The Natural Climate Solutions Grant program will fund on-the-ground implementation of projects that create, restore, and enhance New Jersey’s natural carbon sinks, such as salt marshes, seagrass beds, forests, urban parks and woodlands, and street trees. Natural resources that sequester carbon play a critical role in meeting the State’s 2050 goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases below 2006 levels. Recognizing this, the Department announced the availability of up to $15 million dollars for blue and green carbon projects. This funding was made available due to New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which provides the State with auction proceeds to invest in programs and projects designed to help meet its climate, clean energy, and equity goals.
Living shorelines are a shoreline management practice that addresses the loss of vegetated shorelines, beaches, and habitat in the littoral zone by providing for the protection, restoration, or enhancement of these habitats. Eligible projects will focus on protecting the erosion of carbon rich soils in tidal wetlands.
Projects restoring tidal flow to wetlands have many benefits. Eligible projects will focus on increasing salinity to decrease methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) production. In some cases, restoring tidal flow may also target increased sedimentation and vegetation cover.
Eligible projects will increase the cover of native salt marsh vegetation in brackish and salt water tidal wetlands to increase the carbon sequestration.
Eligible projects will increase the cover of native submerged aquatic vegetation in waters with salinity over 18 parts per thousand to increase carbon sequestration.
Eligible projects will establish or reestablish forest communities and reset carbon sequestration trajectories with resilient native vegetation. Such projects may occur in existing degraded forests or former agricultural fields or other deforested areas. Generally, a degraded forest is a forest that has lost its capacity to provide important functions and values to people and nature.
Eligible projects will establish and maintain trees and reduce impervious cover and stormwater runoff, while promoting ground water recharge, in urban areas. Urban land includes land with houses, buildings and pavement, and other areas that are essentially impervious to infiltration of rainfall.
Applicants eligible to apply for funding under this Notice of Funding Availability included:
The NJDEP issued the NCS grant program to solicit applications for eligible projects for a 2022 grant funding cycle. Specifically, the NJDEP made available $15 million dollars for blue carbon and forestry grants utilizing auction proceeds from RGGI. Funding will be awarded as grants to eligible recipients to carry out targeted carbon sequestration projects. Blue carbon projects include living shorelines, restoring tidal wetlands, salt marsh vegetation and submerged aquatic vegetation. Green carbon projects include forest restoration and urban forest canopy projects.
The application period closed on midnight September 16th. To check the status of your application, please visit NJ Department of Environmental Protection System for Administering Grants Electronically (SAGE).