Today, Vice President Harris announced that the Department of Commerce has recommended $5.1 million for projects across New Jersey to make communities and the economy more resilient to climate change, as part of the Investing in America agenda. Across New Jersey, three projects will create jobs and boost economic and environmental outcomes for coastal communities. The awards are made under the Biden Administration’s Climate-Ready Coasts initiative funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) with additional funds leveraged from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
“The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to help support projects that will strengthen New Jersey’s shorelines, clean up coastal bays, and improve environmental education in underserved communities,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Thanks to funding from the President’s Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re helping community led projects like these across the nation to build climate-ready coasts for the future.”
Administered by the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Climate-Ready Coasts initiative is focused on investing in high-impact projects that create climate solutions by storing carbon; build resilience to coastal hazards such as extreme weather events, pollution and marine debris; restore coastal habitats that help wildlife and humans thrive; and provide employment opportunities.
“New Jersey’s projects focus on restoring key shoreline habitats, removing debris and abandoned vessels from waterways, and educating the next generation about microplastic pollution,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “NOAA is proud to recommend select projects like these, which represent some of the diverse approaches we can take to build healthier and more resilient coastlines and coastal communities.”
"As the climate crisis continues to urgently intensify, federal funding through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act is essential to ensure that states across the country–especially coastal states like New Jersey—are prepared to create climate solutions and protect coastal communities during high-impact weather events,” said Senator Robert Menendez. “I’m proud to have fought to secure this funding that will proactively combat climate change and improve ocean health through natural infrastructure projects intended to restore coastal habitats and provide prospering environments for wildlife and humans, while also supporting community-driven restorations in underserved communities and boosting the job market in local areas. I thank the Biden Administration and NOAA for their continued commitment to protecting our coastal communities and marine ecosystems.”
“Both the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act made historic investments to protect and support coastal communities,” said Senator Cory Booker. “This vital funding will help New Jersey—known for our coastline and beaches—strengthen coastal resilience, remove harmful marine debris like abandoned vessels and derelict fishing gear, and develop effective outreach and education strategies to prevent future accumulation of marine debris.”
"Today’s announcement is great news for coastal communities in New Jersey and around the country. This funding will improve coastal resiliency and protect communities on the Jersey Shore from the devastating impacts of the climate crisis and pollution,” said Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06). “Congress has provided critical investments to ensure coastal communities are adequately prepared for major weather and flooding events and that plastic pollution doesn’t destroy marine life. I have long advocated for funding for natural infrastructure, including living shoreline projects, because they are a proven way to improve coastal resiliency and protect our coast for generations to come.”
These projects are part of NOAA’s nearly $6 billion total investment under BIL and IRA. Recommended projects and funding amounts in New Jersey include:
- Creating Habitat and Protecting Tidal Salt Marsh Buffers within the Bay Point Area of Lawrence Township
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection: $3.5 million
Funding Source: Coastal Zone Management Habitat Protection and Restoration Grants
This investment in restored shoreline will improve community resilience by enhancing ecosystem services that mitigate flooding and extreme weather and protect human lives and critical infrastructure. The project will restore habitat within the Bay Point peninsula of Lawrence Township in Cumberland County. The Bay Point shoreline ecosystem also provides critical spawning habitat for horseshoe crabs and foraging grounds for the federally listed red knot.
- Rapid Derelict Fishing Gear and Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Response and Recovery: Expanding Industry-led Stewardship for Long-term Sustainability
Stockton University: $1.4 million
Funding Source: Marine Debris Removal Competition
This project will recover derelict fishing gear and remove abandoned and derelict vessels throughout coastal bays of New Jersey. The project will also build marine debris prevention and removal expertise through collaboration with commercial crabbers, training, rapid response coordination, and dissemination of recovery methods across industries.
- Community Science to Address Microplastic Pollution in Environmentally Underserved Watershed Communities in New Jersey and New York
New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium: $284,000
Funding Source: Marine Debris Community Action Coalitions
New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium will partner with Columbia University’s Eco Ambassador program and with New York Sea Grant, through its summer K-12 community outreach, to develop timely and effective marine debris curricula and expand environmental literacy outreach to school districts from marginalized communities located in New Jersey and New York urban watersheds. Additionally, participants will be trained in community science approaches to collect water, soil and biological samples from their communities for plastic waste analysis.
Scott Smullen, email@example.com