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 is announcing the availability of up to $15 million dollars for blue and green carbon projects. This funding is 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 include:
The NJDEP is issuing the NCS grant program to solicit applications for eligible projects for a 2022 grant funding cycle. Specifically, the NJDEP is making 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 blue carbon, forest restoration and urban forest canopy projects.
Before your organization can apply for this grant, there are several steps you must complete.
First your organization must become registered in the NJ Department of Environmental Protection System for Administering Grants Electronically (SAGE). The applicant registration process can take up to a few days to complete, as each applicant needs to be manually approved in SAGE. Therefore, complete your registration allowing enough time to ensure it does not impact your ability to meet required application submission deadlines. You can register now, in advance of the application start date.
Applicants must follow the Registration Instructions on NJDEP SAGE’s login page at https://njdepsage.intelligrants.com. An email will be sent to you when you have been accepted into the system. Once logged in, you can navigate to the Training Materials link where an authorized official manual and a webinar is available for help. In addition, at the public information session, there will be a presentation on how to use the system.
The application to apply for funding from the Natural Climate Solutions Grant Program is not yet available. Once the application period has been established, the website will be updated. Please check back regularly for updates. You can also subscribe to the RGGI Strategic Funding Plan Listserv to receive notice of updated information, visit https://www.nj.gov/rggi/#signup and join the listserv.
For users who have not used SAGE before, please refer to the NJDEP SAGE First Time Users Quick Reference Guide .
The Department is currently developing the web-based application for the Natural Climate Solutions Grant program.
The Notice of Funding is available here . Applications are currently being accepted and are due by midnight on August 15th.