobe Reader. For insurance purposes, FEMA will continue to accept properly completed and certified elevation information, submitted on a different format than the FEMA EC, through December 31, 2016. After that date, all elevation information must be submitted using the FEMA EC. Note that in the future, no further transition periods will be provided when a new FEMA EC is approved. If you have any questions concerning the form, please contact the NFIP Bureau and Statistical Agent’s Underwriting Department at 

    Source:  Fillable 2015 Elevation Certificate Letter of 6/16/2016          Fillable 2015 Elevation Certificate Letter.pdf

  • Sunday, June 19, 2016 12:21 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    The Monmouth County Division of Planning and Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management in cooperation with the participating municipalities has been working with Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute, community stakeholders and businesses in helping to coordinate FEMA’s  HWM Program in the county.  Fourteen municipalities have passed resolutions of support indicating their interest in being part of this initiative.  The HWM Project is an extension of the county’s ongoing Community Rating System (CRS) Municipal Assistance Program.  FEMA has incentivized participation in the HWM Project by providing communities financial assistance toward the design, development and printing of signs.   The project will be launched on June 27th in Middletown.  For further information on the project contact Margaret Murnane Brooks at:

  • Saturday, June 18, 2016 6:12 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    This course addresses the professional application of the ubiquitous USDA NRCS Curve Number method. It does this by examining its origins, development, assumptions, performance and applications. Through this, it strengths, gaps, weaknesses, and needed modernizations are highlighted. Model sensitivity and comparison lessons to general rainfall-runoff hydrology are discussed. 

    The purpose of this Seminar is to clarify many misconceptions and significant inaccuracies in using the USDA NRCS Curve Number Method, and to initiate and promote professional awareness. The short course will help resolve and identify those issues. 

    The course is to be held on August 19, 2016 at the College of New Jersey (TCNJ), Ewing, NJ.  Eight (8) continuing education credits will be awarded.  To register contact:  Dr. Michael Horst at TCNJ at by August 12, 2016.

    For further information please see the attached announcement and abstract.  

    Curve Number Rainfall-Runoff Professional Applications Short Course Announcement.pdf

    Curve Number Rainfall-Runoff ProfessionalApplications.pdf

  • Thursday, May 19, 2016 8:17 PM | Greg Westfall (Administrator)

    The New Jersey Section of the ASCE Central Branch has announced four courses to be given in August 2016.  Two courses are using HEC-HMS and two other courses are on HEC-RAS.    Up to 40 Professional Development Hours (PDH) are available to maintain your Professional Engineer license. Courses will be given at the College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ.  The courses are as follows:

    Course 1: “Engineering Hydrology: Applications using HEC-HMS” August 1-3, 2016

    Course 2: “Advanced Engineering Hydrology” August 4-5, 2016

    Course 1: “HEC-RAS Introductory Course” August 8-10, 2016

    Course 2: “Unsteady Flow using HEC-RAS” August 11-12, 2016

    Further information is available on the attached fact sheets.                          HEC-HMS Course Announcement August 2016.pdf                                          HEC-RAS Course Announcement August 2016.pdf

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