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Prioritizing and Implementing Adaptation Projects for Community and Ecosystem Resilience in NJ
Since 2014, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and its partners have been working toward Building Ecological Solutions to Coastal Community Hazards. Initially providing general guidance on ecological restoration projects for communities, outreach and planning with municipalities and the design and construction of 10 projects, it has now been recognized that the projects may not have targeted areas most in need of ecological restoration. In 2018, the NJDEP and Monmouth University undertook the development of a framework to prioritize ecological adaptation projects in the state that provide both ecosystem and coastal community resilience. The developed framework is a starting point that provides landscape-scale screening of possible adaptions using readily available GIS spatial data layers. Concurrently, NJDEP and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary developed a Wetland Assessment Tool for Condition and Health (WATCH) and a Living Shorelines Feasibility Model (LSFM). Combined, they use a data-driven framework to diagnose functional deficiencies in salt marshes and identify appropriate restoration tactics. Presently, NJDEP has now engaged Rutgers University to utilize the prioritization framework and assessment tools to map region priority areas for ecological restoration within the state of New Jersey. This session will present the goals and objectives of ecological adaptation prioritization in New Jersey, screening process methodology, the regional mapping of prioritized project locations and case studies of the implementation of identified projects. Presenters will discuss the successes, challenges and lessons learned from the use of regional adaptation planning for local project selection and implementation.
Coastal Ecological Restoration – General