Critical Need to Rebuild Atlantic City and Protect Vulnerable Environmental Justice Populations Affected by Hurricane Sandy

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1 Critical Need to Rebuild Atlantic City and Protect Vulnerable Environmental Justice Populations Affected by Hurricane Sandy Presented by: Roy L. Jones, Executive Director, National Institute for Healthy Human Spaces, Inc. Saturday, March 1, 2014 Conference of the New Jersey Environmental Federation

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3 What is to be covered? 1. Rationale for Taking Immediate Action Now 2. Map of Atlantic City Environmental Justice Vulnerable Areas and Neighborhoods (Inlet, Bungalow Park, Venice Park, Chelsea & West Atlantic City) 3. Climate Change & Global Warming Relationship to Severe Weather & Negative Effects on Humans 4. Storm Related Health Issues and EJ Populations 5. Proactive Interventions/Recommendations Mid and Long Term 6. Follow up Steps Short Term 7. National Institute for Healthy Human Spaces, Inc. Background and Brief resume 8. Contact

4 1. Rationale for Taking Immediate Action Now a) Storm Surge Barriers Either Do Not Exist or Are in Ruins b) New Storm Season Fast Approaching/ Time is therefore Critical for Rebuilding c) High Expectation of More Severe Weather & Storms d) Threats to Health & Safety: Compromised Water Quality, Lead, Mold, Asbestos, Weak Buildings e) Precautionary Principle of Environmental Protection f) The Cost of Doing Nothing

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6 2. Climate Change & Global Warming Relationship to Severe Weather/ Rising Sea Levels Climate Change: is a term used by scientists to describe a real change from one climate type to another Global Warming: is a term used to describe increase in the Earth s temperature from, in part, humans releasing more Carbon Dioxide (Co2) into the air. Scientists believe that this will lead to climate change with many more negative effects to living things on the Earth. Greenhouse Effect The trapping of the sun's warmth in a planet's lower atmosphere due to the greater transparency of the atmosphere to visible radiation from the sun than to infrared radiation emitted from the planet's surface Greenhouse Gas A gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation, e.g. carbon dioxide

7 3. Recommendations to Mitigate Risk Pro Action/ Intervention Mid Term Long Term 1. Overall Invest now in major infrastructure changes. Note Example North Jersey as a Model of Precautionary Action 2. Flood Proof Homes & Businesses= Elevate Older Properties Priority 3. Ensure Disaster Recovery Equity for Vulnerable Populations: low income, working class, elderly, disable especially 4. Rebuild & Elevate Boardwalks 5. Construct New Dunes& Buffer Zones 6. Buy homeowners & Vulnerable/ Businesses Out 7. Restore Tattered Wetlands Elevate the Black Horse & White Horse Pike within 4 5 mile length and other Evacuation Routes

8 Interim Steps to Confront Impending Storm Season: 1. Possibly Add Sea Walls along Lowest Edges of the City s Most Vulnerable Neighborhoods 2. Develop Storm Surge Plan & Matching Funds to Governor s Office: Request $70 million (CRDA) + 30 million (State)= $100 million goal

9 4. Environmental Justice Vulnerable Neighborhoods See Map of Atlantic City Population: ( Poverty high and Crime) 38.% African American=15, % Hispanic=12, % White=10,543 5% Asian=6,153 Other Vulnerable Neighborhoods & Poverty v. Casino Riches Inlet Neighborhoods and: Bungalow Park Venice Park West Atlantic City Chelsea Major Highways Black Horse Pike/ White Horse Pike

10 5.Storm Related Health Issues: Moreover, The World Health Organization and the Harvard Medical School have noted reports about Climate Change and related Health Effects: Climate Change and Human Health Risks and Responses, WHO,2003 and Climate Change Futures: Health, Ecological and Economic Dimensions, The Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical school, Climate change is predicted to cause more extreme flooding and storms, which leads to contaminated water supplies And MOLD. Heavy rainfall along can cause sewer storm water systems to overflow, releasing raw (untreated) sewerage in local water sources. And of course, during extremely hot days, children, low income and elderly populations without air conditioning are at high risk for heat related illnesses and death. See attached articles.

11 6. Follow up Steps: a.) Follow up Every Two weeks on Plan Submitted to Governor b.) Further Research Storm Protection Measures, and Community Options c.) Support NIHHS upcoming Thursday, July 17, 2014 workshop with Residents & prospective Officials/ Casino Representatives to further discuss Storm Protection, Community Rebuilding Strategies and Identify Gaps in Community Capacity Place: Atlantic City, NJ

12 7. National Institute for Healthy Human Spaces, Inc. Background: Roy L. Jones Environmental, Training and Business Development Experience Executive Director of the National Institute for Healthy Human Spaces, Inc. Short Biography: (43)+ Years of (Social, Economic, Political and Environmental Justice Activism B.A. from Rutgers University, M.A. from Glassboro State College/Rowan University, and M.S. in Business & Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University and Doctoral work from Temple University in Urban Education and Mass Communication.( Atlantic City High School Class of 1965 graduate). And, Mr. Jones is most proud to have received certification as a Senior Environmental Fellow, 2010 Nominee as Person of Year, Phila. Inquirer and Co Producer, Petty s Island Documentary.

13 8. Roy L. Jones Contact Information: NIHHS: 116 N. 2nd St., Camden, NJ 8102, phone # National Institute for Healthy Human Spaces, website:

14 Camden New Jersey: Environmental Justice Profile and Brief Summary: Camden stands out as a national example of environmental degradation. A small city of 80,000 residents, with a land area of only a few square miles, it contains over 100 contaminated sites and several hundred active polluting industries and regional Trash and Sewerage Plants, etc. The air contains high levels of soot, ozone, and carcinogens, and its drinking water was contaminated for decades with various toxins. Water Contamination: (22) years NJ DH confirm citizens drank contaminated water Superfund Well Site Children live, play and study surrounded by contamination. Five Camden public schools are situated on known contaminated sites, and two more are under investigation. At the same time, in the Camden School District, over 25% of the children are classified with developmental problems, overall academic performance is abysmal, and the drop out rate is an incredible 50%. Poverty: Highest for children ins state Crime: Most dangerous city in America NIHHS: RLJ Presentation about Camden NJ

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