WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — The Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute (UCI) invites the public to join us for a symposium and policy discussion which never took place during the election — coastal and ocean priorities for the next administration and Congress.
The 12th Annual Future of the Ocean Symposium will be held on Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Wilson Hall Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.
The panelists, former New Jersey Gov. and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science President Dr. Donald Boesch, will offer their views and recommendations on critical actions that the administration and Congress should take to ensure that our coasts and oceans are healthy, productive and support sustainable economic development.
Among their many other accomplishments and qualifications, Whitman and Boesch serve on the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative (JOCI) Leadership Council, a national organization dedicated to marine policy reform. JOCI soon plans to release a nine-point action plan for the Trump administration and the new Congress. UCI Ocean Policy Fellow and Monmouth University President Emeritus Paul G. Gaffney II also serves as a member of the JOCI Leadership Council.
“The oceans are going through unprecedented changes, including sea level rise, shifting currents and weather patterns, ocean acidification, and ecosystem destruction,” Whitman said. “These changes are a mounting threat not only to marine ecosystems, but to coastal communities and economies. We must confront these issues with a bipartisan approach from policymakers in Washington and at all levels of government.”
“Robust federal investments in science and research can spur innovation, address important national and global challenges, create new economic sectors, and ultimately save lives,” Boesch said. “If our ecosystems and livelihoods are to be sustained for the future, we’ll need to pair such financial commitments to research with concerted action on policies based in science.”
“The Future of the Ocean Symposium provides a unique forum for students, faculty and the public to engage nationally recognized experts in discussions on the pressing ocean issues of our time,” said UCI Director Tony MacDonald, who will moderate the panel. “As a coastal university, we are also pleased to honor a group of Ocean Champions whose work has so directly impacted lives here on the Jersey Shore and beyond.”
Immediately following the symposium, the UCI will hold its Champion of the Ocean Awards Luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tickets are required for the luncheon. The cost is $150, with proceeds to benefit student research and UCI programs.
Whitman will be honored as a National Champion of the Ocean for her work as a leading voice for the oceans as governor and with the EPA, JOCI and Pew Oceans Commission. Boesch will be recognized as a Regional Champion of the Ocean for his work advancing knowledge about marine environments, including his work as a member of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
In addition, two New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) officials will receive State, Coastal and Ocean Leadership Awards for their roles in restoring New Jersey’s beaches, supporting innovative major Rebuild by Design projects, and improving coastal planning and communities’ resilience to coastal storms after Superstorm Sandy. The honorees are NJDEP Assistant Commission of Engineering and Construction David Rosenblatt and NJDEP Assistant Director of Coastal and Land Use Planning Elizabeth Semple.
For more information on the event or to purchase tickets for the luncheon, click here or contact Danica Simmons at (732) 263-5662 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Committees will focus on best practices, practical tools for utilities and cities, effective public outreach, and policy recommendations.
TRENTON, March 24 -- Jersey Water Works, the cross-sector collaborative focused on upgrading the state's water infrastructure, today released its work plan for 2017.
The work plan, to be executed by the collaborative's committees, includes practical projects that will make water, sewer and stormwater systems more cost-effective and beneficial to the communities they serve. The projects advance best practices, better stakeholder engagement, and affordability for all ratepayers, among other goals. The work plan builds on the committees' accomplishments from their 2016 work plan.
The Finance Committee will publish a case study highlighting the financial benefits of good asset management;
The Municipal Outreach Committee will work with the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association to develop policy recommendations for upgrading their water infrastructure, to be announced at a fall event;
The Green Infrastructure Committee will work to further the implementation of "green streets" by recommending policy changes, promoting state and federal green infrastructure pilot projects, and expanding the Sustainable Jersey Complete Streets action to include green streets;
The Community Engagement Committee will develop tools and resources that combined-sewer system permit holders can use to help meet their permits' public engagement requirements;
The Best Practices Committee will conduct a study of the legal impediments to establishing ratepayer assistance programs for water charges (similar to the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program), and will make policy recommendations to overcome those impediments.
"The level of commitment that Jersey Water Works committee members show is truly awe-inspiring," said Jane Kenny of Whitman Strategy Group, who co-chairs the Jersey Water Works Steering Committee with Mark Mauriello. "These are smart, knowledgeable, dedicated people who are working tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to move the collaborative closer to its goals of world-class water infrastructure that supports engaged, healthy, vibrant communities across the state. The work plan is ambitious, but I have no doubt that together we will get it done."
The collaborative will celebrate its committees' 2017 accomplishments at its annual conference in December.
To speak with any of the committee chairs about these or their other work plan goals, please contact New Jersey Future Director of Communications Elaine Clisham, 609-393-0008 ext. 102.
About Jersey Water Works
Jersey Water Worksis a collaborative effort of many diverse organizations and individuals who embrace the common purpose of transforming New Jersey's inadequate water infrastructure by investing in sustainable, cost-effective solutions that provide communities with clean water and waterways; healthier, safer neighborhoods; local jobs; flood and climate resilience; and economic growth. New Jersey Future facilitates the work of the collaborative.
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