University to Host Conference on May 2 to Address Scientific and Public Policy Implications of Flooding in Passaic River Basin

Panelists to include federal, state, and local officials, including mayors of Paterson and Wayne.

The scientific and public policy implications of continued flooding in the Passaic River basin will be discussed during a conference at William Paterson University in Wayne on Wednesday, May 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. in the University Commons Ballroom on campus.

The “Symposium on Passaic County Flooding: Impact and Response” will bring together experts from environmental science, engineers, and state and local government to explore the impact of Passaic River flooding, previous responses, and plans for the future.

“Flooding in northern New Jersey will be a permanent problem unless remediation steps are taken,” says Sandra DeYoung, dean of the University’s College of Science and Health. “This conference will bring together a variety of experts and government officials to discuss the science of flooding and remediation, including potential actions needed to solve these problems.”

Jeffrey L. Hoffman, chief, water supply modeling and planning, New Jersey Geological and Water Survey, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Land Use Regulation, will be the keynote speaker.  His presentation will be followed by two panel discussions.  

The first panel, “Planning and Responding to Disaster,” moderated by Richard Pardi, retired professor of environmental science, William Paterson University, will include Terence Winters, external affairs, Federal Emergency Management Agency; Roy Messaros, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Robert Lyons, coordinator, Passaic County Office of Emergency Management; Sergeant James Dunham, Office of Emergency Management, New Jersey State Police; and David Rosenblatt, administrator, Office of Engineering and Construction, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

The second panel, “Municipal and State Planning and Response,” will be moderated by Wartyna Davis, interim associate dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and professor of political science, William Paterson University.  Speakers include Jeffrey Jones, mayor, City of Paterson; Michael DeFrancisci, former mayor, Township of Little Falls; Christopher Vergano, mayor, Township of Wayne; and Scott Rumana, New Jersey state assemblyman.

A short documentary film in which flooding victims and affected business owners are interviewed will also be shown.

The event is co-sponsored by William Paterson University and the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders.  Admission is free, but advance registration is required by April 23 at <> .  For additional information, contact Sandra DeYoung, dean of the College of Science and Health at William Paterson University, at 973-720-2194 or