The public will get to make suggestions to Ocean County's Long-Term Community Recovery Plan during two final sessions being held in Toms River and Stafford Townships on Tuesday, April 29.

The Philadelphia-based engineering firm Michael Baker Jr., Incorporated has been working with the County Planning Department and Together North Jersey since December to come up with ways of bouncing back more quickly from future disasters said Sarah Bowen, the firm's Planning Department Manager.

"There's a lot of different initiatives underway in Ocean County and we want to recognize what the county is already doing to help recover from Hurricane Sandy and then also bring together additional resources that could meet needs that haven't been met yet or that need different funding sources because the first funding source didn't work out" said Bowen.

Some of the ideas already suggested from previous community meetings with stakeholders from various, different groups already operating in Ocean County and representatives from the different municipalities, involve ways improving housing, including rebuilding homes and making them safer, improving the economy and attracting tourists, and helping the environment. "So, if we really look at the health of the bay and the ocean and the systems that protect those resources and then also protect the homes along those areas, we can really make a more sustainable County and infrastructure," Bowen said.

Bowen said they hope to have a draft plan ready for review by the end of May and a final version for the County in June.

Tuesday's public meetings are being held in the northern and southern portions of the County.  The first session will take place from 10 a.m. to Noon at the Ocean County Library, Mancini Hall, 101 Washington Street in Toms River. The other will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Stafford Township Municipal Building's Council Meeting Room, 206 East Bay Avenue.

More information about the plan can be found at