DEP’S Blue Acres Program Expands Into Atlantic County

The state’s Blue Acres program has expanded into Atlantic County, recently holding a kickoff meeting with eligible property owners in Pleasantville who are interested in participating in this effort that moves residents away from areas that are impacted by severe storms. With the addition of Atlantic County, the Department of Environmental Protection’s Blue Acres Program is now active in nine counties. The DEP has determined that 25 properties in Pleasantville are eligible for acquisition by the program.

Since its inception shortly after Sandy struck the state, the Blue Acres program has secured funding for the purchases of 981 homes. To date, the program has closed on the purchases of 648 properties and has completed 531 demolitions. Structures are demolished and the land is converted into open space to serve as natural flood buffers.

The Blue Acres Program and its acquisition practices have earned national recognition as a flood-mitigation best practice, including awards from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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