Community Engagement and Partnerships
Solving the climate change crisis in New Jersey requires a coordinated effort. The agencies and departments listed below are working to build resilient and healthy communities, strengthen the resilience of New Jersey’s ecosystems, promote coordinated governance, increase public understanding and develop a coastal resilience plan.
Educators may find the information and resources provided by New Jersey’s agencies and departments helpful in creating evidence-based, action-oriented and inclusive lessons.
- Division of Agricultural and National Resources
The productivity of crops and livestock are expected to change due to the climate-induced changes in temperature and precipitation patterns (NJDEP, 2020). This website provides access to information about New Jersey’s soil, water and land use issues, as well as agriculture and aquaculture.
- Division of Plant Industry
Climate change is expected to bring changes to New Jersey’s forests, wetlands, terrestrial, freshwater and marine systems. This website provides access to information about invasive plants and pests.
- Labor Market Information
Transitioning to an economy that is less dependent on fossil fuels will bring new career opportunities. This website provides a wide variety of data tools and reports that can be used to understand the labor market in New Jersey.
- Climate Change
This website is a gateway to resources and tools to understand how New Jersey is being impacted by climate change and what is being done to mitigate and/or adapt to its impacts.
- Climate Basics
This webpage explains the difference between weather and climate and why climate change is occurring and its impacts.
- 2020 New Jersey Scientific Report on Climate Change
The 2020 New Jersey Scientific Report on Climate Change summarizes the effects of climate change on New Jersey’s environment and provides data regarding the current and anticipated environmental effects of climate change globally, nationally and regionally.
- Coastal Resilience Plan
Flooding caused from more intense rain events and storms will be exacerbated in the coastal area by increases in sea-level (NJDEP, 2020). This webpage provides information about local and regional initiatives on potential impacts of climate change and coastal hazards, as well as solutions.
- Environmental Justice
Climate change disproportionately impacts communities of color and low-income communities in the U.S. and around the world. This website provides a wide variety of resources to empower students, residents and communities to reduce the impacts of pollution on overburdened populations.
- Bureau of Climate Resilience Design and Engineering
The effects of climate change on infrastructure and communities are significant. This website provides information about how New Jersey is supporting communities to improve climate resilience.
- Harmful Algal Blooms
This website provides useful information about harmful algal blooms, data about what’s happening in New Jersey, how to report a bloom in New Jersey and the state’s response strategy.
- New Jersey Protecting Against Climate Threats
Alongside the release of New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan, the Murphy Administration has embarked on a targeted regulatory reform effort to modernize environmental laws. This website provides information about New Jersey’s efforts to modernize environmental laws.
- Offshore Wind
Governor Murphy, through Executive Order 28, established the goal of setting New Jersey on the path to 100% clean energy by 2050. This website provides information for students about New Jersey’s efforts to implement its offshore wind energy program.
Climate change, together with other natural and human-made health stressors, influences human health and disease in numerous ways. Some existing health threats will intensify and new health threats will emerge (CDC, 2021). The Department of Health provides a wide variety of resources to promote prevention, wellness and equity in all communities.
Many communities are proactive and coordinated in their approach to promote long term mitigation, adaptation and resilience strategies. Students may find information available at the Division of Codes and Standards, Office of Local Planning Services and Division of Disaster Recovery and Mitigation websites useful as they research what is happening in New Jersey.
The four leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 are transportation, electric generation, residential and commercial fossil fuel use (NJDEP, 2021). The Board of Public utilities regulates electric generation, residential and commercial fossil fuel use.
- Energy Master Plan (EMP)
Governor Phil Murphy’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050 and the Global Warming Response Act's goal to reduce state greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 2006 levels by 2050 requires a coordinated statewide effort. The EMP describes the strategies that New Jersey is using to meet these goals.
- New Jersey's Clean Energy Program
This website provides information about financial incentives, programs and services for New Jersey residents, business owners and local governments to help them save energy.
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management coordinates all disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities throughout New Jersey. This website provides information about preparing for weather related disasters.
Connecting with your municipality’s Green Team is a great place to start exploring opportunities for authentic climate change education opportunities. Green teams leverage the skills and expertise of team members to develop plans, implement programs and assist with educational opportunities that raise community awareness and commitment to sustainability goals. Sustainable Jersey has a search feature that provides information about over 450 registered green teams throughout New Jersey.
The Alliance for Climate Education’s mission is to educate young people about climate science and empower them to take action. The Alliance for Climate Education has educated two million students and trained over 4,000 student leaders.
- Our Climate, Our Future is an award-winning video experience that educates young people on the science of climate change and empowers them to take action.
- Youth Action Network is an active community of more than half a million youth advocates across all 50 states working to take action in their communities.
- Action Fellowship is an advocacy training program that gives youth the skills and experience to become powerful climate activists.
CLEAN's primary effort is to steward a collection of climate and energy science educational resources and to support a community of professionals committed to improving climate and energy literacy.
- CLEAN Collection of Educational Resources provides high-quality, digital resources including learning activities, visualizations, videos and short demonstrations/experiments geared toward educators of students in secondary through undergraduate levels.
- Guidance in Teaching About Climate and Energy helps to educate and equip educators to teach the big ideas in climate and energy science.
- CLEAN Network offers a community of professionals committed to improving climate and energy literacy.
Education for Sustainable Development | The Earth Institute | Columbia University
The Education for Sustainable Development website is a resource hub and forum for taking action toward sustainable development through education.
- Eco Ambassador Program, by the Earth Institute at Columbia University, equips youth with skills for tackling sustainability challenges locally and globally, by merging training in scientific research with skills for local advocacy and community outreach.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Environmental and Climate Justice Program
The NAACP’s climate change and environmental justice program works to change the reality that climate change has a disproportionate impact on communities of color and low-income communities in the United States and around the world. The NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program was created to support community leadership in addressing this human and civil rights issue.
The New Jersey Audubon Society provides guidance and options for students to utilize real-life scenarios and places to identify environmental problems, including climate change; design their own solutions and compare them with real-life on-site solutions; carry out local stewardship projects; and/or conduct environmental monitoring activities at a site near their school.
Through its programs, advocacy, conferences and other activities, NAAEE works with partners across North America and beyond to accelerate environmental literacy and civic engagement to create a more sustainable future.
The resource center offers the following pathways to learn more about climate change in New Jersey and efforts to mitigate and adapt to its effects.
- Climate Change 101: A Guide for the Garden State is an introduction to the effects of climate change on New Jersey.
- Climate Stories: Experiencing Climate Change in New Jersey is a collection of videos describing how communities across New Jersey are being impacted by climate change.
- New Jersey Adapt is a suite of online tools for planners and practitioners in New Jersey to mitigate and adapt to consequences of climate change.
- Conferences and Webinars is a webpage that provides access to recordings of previous events sponsored by the New Jersey Climate Change Resource Center.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward schools as they pursue sustainability programs. The goal of Sustainable Jersey for Schools is to assist New Jersey public schools that want to go green, conserve resources and take steps to create a brighter future, one school at a time.
World’s Largest Lesson promotes the use of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in learning so that children can contribute to a better future for all.
The resources provided on this webpage are for informational purposes only. All resources must meet the New Jersey Department of Education’s (NJDOE) accessibility guidelines. Currently, the Department aims to conform to Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). However, the Department does not guarantee that linked external sites conform to Level AA of the WCAG 2.1. Neither the Department of Education nor its officers, employees or agents specifically endorse, recommend or favor these resources or the organizations that created them. Please note that the Department of Education has not reviewed or approved the materials related to the programs.