West Orange, NJ - The Environmental Protection Administration has awarded nearly $430,000 for Wetlands Assessments and research on New Jersey’s Changing Climate. The monies were given to the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and Ocean County College to protect wetlands in New Jersey and identify strategies to address the changing climate.
“Wetlands provide enormous economic environmental and public health benefits, but they are threatened by development and the impacts of New Jersey’s changing climate, “said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “Wetlands reduce the effects of climate change and protect against flooding by absorbing stormwater, reduce and filter runoff that pollutes local waterways, and serve as essential habitats for fish and wildlife. EPA funding will enhance the ability to assess and protect New Jersey’s wetlands.”
The Meadowlands Commission will use their $235,000 EPA grant to examine several wetland areas within the Meadowlands for restoration. The Commission and its research division, the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute, will study wetland heights, tidal flows and plant communities and utilize the information to develop criteria for successful long- term wetland restoration. The Meadowlands Commission will contribute $100,500 toward the total cost of this project.
Ocean County College and the Barnegat Bay Partnership will use their $193,264 EPA grant to examine shoreline erosion in marshes in New Jersey’s estuaries. Ocean County College and the Barnegat Partnership, along with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, are evaluating the health of tidal wetlands. Ocean County College and the Barnegat Bay Partnership will be able to examine the correlation between shoreline and marsh conditions. The o rganizations hope to determine wetland protection and restoration efforts that can adapt to rising sea levels, along with potential influences of climate change. Ocean County College and its partners will contribute $64,450 toward the total cost of this project.
For more information on the EPA’s Wetland Program Development Grants, visit: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/grantguidelines/.