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Community Resilience in the Urban Environment

APRIL 1, 2016--The NOAA North Atlantic Regional (Collaboration) Team or NART, sponsored a roundtable with New Jersey's Congressional district staff that was held on Wednesday March 23, 2016 at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. The theme of the roundtable was “Community Resilience in the Urban Environment.”

Simeon Hahn, Regional Resource Coordinator, for OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division (Mid-Atlantic), coordinated a presentation titled “Coastal Resiliency, Water Quality Improvements, and Site Cleanup/Habitat Restoration in Camden, New Jersey.” A brief introduction and summary of NOAA Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration (DARRP) activities in New Jersey was also provided. OR&R is providing support to Camden via NOAA’s role as a federal lead for the urban Delaware River location. Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) is an initiative among federal agencies and communities (including state and local officials and NGOs) to coordinate resources and activities in targeted urban water communities. A staff member from Senator Corey Booker’s office commented, “It’s great to talk about resiliency in a way that means something to constituents.”

Coordination and collaboration efforts like the NART and UWFP are essential to achieve community objectives related to resilience and other goals, especially in under-served communities. Frank McLaughlin, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (co-chair with NOAA for the UWFP Brownfield Community of Practice) highlighted cleanup and restoration efforts at the former Harrison Ave Landfill and Phoenix Park. Josh Moody, restoration coordinator for the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, highlighted living shoreline projects at both of these sites along the Delaware River with specific presentation on water quality benefits associated with fresh water mussel restoration.

The lifecycles of fresh water mussels and anadromous fish are highly linked with mutual restoration needs and opportunities. Andy Kricun, director of the Camden County Municipal Water Authority (CCMUA) highlighted efforts in becoming an anchor institution for Camden. CCMUA is a pioneering utility addressing wastewater infrastructure needs while performing water and energy conservation, spearheading efforts to reconnect citizens to the river by cleaning up sites and converting them to parks and trails, and developing living shorelines and green infrastructure projects with a unifying community resilience theme.

Further information on UWFP can be found at .

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A statue and a sign outdoors.
The roundtable was held at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.