WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ) today applauded the U.S. Department of Interior's awarding of 13 separate grants totaling $25,310,000 to fund projects that will help make New Jersey communities more resilient to future storms.
"The unprecedented destruction our state suffered during Superstorm Sandy has forced us to consider steps that will protect us against future storms, which scientists predict will only be more prevalent and more powerful due to climate change," Sen. Menendez said. "New Jersey's recovery should not be judged solely on rebuilding what Sandy destroyed, but rather what we do to make our beaches and wetlands more resilient. These grants will help ensure the Garden States recovers from Sandy better and stronger than before the storm."
"This grant will allow us to proactively prioritize our restoration and recovery while making necessary, long-term investments in the conservation of our wildlife," said Sen. Booker. "New Jersey's beaches and wetlands are the pride and joy of our state. I am grateful to the Interior Department for providing funding to protect and preserve them."
Yesterday, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced $102.7 million in competitive matching grants to support 54 projects along the Atlantic coast. The grants will fund science-based solutions to restore wetlands and other natural areas, better manage stormwater using green infrastructure and assist states, tribes and local communities in protecting themselves from major storms such as Superstorm Sandy.
The following grants were awarded throughout New Jersey:
- Preventing Erosion and Restoring Hydrology in the Pine Barrens New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Grant Award: $280,000 Matching Funds: $106,340 Total Project Funds: $386,340
Project Description: Restore hydrology and prevent erosion in the Pine Barrens in Burlington County and Ocean County, New Jersey. Project will improve stream and wetland resiliency, while protecting important habitat.
- Increasing Seven Mile Island's Beach Resiliency New Jersey Audubon Society
Grant Award: $1,280,000 Matching Funds: $53,424 Total Project Funds: $1,333,424
Project Description: Increase Seven Mile Island's beach resiliency in Cape May County, New Jersey. Project will improve habitat, protect communities, and contribute to a long term resiliency strategy.
- Building Ecological Solutions to Coastal Community Hazards (NJ) New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Grant Award: $3,440,000 Matching Funds: $894,888 Total Project Funds: $4,334,888
Project Description: Develop, design, and deliver green infrastructure techniques that add ecological value and enhance community resiliency. Project will benefit New Jersey coastal communities.
- Transforming Hoboken's Block 12 into a Green Infrastructure Asset City of Hoboken, New Jersey
Grant Award: $250,000 Matching Funds: $3,615,400 Total Project Funds: $3,865,400
Project Description: Incorporate green infrastructure into Block 12's redesign in Hoboken, New Jersey. Project will increase stormwater management, reduce sewer overflow, and increase open space acreage.
- Reusing Dredged Material to Restore Salt Marshes and Protect Communities New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Office of Natural Resource Restoration
Grant Award: $3,420,000 Matching Funds: $4,782,320 Total Project Funds: $8,202,320
Project Description: Reuse dredged materials to restore 90 acres of salt marsh for Avalon, Stone Harbor, and Fortescue in New Jersey. Enhanced salt marsh will provide wildlife habitat and reduce flooding and erosion impacts on nearby communities.
- State Park's Marshes and Upland Habitats New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Office of Natural Resource Restoration
Grant Award: $250,000 Matching Funds: $146,968 Total Project Funds: $396,968
Project Description: Create and improve Liberty State Park's 40 acres of salt marsh and 100 acres of upland habitat in Jersey City, New Jersey. Project will improve ecosystem resiliency and create a new publicly accessible area within the park.
- Creating a Resilient Delaware Bay Shoreline in Cape May and Cumberland Counties American Littoral Society
Grant Award: $4,750,000 Matching Funds: $854,468 Total Project Funds: $5,604,468
Project Description: Restore 50 acres of Delaware Bay's wetlands and six miles of beach in Cape May and Cumberland Counties, New Jersey. Project will improve horseshoe crab spawning, provide shorebird stopover area, and improve ecological and economic community resilience.
- Strengthening Marshes Creek Through Green and Grey Infrastructure Rutgers University
Grant Award: $2,720,000 Matching Funds: $183,673 Total Project Funds: $2,903,673
Project Description: Use green and grey infrastructure to strengthen Marshes Creek and the local community in Linden, New Jersey. Project will provide community protection while strengthening ecosystem resiliency from floods and run-off impacts.
- Restoring Newark Bay's Wetlands City of Newark, New Jersey
Grant Award: $1,560,000 Matching Funds: $80,000 Total Project Funds: $1,640,000
Project Description: Restore Newark Bay's wetlands in New Jersey. The 12-acre restoration will buffer against shoreline erosion, improve flood control, and remove invasive plants.
- Strengthening Monmouth Beach's Marshes and Dunes Monmouth Beach, New Jersey Grant Award: $1,780,000 Matching Funds: $1,750,000 Total Project Funds: $3,530,000
Project Description: Construct a 6,400 foot coastal dune and restore 17 acres of marsh in Monmouth Beach, New Jersey. Both terrains provide critical wildlife habitat and community protection.
- Restoring Hundreds of Wetland Acres in Great Egg Harbor Bay City of Ocean City, New Jersey
Grant Award: $2,630,000 Matching Funds: $1,276,775 Total Project Funds: $3,906,775
Project Description: Restore hundreds of wetland acres in Great Egg Harbor Bay, New Jersey. Project will enhance and raise damaged wetlands to mitigate future storm impacts and provide healthier habitats.
- Replenishing Little Egg Harbor's Marshes and Wetlands Little Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
Grant Award: $2,130,000 Matching Funds: $91,500 Total Project Funds: $2,221,500
Project Description: Replenish and restore Little Egg Harbor's marshes and wetlands in New Jersey. Project will create a stronger shoreline buffer, provide healthier habitat, and open seven miles of stream.
- Incorporating Green Infrastructure Resiliency in the Raritan River Basin Rutgers University
Grant Award: $820,000 Matching Funds: $353,628 Total Project Funds: $1,173,628
Project Description: Perform 54 municipality assessments and impervious cover reduction action plans for the Raritan River Basin in New Jersey. Project will create a municipality strategy guide with recommendations, and implement projects that capture over 68 million gallons of stormwater annually.
Nationally, the projects will restore an estimated 6,634 acres of wetlands and marshes, 225 acres of beach, 364 acres of riparian buffers, and 16 miles of streams. The efforts will also open 287 miles of streams to fish passage and restore 147 acres of flood plain.