Environment Blogs & Reports

Examining Low-Income Community Solar Program and Energy Justice in New Jersey: An AI-Based Crowdsourcing Study

February 12th, 2024|Comments Off on Examining Low-Income Community Solar Program and Energy Justice in New Jersey: An AI-Based Crowdsourcing Study

By Yao Sun, Ph.D., Avanish Kulkarni, & Sania Murtuza. As the global emphasis on sustainability grows everyday— it is crucial to assess different alternatives for energy that does not require the burning of fossil fuels and nonrenewable energies in general [...]

Climate Education Initiatives in New Jersey

February 5th, 2024|Comments Off on Climate Education Initiatives in New Jersey

By Josephine O’Grady. According to the 2020 New Jersey Scientific Report on Climate Change, New Jersey is warming more quickly than the rest of the Northeast region. The state is experiencing a myriad of climate-related challenges [...]

  • Aerial shot of Trenton, New Jersey, depicting the Delaware River and the Trenton Capital Statehouse

Gathering Insights for a Resilient New Jersey

January 29th, 2024|Comments Off on Gathering Insights for a Resilient New Jersey

By Firas Gerges (Princeton), Michel Boufadel (NJIT), Hani Nassif (Rutgers). Resilience is a critical aspect of building sustainable and thriving communities, especially in the face of increasing climate change impacts. As part of ongoing efforts to enhance community resilience [...]

50 Years of Protecting the Shore: What’s Next for CAFRA?

January 22nd, 2024|Comments Off on 50 Years of Protecting the Shore: What’s Next for CAFRA?

By Will Parker. For fifty years, New Jersey’s Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA) has been protecting coastal resources and guiding development patterns along the shoreline. To commemorate that anniversary, this project sought to understand [...]

  • Two people dressed in hiking clothes and using walking sticks to hike through a national park with trees and a mountain range in the distance

Partnerships, Targeted Goals, and Impacts: A Revised Implementation Strategy for the Great American Outdoors Act

January 16th, 2024|Comments Off on Partnerships, Targeted Goals, and Impacts: A Revised Implementation Strategy for the Great American Outdoors Act

By Josephine O’Grady. The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) of 2020 promised the investment in national parks that the United States desperately needed. Since 1980, the number of visitors to national parks [...]

  • A sunny photo of a one-story house with solar panels installed on the roof

Examining Low-Income Community Solar Program and Energy Justice in New Jersey: An AI-based Crowdsourcing Study

October 23rd, 2023|Comments Off on Examining Low-Income Community Solar Program and Energy Justice in New Jersey: An AI-based Crowdsourcing Study

By Yao Sun. The 2019 New Jersey Energy Master Plan: Pathway to 2050 mentioned that the state’s Clean Energy Act commitments include, “Developing a community solar program that allows more state residents to benefit from solar energy [...]

  • Photo of a man in an all-terrain wheelchair speaking to a woman standing next him on a trail overlooking a body of water. They appear to be discussing a sign on the side of the trail that identifies local flora.

Report Release: Access to Nature for People with Disabilities: Barriers, Challenges, and Opportunities

August 3rd, 2023|Comments Off on Report Release: Access to Nature for People with Disabilities: Barriers, Challenges, and Opportunities

By Josephine O’Grady. In New Jersey, 24% of the population has a disability. People with disabilities suffer from a wide range of health disparities, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Through the Inclusive Healthy Communities (IHC) Grant Program, initiatives in New Jersey are underway [...]

  • Forever Chemicals

Forever Chemicals: A Hidden Health Hazard

July 31st, 2023|Comments Off on Forever Chemicals: A Hidden Health Hazard

By Heather O’Donnell. Have you ever stopped to think about the hidden health and environmental hazards lurking in everyday products, such as non-stick pans, clothing, fast food wrappers, and microwave popcorn bags? Our society has been so focused on consumerism and industrialization that we have completely disregarded the harmful effects [...]

  • Roadside Tree Removal

Roadside Tree Removal: The Need for Collaborative Decision-Making

June 22nd, 2023|Comments Off on Roadside Tree Removal: The Need for Collaborative Decision-Making

By Ellen Oettinger White and Robert B. Noland. Many state highway agencies approach transportation safety from the perspective of maintaining fast and free-flowing traffic. As such, highway design guidelines specify a “clear zone” along highways [...]

  • Energy Equity Evaluation Metrics

Energy Equity Evaluation Metrics

June 1st, 2023|Comments Off on Energy Equity Evaluation Metrics

By Tarun Reddy Arasu. Energy efficiency programs that focus on equity acknowledge and address past injustices by involving marginalized communities in decision-making and proactively ensuring that all residents have equal access to benefits [...]

  • Access to clean water in New Jersey

Community and Climate Dynamics: Projections for Water Assistance in New Jersey and Beyond

May 22nd, 2023|Comments Off on Community and Climate Dynamics: Projections for Water Assistance in New Jersey and Beyond

By Josephine O’Grady. Due to a diverse range of water needs among communities, implementing water assistance programs continues to be a challenge in the United States. In 2016, an estimated 15 million Americans experienced water shutoffs [...]

  • One Million More Acres Report

Report Release: One Million More Acres: We’re One-Third of the Way There…

May 17th, 2023|Comments Off on Report Release: One Million More Acres: We’re One-Third of the Way There…

By Thomas G. Dallessio. As the nation’s most densely populated state, New Jersey has a reputation for suburban sprawl development that belies its nickname, “The Garden State.” “You’re from Jersey? What Exit?” is both a joke and a truism for many [...]

  • ARez

Developing, Validating, and Deploying the ARez Resilience Framework in New Jersey

March 16th, 2023|Comments Off on Developing, Validating, and Deploying the ARez Resilience Framework in New Jersey

By Michel Boufadel. In the wake of the increasing impacts of climate change, governments and businesses are assessing how climate-related risks may manifest and differ from historical experience, and how resilience can be integrated within decision-making and planning processes [...]

  • One Million Acres New Jersey Open Space Map

One Million Acres or Bust: Initial Findings

March 6th, 2023|Comments Off on One Million Acres or Bust: Initial Findings

By Eric Harris. Although the most densely-populated state in the nation, New Jersey has a strong legacy of preserving open space. But how are we doing lately?

  • People with Disabilities and nature

Ensuring Access to Nature and Outdoor Recreation: Advancing Health Equity for People with Disabilities

February 23rd, 2023|Comments Off on Ensuring Access to Nature and Outdoor Recreation: Advancing Health Equity for People with Disabilities

By Jeanne Herb. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 21% of New Jersey adults have some type of disability. CDC reports that people with disabilities are disproportionately affected by chronic diseases [...]

  • Energy Equity in New Jersey

Addressing Energy Inequity in New Jersey: Recommendations for Effective Policy Implementation

February 13th, 2023|Comments Off on Addressing Energy Inequity in New Jersey: Recommendations for Effective Policy Implementation

By Tarun Reddy Arasu The United States, in general, and New Jersey specifically, are undergoing significant changes in energy production, with a focus on transitioning away from carbon-intensive sources and towards clean energy. In an [...]

Aspects of Energy Inequity in New Jersey

January 30th, 2023|Comments Off on Aspects of Energy Inequity in New Jersey

By Tarun Reddy Arasu New Jersey is the fourth smallest state in terms of land area and is the most densely populated state in the United States. Over the past few decades, compounded by rapid [...]

  • 15min Paris Neighborhood

15-Minute Neighborhoods:  Lessons from Outside New Jersey

January 23rd, 2023|Comments Off on 15-Minute Neighborhoods:  Lessons from Outside New Jersey

By Jon Carnegie, James Kenah, and Maarten Roose. Fifteen-minute neighborhoods provide residents with access to frequent and reliable public transit, parks, schools, gathering places, social services, places to buy healthy fresh food, and other amenities within a comfortable walk or bike ride [...]

  • ARez Community Resilience in New Jersey

Report Release: Enhancing the Resilience of New Jersey Communities Using ARez

January 12th, 2023|Comments Off on Report Release: Enhancing the Resilience of New Jersey Communities Using ARez

By Michel C. Boufadel, Ph.D., New Jersey Institute of Technology; Firas Gerges, Ph.D., Princeton University; and Hani Nassif, Ph.D., Rutgers University – New Brunswick. The New Jersey State Policy Lab has released a new report in collaboration with researchers [...]

  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP)

Heat or Eat? The Low-Income Home Energy Distribution Program (LIHEAP) and Its Implications for New Jersey

November 17th, 2022|Comments Off on Heat or Eat? The Low-Income Home Energy Distribution Program (LIHEAP) and Its Implications for New Jersey

By Josephine O'Grady. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP) is a federal block grant program that assists low-income families with the cost of paying their utility bills in areas including extreme heat and cold, household revisions to improve energy efficiency [...]

  • Hurricane Sandy 10th Anniversary

2022 New Jersey Climate Survey – Rutgers-Eagleton Poll Results

November 2nd, 2022|Comments Off on 2022 New Jersey Climate Survey – Rutgers-Eagleton Poll Results

As we mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, and more than a year since Hurricane Ida, the vast majority of New Jerseyans (78 percent) believe the Earth’s climate is changing and consider changing climate [...]

  • NJDEP Environmental Justice Action Plan

Advancing Municipal Environmental Justice in New Jersey

October 17th, 2022|Comments Off on Advancing Municipal Environmental Justice in New Jersey

By Jeanne Herb. Over the past year, the New Jersey State Policy Lab has provided support to a collaborative effort of the Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and the New Jersey Department of Environmental protection [...]

  • NASA Photos Depicting Hurricane Sandy Power Outages

Using the Community Intrinsic Resilience Index to Tackle Energy Equity and Budget Deficit in New Jersey

October 3rd, 2022|Comments Off on Using the Community Intrinsic Resilience Index to Tackle Energy Equity and Budget Deficit in New Jersey

By Firas Gerges, Michel Boufadel, and Hani Nassif. The Community Intrinsic Resilience Index (CIRI) captures the intrinsic (i.e., not relative) resilience level of critical community sectors, allowing practitioners and policymakers to make resilience-informed plans and strategies. [...]

  • Hurricane Sandy 10th Anniversary

Evaluating Risk Perception: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

September 26th, 2022|Comments Off on Evaluating Risk Perception: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

By Josephine O’Grady. As we approach the 10th anniversary since the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history hit the New Jersey coastline, the lessons have increasingly pointed to conversations about the relationship between awareness, education, and risk perception [...]

Can 15-Minute Neighborhoods Reshape New Jersey’s Landscape?

September 21st, 2022|Comments Off on Can 15-Minute Neighborhoods Reshape New Jersey’s Landscape?

By Jon Carnegie Over the past several years, a number of policy threads have gained prominence in New Jersey. These include adapting to climate change, advancing social justice, and addressing the needs of overburdened communities [...]

  • New Jersey Shoreline

Retreat in the 21st Century, Adapting to a New Era of Climate Change

September 8th, 2022|Comments Off on Retreat in the 21st Century, Adapting to a New Era of Climate Change

By Kathyrn Balitsos and Garin Bulger Managed or planned retreat is a climate change adaptation strategy that allows the shoreline to advance inward unimpeded, necessitating the removal of buildings and other built infrastructure. To facilitate [...]

  • NJ Preserving Another Million Acres

One Million More Acres, But Who’s Counting?

September 6th, 2022|Comments Off on One Million More Acres, But Who’s Counting?

By Thomas G. Dallessio. Almost twenty-five years ago, the Governor’s Council on New Jersey Outdoors identified the need to preserve a million more acres of open space, farmland, and historic sites in New Jersey. The Chair of that Council, Former Assemblywoman Maureen Ogden recently passed away [...]

  • Beach of the Jersey Shore Taken by Drone

Coastal Adaptation in New Jersey

August 22nd, 2022|Comments Off on Coastal Adaptation in New Jersey

by Josephine O’Grady New Jersey was among the states hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy, resulting in 37 billion dollars in community restoration, and severely affecting 40,500 primary residences and 15,600 rental properties. As coastal hazards [...]

  • Beautiful summer rural landscape with hills, trees and dirt road

One Million Acres or Bust: A Quarter Century of Open Space, Farmland and Historic Preservation

June 23rd, 2022|Comments Off on One Million Acres or Bust: A Quarter Century of Open Space, Farmland and Historic Preservation

By Thomas G. Dallessio Twenty-four years ago, the Governor’s Council on New Jersey Outdoors released a report that determined, “…the open space needs of our present and future generations greatly outweigh the resources we have [...]

Social Media and Individuals’ Environment-Friendly Actions

June 15th, 2022|Comments Off on Social Media and Individuals’ Environment-Friendly Actions

by Vishal Trehan Climate change is one of the wicked problems of our times. It is well established that human activity is the primary cause for drastic changes in the climate over the last seventy [...]

  • Organic Food in Bag

Report on Food Security and Organic Waste Reduction

March 3rd, 2022|Comments Off on Report on Food Security and Organic Waste Reduction

By Jeanne Herb. The New Jersey State Policy Lab and the Organics Workgroup of the NJ Climate Change Alliance have partnered to inform the development of statewide public policy aimed at reducing food waste, contributing to food security, and reducing landfill organic wastes [...]

  • EAP Food Recovery Heirarchy

Organic Waste Management in New Jersey: Reducing Food Waste and Improving Food Equity

December 2nd, 2021|Comments Off on Organic Waste Management in New Jersey: Reducing Food Waste and Improving Food Equity

Tracy Youngster is a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Rutgers University Ecology & Evolution Graduate Program. Organic Waste Management background When organic waste, like food, enters a landfill, it releases methane which is a potent [...]