Climate Ready Estuaries Program

A partnership between the USEPA and the National Estuary Programs to help prepare for the impacts of climate change and sea level rise in coastal areas.

In May 2009, the Barnegat Bay Partnership was selected to participate in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Climate Ready Estuaries Program.  The Partnership was awarded $50,000 to support its efforts to develop a climate change adaptation strategy for the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor estuary.

The Climate Ready Estuaries Program is a partnership between the USEPA and the National Estuary Programs to help prepare for the diverse projected impacts of climate change and sea level rise in coastal areas (e.g., habitat loss and migration.)  The BBP is one of five recipients selected nationwide this year and one of two such programs from the Mid-Atlantic, which is projected to experience among the highest rates of sea level rise on the East Coast.

The Climate Ready Estuaries funding will enable the Barnegat Bay Partnership and its key partners to initiate climate change vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning.

The program includes the following:

  • Establishment of a Climate Change Workgroup within the Barnegat Bay Partnership’s Science and Technical Advisory Committee;
  • The convening of a series of public “listening sessions” during the winter and spring of 2010; and
  • Co-sponsoring a technical workshop “Preparing your Community in the Face of a Changing Climate: Starting the Dialogue, which took place on April 1, 2010.
  • Providing technical assistance to Ocean County in their development of their Multi-jurisdictional All- Hazards Mitigation Plan.
  • Funded “Economic Value of the Barnegat Bay” study to better understand the economic value  of the natural resources and ecosystem services of our region.
  • Current activities including assessing the future economic vulnerability of the Barnegat Bay watershed to climate change and developing interactive tools to assist local municpalities to become more resilient.

Ultimately, these activities will enable the Barnegat Bay Partnership to develop a climate change adaptation strategy which informs local municipalities and the public about regional challenges and their potential solutions.

Climate Change Workgroup

Established under BBP’s Science and Technical Advisor Committee, the Climate Change Work Group is working towards the development of an adaptation strategy for the Barnegat Bay watershed.

Participating in this effort are representatives from:

  • Barnegat Bay Partnership
  • Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • New Jersey Coastal Management Office
  • New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
  • New Jersey Sea Grant
  • Monmouth University – Urban Coast Institute
  • Rutgers University
  • Georgian Court University
  • Richard Stockton College – Coastal Research Center
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service

For more information about the Climate Ready Estuaries Program and Climate Change Workgroup, Contact Project Coordinator, Martha Maxwell-Doyle,, or (732) 255-0472, ext. 5.

Related Links

USEPA’s Climate Ready Estuaries Program

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