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While natural disasters can often be catalysts for change, understanding where to begin changing can be discovered by looking at the science and history of the affected area. Hurricane Sandy's unprecedented landfall in October 2012 began this progression for the state of New Jersey. This study examines the processes affecting the ocean and beaches of New Jersey, looks at the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the state and discusses the changing standards that have been and continue to be enacted since storm recovery began. Specifically highlighted are the engineering practices of flood mitigation, the effects of the storm on the state's economy and the new policies and standards that have come about in the aftermath.