At its 2013 annual conference, the New Jersey Floodplain Management Association (NJAFM) recognized the Morris County Flood Mitigation Program with its “2013 Outstanding Floodplain Management Award” for working most effectively with local, state and federal partners to buy out numerous flood-prone residential properties and create open space. Morris County was praised for its vision and innovation in launching this novel program, and the success they have achieved to date. The NJAFM hopes that Morris County’s achievements will inspire other New Jersey counties to follow suit and create dedicated flood acquisition programs.
The program has also been recognized by the national Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM). Morris County was asked to present their Flood Mitigation Program to over 1,200 conference attendees at the ASFPM national conference in June of this year. It is featured as a model program in the ASFPM’s national “how-to guide” for flood mitigation. ASFPM Board Director, Terry Turner states, “Morris County’s story will serve as a shining example of a community-funded flood mitigation acquisition program.”
In the 19 months since its inception, the Morris County Flood Mitigation Program has 117 projects underway in 7 towns, with $16.5 million encumbered for acquisitions; 36 closings have taken place with many demolitions already complete. The program has attracted over $29 million in Federal and State grant funding and provided an estimated $82 million in benefits to local governments. Applications continue to roll in from municipalities currently involved, and those exploring this flood mitigation option for the first time.