High Water Mark Initiative Launched

July 20th, 2016

June 27 marked the launch of the High Water Mark initiative in Monmouth County at Belford Ferry Terminal. As many as 100 signs will be placed in the county in an effort to increase the local community’s awareness of flood risk.

Dr. Michael Schwebel, community resilience and climate adaptation specialist for New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute, has worked with local communities on resilience initiatives and was able to bring towns and the county together to generate interest in posting signs in prominent places of importance to the community.

The signs will be placed throughout the county to denote the highest level that flooding reached during Superstorm Sandy. These signs are part of a national collaboration with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and its High Water Mark Initiative. One of these signs will be placed at New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and will be used as an educational tool.

The initiative also includes student involvement. This summer a Monmouth University student-faculty research team will work to survey elevations using RTK GPS technology at selected points in each of the communities where markers will be placed. The group will rely both on local knowledge from officials and residents who know their communities best and visual confirmations such as water stains to verify the flood levels.

Moving forward, Dr. Schwebel plans to incorporate these signs into various outreach events and inform the community about their significance.

The High Water Mark Initiative is made possible through a partnership with the Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, National Park Service, Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve at Rutgers University, Navy Weapons Station Earle, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Verizon.

Read more about Monmouth University’s involvement on the Urban Coast Institute blog here. Read more about the overall project in a Monmouth County press release.

High Water Mark Initiative  — In the news

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