"The state’s $300 million fund to get coastal homeowners to relocate inland isn’t working."
"On a recent rainy afternoon near the Jersey Shore, John Spodofora, the mayor of Stafford Township, stood at the edge of the water and pointed to a spot in the salt marsh where he wants to build a giant berm to blunt the force of hurricanes. Stafford is on the western side of Barnegat Bay, the 40-mile body of brackish water north of Atlantic City that’s surrounded by blue-collar bungalows, cheap motels, and oceanfront mansions. In 2012, Stafford took a direct hit from Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed 3,000 of its homes. Rather than leave, most residents chose to rebuild.
The berm project would cost as much as $100 million, money the town doesn’t have. Spodofora is hoping the federal or state government will fund it, even though most of the 5,000 homes the berm would protect will likely be underwater in a few decades with or without it. Still, Spodofora is committed. “There’s no areas of my town that I can say aren’t worth protecting,” he says."