The decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to revise the flood maps to designate much of Absecon Island as an A zone was great news.

The impact of this change is far-reaching, including lower flood-insurance rates and the ability to raise or build your house on block rather than piling. It also helps to maintain the architectural integrity of many neighborhoods, including the St. Leonard's Tract and the Margate Parkway.

Areas such as Ventnor Heights, Chelsea Heights and other low-lying areas would have seen property values destroyed under the original advisory maps, leaving many no choice but to relocate because they could not afford to raise their houses or the resulting insurance increase.

I would like to thank the Coastal Coalition group - including Jim Agnesino, Bruce Funk, Ed Stinson, Scott Abbott and Stu Farrell - as well as our elected officials who worked tirelessly to achieve this dramatic compromise.

All residents of our great barrier-island communities owe a huge debt of gratitude to all those involved in looking out for our best interests.

JOHN VAN DUYNE

Ventnor