Oyster reef installation at Gandy's Beach
Gandy's Beach TNC conservation staff are installing oyster reefs at Gandy's Beach in southern New Jersey to combat flooding and other impacts of climate change. © TNC

Stories in New Jersey

Tackling Climate Change

The science is clear: Climate change is a serious threat facing our planet today. In New Jersey, we are part of the solution.

Today, New Jersey faces a changing climate, with flooding, sea level rise, habitat loss, more frequent and intense weather events, and even carbon emissions at the top of our list of challenges. We’re focusing on innovative, science-based solutions to combat climate change impacts to the state we call home..

Together with supporters like you, we can help New Jersey be resilient in the face of climate change.

Resilience is built into the character of New Jersey and its citizens, and nature is always part of what lifts us up. As climate change intensifies, healthy natural systems are some of our most powerful defenses.

Barbara Brummer State Director, New Jersey Chapter of The Nature Conservancy

Lands

Science shows nature is poised to play a significant role in much needed efforts to store carbon and reduce emissions. Restoring, protecting and harnessing the power of our forests and wetlands will provide at least 30% of the reduction in greenhouse gases needed for a prosperous, low-carbon future.

In New Jersey, we are protecting critical natural lands like Bobcat Alley, a 32,000-acre corridor of forests and wetlands linking the Highlands to the Appalachians that provides vital habitat for species like the state-endangered bobcat.

Further south, we protected the largest privately-held piece of land that remained on the Cape May Peninsula. The 477-acre Cape Viking property near the Delaware Bay provides a place for salt marshes, which rival forests in carbon storage, to migrate inland as sea levels rise.

Rivers

Floodplain restoration is a key strategy in our work in New Jersey to safeguard precious water resources. As part of our reforestation efforts along the Paulins Kill River, an important tributary of the Delaware River, we have planted over 43,000 trees. Planting trees along key riverbanks not only restores floodplains and filters water, but also captures and stores carbon dioxide. 

Building on our experience with floodplain reforestation in the Paulins Kill, we launched "Roots for Rivers,” a grant program to catalyze tree plantings in deforested floodplains across our state. The program incentivizes floodplain plantings by providing grant applicants with our technical expertise, as well as funding for planting materials. To date, we've supported nearly 28 different organizations, 55 project locations across 14 major watersheds and planted over 28,000 trees. This is all part of our goal to plant 100,000 trees in New Jersey floodplains by 2020.

Coastal Resilience

TNC is pioneering creative solutions to complex problems along our beloved coast. We’re helping New Jersey’s shore communities integrate "nature-based solutions" to address increased flood-risk associated with climate change, primarily from sea level rise and storm flooding.  

Healthy natural habitats, like salt marshes, reefs and vegetated dunes, are the foundation of resilient coastal communities that are better able to adapt to the impacts of climate change. They filter stormwater, reduce wave energy and storm surge and sequester carbon, among many other benefits.

We are working on innovative projects like restoring salt marshes using clean material dredged from boat channels and creating "living shorelines" to help reduce erosion. Our 3,000-linear-foot oyster reef breakwater at Gandy's Beach on the Delaware Bay was the first of its kind in our state. It reduces wave energy, and in turn beach erosion, and provides habitat for water-filtering oysters.

Influencing Policy

As part of TNC’s global efforts to inform policy and encourage increased investment in nature-based solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we are harnessing local knowledge and relationships to reduce emissions nationwide. To accelerate this work in New Jersey, we are engaging with large, influential corporations with a presence in New Jersey that are proactive in their carbon reduction efforts. We are advocating for clean energy policies and strategies to reduce carbon emissions.

In New Jersey and throughout the Mid -Atlantic and Northeast region, vehicles are responsible for almost half of all emissions. We’re working to address this challenge by contributing to the design of a Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI),  a robust program to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector.

The Ice Cream Cake A parody from Hollywood writer Mara Altman about the awkwardness of talking about climate change. Talking about climate change doesn’t have to be difficult. Take our pledge and get useful tips: nature.org/talkclimate