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An aerial view of marshland.

UCI to Assist with Four NFWF Coastal Resilience Projects in New Jersey

The Urban Coast Institute will collaborate with several government, academic and nonprofit entities on four New Jersey projects funded through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) National Coastal Resilience Fund.

Established in 2018, the National Coastal Resilience Fund (NCRF) invests in conservation projects that restore or expand natural features such as coastal marshes and wetlands, dune and beach systems, oyster and coral reefs, coastal forests and rivers, floodplains, and barrier islands that minimize the impacts of storms, sea level rise and other coastal hazards on nearby communities. The NCRF is primarily funded by, and coordinated with, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In 2023, additional funding was contributed by the U.S. Department of Defense, Shell USA, TransRe, Oxy and Salesforce. Click here to view summaries of all 109 projects selected for grants nationwide in the fall 2023 round.

The UCI assisted the successful grantees with their applications for the four projects outlined below. UCI Associate Director Tom Herrington, Coastal Resilience and Restoration Practitioner Meredith Comi, and Monmouth University students will contribute to the efforts.

Building Community Capacity for Restoration in the Arthur Kill-Upper Bay Watershed

Grantee: Weequahic Park Association ($685,300)

Project Objective: Implement forest and wetland restoration, along with stormwater mitigation, in Newark’s South Ward and the wider watershed. Project will build capacity for the Greater Neighborhood Alliance New Jersey, enhancing local resilience knowledge and efforts to conserve vital habitats for the community’s benefit. The UCI will serve as an advisor on the project.

Developing Final Designs for Bay Islands Restoration in Long Beach Township

Grantee: Long Beach Township ($772,300)

Project Objective: Design a final stage nature-based restoration plan for two bay islands off Long Beach Township, New Jersey, enhancing community resilience and habitat. The project will facilitate permit applications, readiness for implementation and long-term monitoring to elevate habitat and reduce flood risk for the adjacent community. The UCI will serve as a partner on the project.

Evaluating and Creating a Pipeline of Salt Marsh Restoration Projects

Grantee: The Nature Conservancy ($982,700)

An egret wading in a salt marsh.

Project Objective: Create a pipeline process to accelerate marsh restoration in New Jersey. Project will evaluate 10 degraded salt marshes, develop preliminary designs for five restoration projects, and establish a continuous pipeline process for collaborative marsh restoration, ultimately enhancing up to 250 acres of critical salt marsh habitat. The UCI will serve as a partner on the project.

Assessing Resiliency Enhancement for City of Ventnor

Grantee: City of Ventnor ($200,000)

Project Objective: Conduct site assessment and preliminary design for a living shoreline to protect the Ventnor West ecosystem from continued erosion and environmental degradation. Project will protect critical infrastructure and habitat as well as contribute to the Ventnor Master Plan to transform Ventnor West into an eco-park to build resiliency. Herrington will conduct community outreach and engagement on the project in his capacity as the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium’s coastal community resilience specialist. (View Ventnor announcement for more details.)