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New Jersey Resources recently donated $75,000 to Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute to support the Clam Cove Living Shoreline Pilot Project as well as the stabilization & restoration of coastal wetlands in the Barnegat Bay watershed.  

New Jersey Resources, a Fortune 1000 company with over 1,300 employees, is headquartered at the Jersey Shore and is the parent company of New Jersey Natural Gas. 

Steve Westhoven, president and CEO of New Jersey Resources, said the company was proud to support the Clam Cove Living Shoreline project in Long Beach Township and the vital work of Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute. 

“Protecting New Jersey’s coastal ecosystems directly aligns with our efforts to enhance environmental stewardship through our Coastal Climate Initiative,” Westhoven said. 

The Clam Cove Living Shoreline Pilot Project was identified as a priority by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The project’s primary goal is to stabilize a widening breach in the cove and reduce the loss of marshland. The planned work also will support carbon sequestration through installing a natural oyster reef breakwater to help provide increased resiliency for Long Beach Township and improve habitats for fish, birds and other species. 

“The township has been focused on restoration work at Clam Cove since we acquired the parcel and are happy to have the support from Monmouth’s UCI and NJR for this project,” said Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini. “We have been working closely with UCI and other partners on this site for a couple of years and look forward to putting our recycled shell to good work protecting the shorelines of our critical bay islands.” 

The UCI is one of Monmouth University’s Centers of Distinction. It advances research, education and collaboration in the development and implementation of science-based programs and policies that support the stewardship of healthy and resilient coastal ecosystems and communities.  

Once complete, the living shoreline will also serve as an outdoor laboratory for local educators, scientists, and students to monitor and study oyster recruitment, sediment accretion, species diversity, and erosion and wave energy. 

“The lessons learned from this work will help form strategies for restoring sensitive tidal marsh areas throughout our coastal bays, which we’ve been losing at a rapid rate over the last 50 years,” UCI Director Tony MacDonald said. 

“The project will also serve as an excellent opportunity for Monmouth students to gain hands-on experience doing scientific field work and community engagement. We are very grateful for NJR’s commitment to sustainability and support for the UCI’s work with Long Beach Township, which will make the community more resilient to sea level rise and climate change,” MacDonald said.

NJR launched the Coastal Climate Initiative (CCI) in 2021 to advance environmental restoration, preservation and stewardship opportunities in our coastal communities and beyond. This includes providing $2 million in funding over five years to support projects and programs to improve climate change resiliency and ecosystem services, community engagement and education.  

CCI works across the following pillars: 

  • Customer-based Donation Program – a dollar-for-dollar match by NJR for donations from NJNG customers to CCI. This funding program supports the coastal restoration and ecosystem enhancement efforts along New Jersey’s shoreline communities. 
  • Direct Project Investment – financial support for organizations, such as UCI, to advance coastal resiliency and ecosystem service projects. 
  • Volunteerism – community service opportunities for NJR employees, retirees, and their families to participate in environment improvement projects that align with CCI’s mission of improving coastal habitats, community resiliency and nature-based solutions that protect against effects of climate change.