It's on us. Share your news here.

14 N.J. projects awarded $24M in grants to plant more than 4K trees, restore marshes

Holgate Beach Wilderness, part of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Long Beach Township, Long Beach Island, N.J., Thursday, July 15, 2021.

Posted on January 30, 2023

The state Department of Environmental Protection has announced $24.3 million in grants to 14 towns to plant more than 4,000 trees in projects intended to add foliage to urban areas, revitalize marshes and restore forests.

“New Jersey will avoid the worst effects of our changing climate not only by reducing emissions of climate pollutants, but by investing in natural solutions that sequester carbon causing the extreme heat and flooding repeatedly striking our communities,” DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said Wednesday during a ceremony in Trenton announcing the grants.

Trenton is among the grant recipients with a $1.3 million award to plant 1,000 trees in its “Throwin’ Shade: Greening the Capital City. initiative.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection announced $24.3M in funding for its first ever recipients of the Natural Climate Solutions Grant Program. The 14 funded projects will mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enhancing urban and natural forests and restoring coastal ecosystems, according to the DEP.

This year’s recipients were the first awardees of the Natural Climate Solutions Grant program, which aims to create, restore, and enhance New Jersey’s marshes, forests and street trees.

Increasing and restoring these natural resources that sequester carbon — or capture and store carbon dioxide from the air to decrease the effects of climate change — play a critical role in the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals, according to officials.

Gov. Phil Murphy set a goal for New Jersey to reach an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases below 2006 levels by 2050.

The three largest grants of nearly $5 million each were awarded to restoring marshes at the mouth of the Maurice River in Cumberland County, at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Brick in Ocean County and the Stafford Township Popular Point in Ocean County.

“Tidal marshes are masters at taking carbon out of the atmosphere and storing it safely away in the ground,” said Tim Dillingham, the executive director of the American Littoral Society.

Another $1.8 million was awarded to restore salt marsh habitats at Lighthouse Center in Waretown, in Ocean County.

“As sea level rises and storm-related flooding intensifies, the protective role of healthy coastal salt marshes multiplies in importance for Jersey Shore communities,” said Adrianna Zito-Livingston, the Nature Conservancy coordinator for the Waretown project.

Trenton, Newark, Atlantic City and Camden were awarded grants to plant hundreds of trees in public spaces.

“We believe this project can be transformative in our capital city where residents are experiencing disproportionate impacts of climate change,” Jay Watson, the New Jersey Conservation Foundation co-executive director said on Wednesday. “Urban neighborhoods are dealing with the ‘heat island effect’ that causes higher ambient temperatures than in suburban and rural areas.”

Here are the 14 projects and sites around the state that received a total $24.3 million in awards from the Natural Climate Solutions Grant program.

Urban forest canopy and water quality enhancement

Atlantic City, Atlantic County: $759,000

The Atlantic Avenue Street Tree Initiative will plant 180 trees along 13 blocks of Atlantic Avenue between Maine and Tennessee avenues.

Berkeley Heights Township, Union County: $721,325

The Berkeley Heights Tree Canopy Restoration project will partner with the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission to plant 555 trees on streets and 120 trees to reforest a blighted area adjacent to Watchung Reservation.

Kearny, Hudson County: $503,694

The Urban Forest Canopy & Stormwater Mitigation project includes the planting of 300 street trees and 28 bioswales.

Linden, Union County: $355,500

The City of Linden Urban Tree Restoration project plans to plant 540 trees in lots and parks, including Sgt. A. Wales Memorial Park and Louis Avenue Park, according to officials.

Newark, Essex County: $1,228,148

The Newark Canopy Initiative project includes the Newark’s office of sustainability partnering with the community to remove hazardous, dead trees and plant 331 new trees in neighbors in each of Newark’s five wards.

Trenton: $1,336,125

In the Throwin’ Shade: Greening the Capital City project, the New Jersey Conservation Foundation will work with various local coalitions to plant a total of 1,000 trees on Trenton streets that have few to no trees and in Cadwalader and Mill Hill parks, which have experienced heavy tree loss.

Camden City, Camden County: $1,035,668

The Enhancing Camden’s Canopy for Climate & Community project is led by the Trust for Public Land, Camden’s Natural Climate Solutions Collaborative to plant 800 trees across three public spaces and 215 trees in public housing complexes in Camden’s Centerville and Morgan Village neighborhoods, according to officials.

Living shorelines

Maurice River, Cumberland County: $4,999,946

The Restoring Marsh at the Mouth of the Maurice River involves the American Littoral Society’s restoration project located within Delaware Bay to restore 19.5 acres of tidal salt marsh and create up to 3,500 feet of hybrid living shoreline breakwaters and oyster reefs that will protect the shoreline along Basket Flats and Northwest Reach.

Maurice River, Cumberland County, $766,442

The Living Shorelines Salt Marsh Carbon Sequestration at Matt’s Landing project will be led by Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Inc. to construct a 1,300 feet living shoreline along the eroding salt marsh in the Maurice River at Matt’s Landing.

Brick Township, Ocean County: $4,997,124

The Forsythe Refuge Marsh Restoration project will focus on coastal wetland restoration of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. Sediment placement will be used to protect, restore and maintain 95 acres of marsh.

Waretown, Ocean County: $1,846,470

The Restoring Salt Marsh Habitats at Lighthouse Center project targets Waretown’s Lighthouse Center and will address salt marsh erosion, degradation and loss in the area. A total of 7.58 acres of salt marsh will be re-established.

Stafford Township, Ocean County: $4,998,109

The Stafford Township Popular Point Restoration Project will enhance more than 33 acres of tidal salt marsh wetland. Dredge material will be used to elevate, re-stabilize, and revegetate the shoreline to protect against erosion around the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.

Forest and woodland restoration

Princeton, Mercer County: $552,000

The Community Park North Forest Restoration project plans to remove invasive species and plant thousands of native trees in a 45-acre forest restoration project at Community Park North.

Readington Township, Hunterdon County: $250,000

The Readington Township Meadow Afforestation will involve planting 11 acres of native species trees on open fields and meadows.


It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe