State News

Jan 30, 2023


Delaware: Our Delaware Ocean and Bay Plan webpage is now publicly accessible and includes an informational one-pager located by clicking on the “Questions and Answers” button on the right side of the page


Virginia: Work on Virginia’s Ocean Plan is continuing with development of marine mammal and sea turtle conservation plans that will be woven into the overall plan.  The possibility of establishing “highly fished areas” (similar to New Jersey’s) will be investigated and possibly combined with important areas for scientific research, tourism and conservation. A public meeting is envisioned for late spring to gather input on findings to date.


New York: The Village of Patchogue, on the South Shore of Long Island, has experienced increased flooding due to sea level rise and increase in severe weather, including Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene. Damage from these storms total over $12 million and the number continues to grow.  In 2016, the Village applied for, and received, a grant from the NYS Department of State’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program to design a living shoreline which will replace a failing bulkhead to provide erosion control, wave attenuation and storm retention capabilities. Specifically, these methods will be employed to help create more resilience to the site and help to mitigate future storm surge at the park. The Village worked closely with the NYS Department of State, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and the US Army Corps of Engineers to develop the design.  Grant funds the Department of State total over $5.3 million including the most recent grant for stormwater improvements. Construction began this January.  NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF STATE ANNOUNCES GROUNDBREAKING FOR $3 MILLION SHOREFRONT PARK PROJECT IN THE VILLAGE OF PATCHOGUE | Department of State (


New Jersey:

Inland Flood Protection Rule

On December 5, 2022, the Inland Flood Protection rule, meant to better protect New Jersey’s communities from worsening riverine flooding and stormwater runoff, was published in the New Jersey Register. Publication initiates a 60-day comment period that ends on February 3, 2023.

The Inland Flood Protection Rule will serve to ensure the new investments are well-suited  to manage current levels of rainfall, runoff and flooding and the anticipated future conditions over the lifetime of an asset. It will also support the wise deployment of Dida recovery and water infrastructure investments. The rule will also inform new development and reconstruction but it does not apply to existing development.

The new rule will address three issues related to increased precipitation due to climate change. The first issue addressed will be outdated rainfall data used by DEP computed only through 1999. The second is DEP rules do not account for future increases in precipitation due to climate change. Third, designs based on current flood mapping are not protective for current and future conditions.

New Jersey Announces More Than $8 Million to Build a Diverse, Inclusive Green Jobs Sector

Governor Phil Murphy’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy (OCAGE), in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), today announced the release of a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) to support innovative pilot programs focused on building a diverse, inclusive green workforce. Through the Building our Resilient, Inclusive, and Diverse Green Economy (NJ BRIDGE) initiative, a total of $5 million is available to fund scalable projects to support residents entering the green workforce or climbing the green career ladder, with a focus on engagement in overburdened communities.

Additionally, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will begin accepting applications on December 8 for a competitive grant program that will help New Jerseyans, particularly those in overburdened communities, develop skills for offshore wind careers. The $3.725 million Offshore Wind Workforce and Skills Development Grant Challenge (Grant Challenge) will offer grants to selected entities that will aid in launching or expanding workforce training and skills programs focused on strengthening and diversifying New Jersey’s offshore wind workforce.

Together, the OCAGE NOFA and the Grant Challenge amount to more than $8 million in funding toward the cultivation of a green economy founded upon good-paying jobs and long-term career opportunities.

Governor’s Council on the Green Economy

In February 2021, Governor Murphy announced the creation of a Council on the Green Economy, convening cross-sector leaders in New Jersey’s growing green economy to harness the opportunity created by New Jersey’s climate and clean energy policy accomplishments. The Council was tasked with informing the effort to define pathways for green job creation, development of workforce capacity, and support for an innovation ecosystem critical to a nation-leading green economy. In a One Year Plan accompanying the Green Jobs for a Sustainable Future report, state agencies committed to planning and implementing programs, pilot projects, and funding opportunities that will increase access to green jobs and address gaps in the development of the green workforce statewide.


The NJ BRIDGE initiative is designed to pilot approaches, including those recommended by the Council, that enable residents of overburdened communities to access onramps to good-paying, family-sustaining, and green union jobs. Respondents are invited to submit proposals in response to this solicitation.

NJ Wind Institute for Innovation and Training

The Grant Challenge is part of NJEDA’s efforts to establish the NJ Wind Institute for Innovation and Training (the “Wind Institute”) as an independent entity created through legislation. The Wind Institute will coordinate and deploy resources to advance offshore wind workforce development, research, and innovation in the state. For more information on the grant challenge, visit

Murphy Administration Awards $24.3 Million Through Its Natural Climate Solutions Grant Program

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette today announced the award of $24.3 million in Natural Climate Solutions Grants to local governments and nonprofits to create, restore, and enhance New Jersey’s green spaces and tree canopies in urban areas, salt marshes and forests.

The announcement, made at Mill Hill Park in Trenton, underscores the important role natural resources play in sequestering carbon to meet the Garden State’s greenhouse gas goals. Meeting the state’s 2050 goal of an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gases below 2006 levels requires an acceleration of the restoration of our shorelines, forests, and urban spaces. It is estimated that these projects will sequester 32,710 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) by 2050.

Carbon sequestration refers to the process of capturing carbon dioxide from the air by plants through photosynthesis and storage of that carbon in woody biomass and in plant-derived soil organic carbon. While carbon sequestration is a naturally occurring process on land and in aquatic habitats, there are human actions that can help maintain and enhance carbon sequestration capacity to further help mitigate the effects of climate change.

Prime examples of ways to promote carbon sequestration include improved land management practices, such as reforestation (planting trees to support forest regeneration), urban community forestry (street tree planting), afforestation (planting trees on land that has been used for other purposes) and protecting tidal marshes from erosion. Protecting coastal ecosystems is particularly important since tidal marshes and seagrass meadows sequester more carbon per unit area than terrestrial forests.

Projects announced today are funded through New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multi-state, market-based program that establishes a regional cap on carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power plants.

The following projects will receive funding up to the stated amount through DEP’s Natural Climate Solutions Grant Program:

Urban Forest Canopy and Water Quality Enhancement:

 City of Atlantic City, $759,000  Atlantic Avenue Street Tree Initiative

Atlantic City along with a number of local project partners will plant 180 trees along 13 blocks of Atlantic Avenue between Maine and Tennessee avenues. In addition to increasing natural carbon sequestration, the project will provide increased shade and reduce the need for energy produced for air conditioning, reducing the heat island effect in a coastal, overburdened community. Other project benefits include improvements to local air quality and a reduction in stormwater runoff and promotion of groundwater recharge.

Berkeley Heights Township, $721,325  Berkeley Heights Tree Canopy Restoration

The township will work with the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission (BHEC), Union County Division of Park Environmental Services, Arterial, and other stakeholders to plant 555 trees on township streets and rights-of-way and 120 trees to reforest a blighted area adjacent to Watchung Reservation. These increases to the urban tree canopy in the township will sequester more carbon and will reduce stormwater runoff and the heat island effect.

Town of Kearny, $503,694  Kearny Urban Forest Canopy & Stormwater Mitigation

This project will improve water quality and air quality, increase community green space, and enhance the aesthetic of communal outdoor spaces in Kearny’s overburdened communities through the planting of 300 street trees and 28 bioswales.

“The Town of Kearny is grateful to NJDEP for this generous grant to restore our community’s natural areas to better sequester and store carbon and improve resiliency,” said Kearny Mayor Alberto G. Santos. “I want to thank NJDEP and the Murphy Administration for all their efforts and leadership in protecting our natural environment through the Natural Climate Solutions grant. These funds will allow our town to implement our climate solution strategies to the next step.”

City of Linden, $355,500  City of Linden Urban Tree Restoration

The City of Linden will plant 540 trees across eight Blue Acres-acquired lots and three city-owned, partially Green Acres-funded parks and lots in the Tremley Point region, including Sgt. A. Wales Memorial Park and Louis Avenue Park. The city will pair this carbon sequestration project with a public outreach effort which includes educational signage at each site and a public tree planting event with the local community.

“The City of Linden is proud to be a recipient of NJDEP’s NCS grant program,” said Linden Mayor Derek Armstead.  “These funds will enable us to plant over 500 trees and install educational signage across several barren Blue Acres-acquired properties and City-owned parks in our Tremley Point region.  This project will help reduce the urban heat island effect, help sequester carbon, create wildlife habitat and enhance green space in our Environmental Justice Community.”

City of Newark, $1,228,148  Newark Canopy Initiative

The city of Newark’s Office of Sustainability will work with local contractors and community members on the Newark Tree Canopy initiative. This project will remove hazardous, dead trees and plant 331 new trees in five target neighborhoods in the city. The planting areas – one in each ward – were selected based on community-centered analyses that identified areas of the city that have greater needs to increase urban tree canopy.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation, $1,336,125  Throwin’ Shade: Greening the Capital City

The New Jersey Conservation Foundation will work with a coalition that includes the City of Trenton, Isles, the New Jersey Tree Foundation, the Watershed Institute, and the Outdoor Equity Alliance to enhance Trenton’s urban tree canopy. This project will plant a total of 1,000 trees on city streets that have few to no trees and in Cadwalader and Mill Hill parks that have experienced heavy losses of trees due to age and disease. This project will sequester carbon, increase the urban tree canopy, and mitigate the urban heat-island effect, stormwater runoff, and poor water and air quality in Trenton.

Trust for Public Land, $1,035,668  Enhancing Camden’s Canopy for Climate & Community

Camden’s Natural Climate Solutions Collaborative will plant at least 800 trees across three public spaces and at least 215 trees in public housing complexes in the Centerville and Morgan Village neighborhoods in Camden City. Other priority tree planting sites include Gateway Park, Reverend Evers Park, and Stockton Station Park. The Collaborative is led by Trust for Public Land in partnership with Camden Community Partnership, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, New Jersey Tree Foundation, Camden City, Housing Authority of Camden City, and Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority.

“Enhancing urban tree canopy directly improves community health not only by reducing pollution, but also by mitigating the effects of urban heat and localized flooding. Additionally, it provides Camden residents critical opportunities to learn, plant, and celebrate with their neighbors,” said Justin Dennis, Trust for Public Land Camden Program Director. “TPL looks forward to using this grant to work with our community, non-profit, and public partners to enhance the urban canopy in parks across Camden and build on the city’s strong history of using community forestry to improve the health and livability of communities that have been disproportionately burdened with environmental stressors.”

Living Shorelines:

American Littoral Society, $4,999,946  Restoring Marsh at the Mouth of the Maurice River

This restoration project is at a site within the Delaware Bay at the mouth of the Maurice River. The project will restore 19.5 acres of tidal salt marsh using rock revetments at the tip of Basket Flats Marsh. It will also create up to 3,500 feet of hybrid living shoreline breakwaters and oyster reefs that will protect over 4,300 linear feet of shoreline along Basket Flats and Northwest Reach.

Township of Brick, $4,997,124  Forsythe Refuge Marsh Restoration

This project will lead to coastal wetland restoration of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Brick Township. The project will place more than 120,000 cubic yards of suitable dredged sediment into a series of 13 cells to increase tidal salt marsh elevation, protecting the marsh from drowning. The total area of sediment placement is approximately 95 acres of marsh. Added protective measures will be used to contain placed sediment and strengthen shorelines. The elevated marsh will be planted in areas that did not previously contain vegetation to ensure recolonization of vegetation occurs to ultimately restore the health of the marsh.

The Nature Conservancy, $1,846,470  Restoring Salt Marsh Habitats at Lighthouse Center

This project addresses salt marsh erosion, degradation and loss caused by deficits in elevation and alterations in natural hydrology at the Lighthouse Center in Waretown, NJ. 7.58 acres of salt marsh will be re-established, and carbon sequestration will be increased through erosion control, improved hydrology, and increased elevation suitable to sustain a healthy marsh. The Lighthouse Center in Waretown is owned by the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife as part of the Upper Barnegat Wildlife Management Area.

“As sea level rises and storm-related flooding intensifies, the protective role of healthy coastal salt marshes multiplies in importance for Jersey Shore communities,” said Adrianna Zito-Livingston, TNC’s Coastal Projects Coordinator. “The NCS grant to TNC will fund the crucial restoration of salt marsh vegetation at the Lighthouse Center/ In addition to storing carbon, the restored wetlands will buffer waves, provide wildlife habitat, and exemplify the coastal management practice of linking boat channel maintenance dredging with salt marsh restoration.”

Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, $766,442  Living Shorelines Salt Marsh Carbon Sequestration at Matt’s Landing

Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Inc. will lead this project to construct a living shoreline of 1,300 feet along a rapidly eroding salt marsh in the Maurice River at Matt’s Landing. The work will be performed in partnership with Rutgers University Haskins Shellfish Research Laboratory, Ducks Unlimited, Stevens Institute of Technology, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NJDEP Fish and Wildlife.

“The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is grateful for the funding support received from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection through the Natural Climate Solutions grant program.  As the host of the Delaware Estuary Program, PDE leads collaborative and science-based efforts to improve the tidal Delaware River and Bay in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware,” said Kathy Klein, the Partnership’s Executive Director. “This funding is instrumental in allowing PDE to move forward with the next phase of a living shoreline installation project along the lower Maurice River, which will include the construction of 1,300 feet of living shoreline along a rapidly eroding marsh and improved carbon sequestration. Living shorelines are nature-based tactics for protecting shores against erosion and flooding, while also promoting water quality, habitat for fish and wildlife, and diverse aesthetic and cultural benefits.”

Stafford Township, $4,998,109  Stafford Township Popular Point Restoration Project

Stafford Township, in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will enhance more than 33 acres of tidal salt marsh wetland as part of a living shoreline project. The township and project partners will utilize approximately 150,000 cubic yards of dredge material to elevate, re-stabilize, and revegetate the shoreline to protect against erosion and increase carbon sequestration in a portion of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.

 Forest and Woodland Restoration:

 Municipality of Princeton, $552,000  Community Park North Forest Restoration

The 45-acre forest restoration project at Community Park North will involve removing invasive species with a combination of contracted labor and volunteers. Thousands of native trees will be planted to replace the non-native species.

“The Municipality of Princeton aims to be a local leader in sustainability, and we are always looking for opportunities to decrease our collective carbon footprint,” said Councilmember Eve Niedergan. “Alongside our non-profit partners at Friends of Princeton Open Space, we are thrilled to be granted the opportunity to restore the Community Park North forest, improving its ecological function and increasing carbon sequestration.”

Readington Township Environmental Commission, $250,000  Readington Township Meadow Afforestation

The Readington Meadow Afforestation project will plant native species of trees on 11 acres of selected open fields and meadows in Readington Township, returning these areas back to woodlands and reconnecting them with adjacent contiguous forests.

“Readington Township has had a long history of open space and farmland preservation,” said Readington Mayor Juergen Huelsebusch and Project Manager Robert Becker.  “The Township established a goal in 2018 to preserve an additional 3,000 acres of land and achieve the protection of 40% of our total lands by 2050. As Readington continues to pursue this goal, our land stewardship responsibilities of these acquired properties becomes more important.  What could be timelier than the opportunity to convert old farmland back to native woods?  Concurrently, we can provide an educational opportunity to the community on the value and importance of trees as an ally in addressing global climate change. Thank you NJDEP’s Natural Climate Solutions grant for this opportunity, and we are excited to get on with meeting the challenge.”

For more information about the Natural Climate Solutions Grant Program, visit

For more information about projects funded through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, visit RGGI Climate Investments Dashboard

For more information about climate change, visit

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