by Alison Arne
Our focus for 2020 is ensuring our communities have the resources to prepare for rising seas and future storms and the power to make decisions that benefit us. You don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, and you don’t need to be a scientist to tell we’re flooding and storming more. That’s why we need both offense and defense. And here’s what that means to us.
Defense: We need to address the extreme weather and flooding we’re already living with. Our sister organization, New Jersey Resource Project, talked to over 1000 community members about flooding last year. From those conversations, NJRP learned that 48% are currently battling sunny day flooding and 38% of those who flood are experiencing flooding at least once a month. Out of all the people we spoke to who are experiencing flooding, only 12% believe their towns are doing enough to protect their neighborhoods from flooding.
We know we need to do more, that’s why we’re fighting for funding to help our communities adapt and mitigate, and community-led plans to address the flooding we face. To learn more – click here to join the next the Shorekeeper team call on Thursday, March 12th at 7pm.
Offense: We need to do everything we can to minimize sea level rise & climate change.* That means moving toward green and renewable energy. And, as it turns out, we literally have a big move in that direction in our very own backyard. New Jersey has very ambitious goals for offshore wind and is moving forward to develop it. But like we say – nothing about us without us. We understand this new industry will create jobs and lower carbon emissions (which will help with sea level rise and extreme weather), but we are still identifying what other community benefits could be within our reach – is there a space for existing small businesses in our region to be a part of this boom? And how can we make sure there are positive impacts and improvements to in our community like fishing, our tourism economy, and infrastructure?
This Spring the Shorekeeper team will come together to plan more community outreach so that we can identify benefits our communities want to see from offshore wind and secure local mitigation projects for our neighborhoods to thrive. If offshore wind that works for our communities or local mitigation are things that you feel are important the Shorekeeper team holds a monthly campaign call the 2nd Thursday of every month at 7pm. Click here to register to be part of the next call.
*Our organization does think climate change is a thing, and we do think it’s caused by our reliance on fossil fuels & we know the industry is spending millions to fight and cover this up because they don’t want to be held responsible for the damage they’re causing. BUT! You absolutely don’t have to agree with us to be part of the action either way. We just like to be clear on where we’re coming from.