Northeast
NY & NJ Harbor & Tributaries Focus Area Feasibility Study (HATS)

NY/NJ - Army corps shelves NJ barrier plan against Sandy-like storm surge after Trump criticism

When a proposal to build a giant sea wall to protect the region from the next Superstorm Sandy was unveiled in 2018, it was met with strong opposition by environmentalists and some local officials, who said it would destroy the ecology of North Jersey’s tidal rivers and redirect a potentially devastating storm surge to the Jersey Shore.

Now those plans have been halted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after some concerns expressed by another interested party: President Donald Trump.

Corps officials said this week that a “funding lapse” in the federal budget has forced them to shelve a study of the feasibility of several storm barrier projects, including a 6-mile series of tide gates and sea walls from Sandy Hook in Monmouth County to Breezy Point in Queens.

The move comes about a month after Trump tweeted that the $119 million project “is a costly, foolish & environmentally unfriendly idea that, when needed, probably won’t work anyway.”

Trump ended the tweet saying, “Sorry, you’ll just have to get your mops & buckets ready!”

Drowning was the most common cause of death from Sandy, which killed 117 people. Most of the deaths occurred in New York and New Jersey, with 53 and 35 respectively.

Corps officials did not comment on whether Trump’s tweet affected their work.

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