NEW YORK (February 24, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has awarded grants for over $450,000 to two entities in New Jersey that will foster their programs to help protect wetlands. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority received two grants totaling $347,535, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection received one grant for $102,509.
“New Jersey’s wetlands are critical to supporting healthy aquatic ecosystems as well as providing flood and erosion control, stabilizing shorelines, and supplying food and habitat for fish and wildlife,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “These grants will help improve protections for and scientific understanding of wetlands in New Jersey.”
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) was awarded $179,454 to measure the sustainability of marshes under future sea-level rise conditions in the Meadowlands of New Jersey. The purpose is to measure indicators of marsh resilience to identify marshes in the Hackensack Meadowlands that have the best chance of persisting under future sea-level rise.
NJSEA received a second grant for $168,081 for a project to understand how to adapt Sawmill Creek to lessen climate change weaknesses. The funding will help assess the Meadowlands’ Sawmill Creek Wildlife Management Area to improve understanding of the site’s vulnerability to increasing impacts due to climate change. Furthermore, the grantee will estimate the current carbon storage in the area and its potential future capacity to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection was awarded $102,509 in grant funding to provide baseline documentation for salt marsh ponds as potential reservoirs of harmful algal blooms (HAB) for New Jersey coastal ecosystems due to climate change. Certain environmental conditions in water bodies can intensify algae growth, causing algal blooms. Blooms with the potential to harm human health or aquatic ecosystems are referred to as harmful algal blooms or HABs. The project includes sampling of salt marsh ponds on the Tuckerton Peninsula for HAB species through laboratory analysis, performing DNA sequencing, interpretation, and the analysis of results, and developing a website to host project results and distribution maps.
EPA’s Wetland Program Development Grants provide an opportunity to promote and accelerate research and improve the ability to investigate wetlands. The program also improves capacity to train wetlands staff, and conduct surveys and studies related to water pollution and it’s impacts on wetlands.
For more information on these grants, visit: https://www.epa.gov/