Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) is applauding a major grant that will be led by NY/NJ Baykeeper.
Together with matching funds, NY/NJ Baykeeper will use a total of $1.74 million for the project, including support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, according to a Nov. 19 press release from Pallone’s office.
The award will boost resiliency along the Raritan Bay coast adjacent to U.S. Naval Weapons Station Earle with natural infrastructure for 3,200 linear feet of shoreline stabilization, coastal protection and habitat enhancement, according to the press release.
The project will stabilize the naval station’s shoreline and protect the surrounding community through oyster castles and marsh restoration to dampen wave energies, mitigate storm surge and reduce erosion along the coastline, according to the press release.
The project is an example of critical living shorelines work Pallone has amplified with his Living Shorelines Act that assists states, localities and non-governmental organizations in constructing living shorelines to combat the effects of climate change, according to the press release.
Living shoreline infrastructure projects use natural materials and systems, including dunes, wetlands and oyster reefs, to support the natural flood resilience of healthy shoreline ecosystems.
Natural infrastructure is cost-effective and adaptable to changing environmental conditions. It also enhances ecosystem functions which can improve water quality and wildlife habitat protection, according to the press release.
“I am pleased New Jersey is showing how we can use proven natural infrastructure solutions to protect our coastal communities from the effects of climate change, including more flooding from sea level rise and stronger hurricanes,” Pallone was quoted as saying in the press release.
“Since Superstorm Sandy (in 2012), we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to make New Jersey more resilient against the effects of climate change,” the congressman said.
“Naval Weapons Station Earle is pleased to once again partner with NY/NJ Baykeeper to expand the living shoreline project alongside our pier complex,” said Capt. Ed Callahan, installation commanding officer.
“This project not only helps protect our critical Navy infrastructure from the damaging effects of storm surge, but also benefits our neighbors along the entire Raritan and Sandy Hook Bay,” Callahan said.
“Baykeeper is excited to advance our work at the site with project partners Biohabitats Inc., the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Monmouth County Division of Planning and Naval Weapons Station Earle.
“We also thank Congressman Pallone for his work on making coastal resilience and living shoreline projects in New Jersey a priority,” said Meredith Comi, coastal restoration program director at NY/NJ Baykeeper.