Rutgers’ NJ Climate Adaptation Alliance Receives $400,000 Grant from The Kresge Foundation

Funding will lead to the development of state and local climate change public policy recommendations

The New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance(NJCAA), an initiative of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and theEdward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is the recipient of a two-year award in the amount of $399,973 from The Kresge Foundation.

Formed in response to the work of a diverse group of stakeholders who came together in November 2011 at Rutgers University to participate in the conference “Preparing New Jersey for Climate Change: A Workshop for Decision Makers,” the NJCAA is a network of policymakers, public and private sector practitioners, academics, and NGO and business leaders designed to build climate change preparedness capacity in New Jersey.

“The funding from The Kresge Foundation will help the Alliance develop important public policy recommendations for state and local climate change preparedness that will serve as a model outside of New Jersey,” said Robert M. Goodman, executive dean of Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. “These recommendations will also help identify and facilitate emerging innovative projects and partnerships that address key gaps in climate change preparedness.”

The NJCAA will study the impacts of precipitation, temperature, storm surge, sea-level rise, drought, inland flooding and temperature extremes on six targeted sectors: agriculture, built infrastructure, coastal communities, the natural environment, public health and society, and water resources.

“The impacts of climate change are first and foremost in the minds of New Jerseyans as we continue to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy,” said James W. Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. “New Jersey’s preliminary damage estimates are in the neighborhood of $30 billion and do not yet include the economic impact on real estate values or next year’s tourism. The work by the NJCAA stakeholders will help facilitate connections between various decision makers and practitioners in New Jersey to work together on climate preparedness despite different core missions.”

Work has already begun on “basis and background” scoping papers on the six targeted sectors to inform the public process. The papers will be made available to the public on the NJCAA website. Funding from the grant will further this work through the development of workshops to foster dialogue on recommendations for state and local public policy as well as undertake efforts to communicate these recommendations to sector leaders, practitioners and decision makers.

A conference on “Climate Change Preparedness in New Jersey: Leading Practices and Policy Priorities,” is planned for May 22, 2013, at Rutgers’ Cook Campus Center. The conference will identify efforts underway in New Jersey to prepare for climate change impacts as well as about the leading practices outside New Jersey and the state and local public policies that will enhance New Jersey’s preparedness for climate change.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please contact Jeanne Herb, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, at 848 932-2725 (office) or by e-mail atjherb@ejb.rutgers.edu; or Marjorie B. Kaplan, Dr.P.H., Climate and Environmental Change Initiative, at 848-932-5739 (office) or by e-mail atkaplan@envsci.rutgers.edu for more information.