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State Agency Action Overview

Summary of State Actions to Support Local Progress

Because New Jersey’s statewide Climate Change Coastal Resilience Strategy was just released in November 2021, these pages capture ongoing activities that state agencies have been taking in support of local climate action, before adoption of the plan. This research will be updated in the future with the progress the state is making in implementing the adaptation actions and goals set forth in the Strategy.

Public-Private Partnerships Supporting Adaptation

In November 2011, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) joined the nonprofit Sustainable Jersey to form a Climate Adaptation Task Force. The Task Force initially developed two educational tools including a glossary of climate-related terminology, and a New Jersey-specific climate trends and projections document. In February 2014, Sustainable Jersey launched the New Jersey Resiliency Network, a program that helps communities access technical and financial resources to address long-term recovery and resiliency issues for post-Sandy municipalities in New Jersey. Sustainable Jersey continues to support local communities through its Small Grants Program. As of 2017, this program funded over $2 million in grants to municipalities for community-based sustainability projects in New Jersey.

In December 2017, NJDEP partnered with the National Wildlife Federation to publish the guide, Building Ecological Solutions to Coastal Community Hazards – A Guide for New Jersey Coastal Communities. This guide describes ecological solutions for New Jersey coastal communities to prepare for and adapt to climate hazards.

The New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance, facilitated by Rutgers University, is an active network of more than 30 nonprofit, government, academic, and business organizations working to build climate change preparedness capacity in New Jersey. The Alliance has produced numerous reports that document climate impacts to various sectors, report on stakeholder engagement, highlight funding and financing mechanisms, and that have provided the basis for numerous policy recommendations. A June 2014 report from the Alliance, Resilience. Preparing New Jersey for Climate Change: Policy Considerations from the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance, recommends a number of strategies to integrate climate impacts into state decisionmaking.

In December 2017, the Alliance published a New Jersey Climate and Health Profile Report, assessing potential public health impacts from climate change and identifying vulnerable populations within the state. Rutgers also hosts the NJADAPT tool, which provides a repository for climate data and provides a flood mapping tool and online self-assessment to help communities increase preparedness. The tool also includes a climate adaptation directory that brings together geographic data, tools, reports, model policies and ordinances, and case studies. The Georgetown Climate Center worked with Rutgers University to publish fact sheets, Understanding New Jersey’s Vulnerability to Climate Change, to assist decisionmakers, scientists, and reporters in communicating about climate change in New Jersey.  

State Support for Local Planning: Resilient NJ

Most recently, the state is leading Resilient NJ, a state-sponsored program and resource for local and regional governments to aid planning and other resilience initiatives. The state's website provides that, "Using the best available science on precipitation, temperature, and sea-level rise, Resilient NJ can help your community plan for how the changing climate may affect residents, businesses, and the natural and built environments in your area."

The centralized website for Resilient NJ includes several different planning and related tools for local and regional governments to get started including a Local Planning for Climate Resilience Toolkit, notices about potential funding opportunities, templates, and trainings. 

Notably, Resilient NJ is providing ongoing funding for four regions to develop and implement their own "Regional Resilience and Adaptation Action Plans" by convening municipalities, counties, and community-based organizations, including those that represent frontline populations, in the different project areas. The four regional projects are for Northeastern New Jersey, Raritan River and Bay Communities, the Long Beach Island Region, and the Atlantic County Coastal Region. This work builds on previous regional work the state led in Monmouth County as part of the New Jersey Fostering Regional Adaptation Through Municipal Economic Scenarios or "NJ FRAMES" project. 


(Research last updated: November 23, 2021).


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