WHAT: A handful of NJIT engineering and architecture student volunteers hope to better understand what happened to the storm-damaged public waterfront areas in Elizabeth and Perth Amboy. Earlier this week, working with Future City Inc., the students conducted physical assessments of the damaged waterfronts. Policymakers and constituents met with them. Tomorrow and Friday, they’ll be brainstorming solutions and writing impact assessments. Professional engineers will be available to listen. The exercise is bound to not only help the cities but instill pride in the volunteers. They also may walk away a lot smarter. Among the issues to be addressed: Can a living waterfront be integrated into the locality's flood management plan? And, if so where? How best to manage the impact of flooding and related damages? And what about future public access, considering climate change?WHEN: March 21-22, 2013, from about 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
WHERE: 1045 East Jersey Ave., Elizabeth
WHO: NJIT students are from Elizabeth, Union, Sayreville and Newark. Helping them are NJIT Engineer Colette Santasieri, PhD, director of strategic initiatives, Office of Research and Development; and Michele McBean, executive director of Future Cities (908.659.0689 or 908.230.9126).
HOW: Call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436, to set up interviews.
BACKGROUND: Not long after Sandy struck, NJIT’s Alternative Spring Break was conceived to help municipal, social service, community and/or faith-based groups recover from the devastating hurricane. Targeted clean-up was to include beachfronts, parks, buildings and more. Assignments include cleaning up beaches and/or parks; deconstructing homes (i.e., pulling out wall boards, shoveling mud out of basements); building new structures; finishing work such as painting or simple carpentry; and survey work such as collecting data and information. Although the university can’t offer college credit for the work, volunteers will receive a t-shirt and food and drinks. Although calls continue to come in, to date, some 600 volunteers have signed up. For more information, call 973-642-7831.