Over the past several years, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has worked with towns through its local and regional planning initiatives to understand the potential impacts of climate change and coastal hazards, establish a living shoreline program, and increase the use of nature-based solutions along the coastline.
Francis Steitz, Director of the DEP Division of Air Quality, presented at the National Association of Clean Air Agencies 2018 Fall Meeting on planning underway to prevent future disruptions. In his presentation, Steitz highlighted various regulatory changes in the air program that will enable state employees and regulated entities to better respond prior to, during, and following a disaster.
DEP recognizes that siloed planning, mitigation, and restoration activities across the coastal zone will have limited effectiveness, so it held a summit in October to begin work on a cross-agency Coastal Resilience Plan. The plan is the first step in evaluating how DEP’s policies and programs allow for local, regional, and state responses to climate change within the coastal zone, and identify opportunities to leverage innovative partnerships for future disaster response.