It will take a very long time for the Jersey shore to fully recover from Superstorm Sandy, but can it ever truly return to the place we used to love? Addressing a crowd in Lavallette on Tuesday, Governor Chris Christie said he has a personal stake in maintaining the character of the shore that was destroyed. He even said the rebuild is more important than his re-election campaign this year.

Governor Christie in Lavallette (Townsquare Media NJ)

"We're trying to design programs to make sure that the change in that character will be as little as possible," Christie said, referencing the homeowner and business grant funding that is gradually making its way from the federal government to those who need it most.

Christie said preserving the Jersey shore "feel" depends largely on whether or not residents choose to rebuild. Despite the help from Washington, many folks fear costs will be too prohibitive, especially considering the new flood maps that would force some homeowners to raise their properties a couple feet higher.

"A disaster like this is, invariably, going to make some changes. It just is," the Governor said. "There are certain homes that are gone that will never be back."

In those cases, Christie said New Jerseyans must learn to appreciate the "new nuances" at the Jersey shore.

The Governor visited Ocean County's coastline every summer during his childhood.

"I know what it was, and I know in my heart what it's going to be again," said Christie. "Nothing is more important to me than to be able to see people back down here at the Jersey shore, enjoying themselves and living the lifestyle that I got to live as a kid."

Governor's Office