Margate commercial area under water following a recent coastal storm.

TRENTON – As part of the state’s comprehensive efforts to make New Jersey more resilient, the Department of Environmental Protection today announced that nonprofits, colleges and universities may apply for grants to develop projects that will assist the department in helping communities prepare for storms and sea-level rise.

The Resilient NJ program is making $250,000 in grant funding available for projects that will assist the DEP in developing and enhancing guidance, tools and information the department provides to coastal and river communities, according to a release.

“New Jersey is particularly vulnerable to the effects of sea-level rise caused by climate change,” Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said. “The work that comes out of these projects will ensure that all communities vulnerable to sea-level rise – whether  along barrier islands or in urban areas along tidal rivers – have the best and latest science, guidance and tools they need to prepare for sea-level rise.”

Eligible projects include development of guidance documents, planning tools, training, research, communications and outreach plans, as well as other efforts that directly support resilience planning.

As many as eight awards will be issued. Minimum awards will be no less than $20,000, with a maximum award of no more than $100,000. Grant applications are due May 1. Winning proposals will be notified no later than Aug. 30.

Resilient NJ is an important piece of a New Jersey’s comprehensive efforts to address climate change and make the state more resilient, including rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and partnerships with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study resilience options for New Jersey’s coastal, bay and river areas.

In addition, the DEP’s Coastal Resilience Plan launched in October will guide policies, regulations, resource allocation and funding in the coastal zone. Its goal is to reduce the impacts of flooding hazards, increase resilience for structures, infrastructure systems, environmental resources, and coastal communities, while addressing the needs of socially vulnerable populations and attracting equitable and sustainable investment, the release stated.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing funding for the Resilient NJ grants as part of its National Disaster Resilience Competition, which works to make communities more flood-resilient after major natural disasters.

Last year, the DEP announced Resilient NJ grant awards for four regional teams. The teams and their members are:

  • Ventnor Team – Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, Longport, Northfield, Pleasantville, Atlantic County and the American Red Cross.
  • Long Beach Island Team – Long Beach Township, Barnegat Light, Beach Haven, Harvey Cedars, Ship Bottom, Surf City and the Long Beach Island Community Center.
  • Jersey City Team – Jersey City, Newark, Hoboken, Bayonne, the HOPES Community Action Partnership and the Ironbound Community Corporation.
  • Middlesex County Team – Middlesex County Office of Planning, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South River, Woodbridge and the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership.

To learn more about Resilient NJ program, which runs through 2022, and how to apply for a grant, see www.nj.gov/dep/oclup/resilientnj/

To learn more about the Coastal Resilience Plan, see www.nj.gov/dep/coastalresilience/

 

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