Lautenberg, Menendez Announce $555K For Estuary Preservation And Research

Lautenberg, Menendez Announce $555K For Estuary Preservation And Research

Grant Will Help Rutgers Operate its Research Program for the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve

Newark - U.S. Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced that the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will award $555,000 in federal funds to the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JC NERR) to maintain long-term research and monitoring programs of New Jersey's estuaries.

"These funds help ensure that the estuary research program at Rutgers will continue to provide environmental, educational and public health benefits to our coastal communities," Sen. Lautenberg said. "We need to do all we can to keep New Jersey at the forefront of water and coastal research and this grant will further that effort."

"The environment here in the Garden State is one of our state treasures, and this type of monitoring will help us keep up with the changing climate and its effect on our coastal communities," said Sen. Menendez. "I am pleased that students will benefit from this funding, and will be encouraged to continue to care for our environment. It is important to educate future generations in protecting our natural resources for the benefit and health of our state."

The grant will help JC NERR to conduct its coastal training program and monitoring program activities. The funding will also allow JC NERR to continue its programs in:

• Research: by conducting long-term studies to follow the change and stability of the reserve to improve coastal management;
• Education: by conducting K-12 education programs and professional development to improve public awareness of estuarine-related issues; and
• Stewardship: by improving protection of estuaries for public health, watersupply, fish and shellfish populations and recreation.

JC NERR is operated by the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University and encompasses 110,000 acres of land in Ocean, Burlington and Atlantic Counties, including the unique Mullica River-Great Bay ecosystem. JC NERR was developed to protect estuaries, which are a mix of salt and fresh water that occur when rivers meet the ocean.

Since May, Sens. Lautenberg and Menendez announced more than $3.2 million for environmental, coastal and ocean research for New Jersey.