“You can talk about X number of feet of sea-level rise, but when you actually see where the water might come from in the next five years, or decade, or 50 years, that makes it all the more real to people and can drive them to action.”

— Aaron Shkuda, Program Manager, Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities


The map below for High Water Line: New Jersey provides a self-guided walking tour of Sayreville that envisions the city’s riverside past and inundated future.

The walk begins at Ken Buchanan Riverfront Park (1) overlooking the Raritan River, where a landfill, a field of solar panels and a weathered-looking power plant (that provides 22% of Long Island’s electricity) abut the water on what were once tidal wetlands. The path continues to the Sayreville Municipal Building and War Memorial Park (2), which will likely sit overlooking the water’s edge in the coming century.

A short distance away, the Weber Avenue open space (3) still bears the driveway aprons, sidewalks, power lines and fire hydrants of the 148 homes that lined the street before being bought out by New Jersey’s Blue Acres program due to frequent flooding. The homes and businesses that remain on MacArthur Avenue (4) are now protected from the river by the buffer Weber Avenue provides.