Superstorm Sandy could be just a precursor of things to come according to an environmental group that believes changes to municipal planning need to start taking place.

Congressman Frank Pallone (D) (Ilya Hemlin, Townsquare Media NJ)

A series of climate meetings held by the Sierra club allowed residents and experts discuss the impact from recent extreme weather events and share ideas on how to make New Jersey more resilient as well as discuss what steps can be taken to develop programs to protect the state for the future. The latest meeting took place in Mancini Hall of the Ocean County Library Toms River Branch.

“If there is another storm that it won’t have the same kind of impacts, that we can protect our environment, grow our economy, have a wonderful tourism season with swimming and boating, and that we can keep it for future generations.” Says Jeff Tittel, president of the Sierra Club.

He notes that while the effects of legislative policy and municipal planning have a lot to do with healthy environmental programs, a lot of it begins at the individual level.

“Make our homes a little more energy efficient to save some money and reduce our carbon footprint, making sure streams and tidal function by cleaning them up and restoring them.”

Tittel point out environmentally smart policy can also be economically smart policies as well.

“Instead of having another Oyster Creek maybe we should have windmills off our coast, which could help the fishing industry and those hurt in the marine trade.’ He says municipalities can do a better job at regional planning as well.

‘So that we can save money when we rebuild our infrastructure so that every town in Long Beach Island doesn’t have a separate sewer line coming out of there that we have to pay for eight times instead of once.”