NEW YORK—New York and New Jersey will receive some $1.4 million from the U.S environmental department to better protect their wetlands, it was announced Monday.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it will give around $640,000 to the New Jersey Pinelands Commission and the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, and close to $750,000 to the City of New York and the State University of New York to bolster wetlands protection.
The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation will get more than $222,000 from the agency to look into the city’s tidal marshes and will determine how vulnerable they are to a rise in sea levels.
“By absorbing rain and waters from melting snow, and by filtering runoff that pollutes local waterways, wetlands reduce many of the effects of climate change,” stated EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck.
“Wetlands reduce and filter runoff that pollutes local waterways, and control flooding by absorbing rain and waters from melting snow,” she said, adding that the new funding will enable officials to better assess the vulnerability of both states’ wetlands.
More than $360,000 will be used to identify wetlands in New Jersey Pinelands alone, with the commission monitoring the quality and quantity of the wetlands.
“Wetlands provide enormous environmental benefits, such as serving as essential habitats for fish and wildlife and reducing many of the effects of climate change,” said Enck. “Wetlands reduce and filter runoff that pollutes local waterways, and control flooding by absorbing rain and waters from melting snow.”
The New Jersey commission will also sample fish, frogs, and vegetation in 100 wetlands throughout the state that are being used for residential developments, farms, or parks.
Wetlands make up nearly a fifth of all land in New Jersey, or around 916,000 acres. However, that figure is around 40 percent of the original 1,500,000 wetland acres in New Jersey.
The state’s wetlands have become a casualty to dams, filling and dredging, farming, and other land development.
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