On November 19, 2021 a major grant was announced for a coastal climate resilience project in New Jersey that will be led by NY/NJ Baykeeper.
Together with matching funds, the organization will use a total of $1,743,625 for the project, including support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“I’m pleased that New Jersey is showing how we can use proven natural infrastructure solutions to protect our coastal communities from the effects of climate change, including more flooding from sea level rise and stronger hurricanes. Since Superstorm Sandy, we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to make New Jersey more resilient against the effects of climate change,” Congressman Frank Pallone said.
“Just yesterday, the House passed the Build Back Better that invests $6 billion in coastal resiliency projects like these so communities across the country will be able to combat the climate crisis, mitigate future flooding, and protect local wildlife habitats with these proven solutions to improve coastal resiliency,” he added.
The award will boost resilience along the Raritan Bay coast adjacent to U.S. Naval Weapons Station Earle with natural infrastructure for 3,200 linear feet of shoreline stabilization, coastal protection, and habitat enhancement. The project will stabilize the station’s shoreline and protect the surrounding community through oyster castles and marsh restoration to dampen wave energies, mitigate storm surge, and reduce erosion along the coastline.
“Naval Weapons Station Earle is pleased to once again partner with the New York/New Jersey Baykeepers to expand the living shoreline project alongside our pier complex,” said Capt. Ed Callahan, installation commanding officer. “This project not only helps protect our critical Navy infrastructure from the damaging effects of storm surge but also benefits our neighbors along the entire Raritan/Sandy Hook Bay.”
The project is an example of critical living shorelines work that Pallone has amplified with his Living Shorelines Act that assists states, localities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in constructing living shorelines to combat the effects of climate change.
Living shoreline infrastructure projects use natural materials and systems, including dunes, wetlands, and oyster reefs to support the natural flood resilience of healthy shoreline ecosystems.
Natural infrastructure is cost-effective and adaptable to changing environmental conditions. It also enhances ecosystem functions which can improve water quality and wildlife habitat protection.
“Baykeeper is excited to advance our work at the site with project partners Biohabitats Inc., the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Monmouth County Division of Planning, and Naval Weapons Station Earle. We also thank Congressman Pallone for his work on making coastal resilience and living shoreline projects in New Jersey a priority,” said Meredith Comi, Coastal Restoration Program Director at NY/NJ Baykeeper.
The House passed the Build Back Better Act that makes a $6 billion investment in coastal resilience that is modelled on Pallone’s Living Shorelines Act and will help communities across the country utilize these project designs to enhance coastal resiliency.
Photo of U.S. Naval Weapons Station Earle courtesy of U.S. Navy.