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Peter Kasabach, executive director of the planning advocacy group New Jersey Future, says subsidies that encourage rebuilding as things were, including federal flood insurance, are problematic.
"We’ve built in places that we shouldn’t have built and now those places are becoming even more hazardous and more expensive to stay in," he said. "As we grow and develop, we should make sure we don’t continue to invest in those places."
He suggested bans on building in some sensitive beach areas, or requirements that homes be built farther from the ocean.
The Surfrider Foundation’s Nelsen said he hopes that New Jersey communities at least consider rebuilding in different places, which he said has never been done on a large scale in a U.S. oceanfront.
"We’re about to spend some ungodly sum of money to restore the coast," he said. "Let’s make sure we spent it wisely."
Mulvihill reported from Trenton, N.J. Associated Press writer Wayne Parry in Mantoloking contributed to this report.
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