Washington demands taking rising seas into account for post-Sandy projects

As Jersey Shore towns ask Washington for money to bankroll post-Superstorm Sandy infrastructure plans, they’re being told to take rising sea levels in account. The idea is build smarter, so that these pricey projects can survive the rising seas and the increased flooding the vast majority of scientists expect in the coming years…By 2050, seas will rise an average of 25 centimeters (about 10 inches) from their 2000 levels around the globe, according to Ben Horton, a professor at Rutgers University who specializes in sea level rise. But the coastal plain of New Jersey, the increase will be 45 centimeters (about 18 inches) higher than they were in 2000. By 2100, Horton expects sea levels will be nearly 3.5 feet above where they were in 2000.

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Garbage on the beach: a daily problem

The garbage that you see on the beach during the afternoon and not the morning? There’s a reason for that, says a Rutgers University researcher. Beach maintenance varies from town to town, but one common daily problem is overflowing garbage cans, and Gregg Sakowicz, also known as "Professor Sak" on Facebook, explains why and offers solutions. Sakowicz conducts research at the university in conjunction with a partnership with the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JCNERR) and is a regular blogger.

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For region’s farmers, wet weather is mixed bag

After the wettest day on record in Greater Philadelphia earlier this week, downpours put the area under another flash flood warning Thursday, luring only a handful of shoppers to brave outdoor farmers markets in the city. As for farmers well outside Philadelphia proper, heavy rain has blessed a few, but plagued most…"If you look at Pennsylvania as a whole, too little rain is worse than too much," said Jeffrey Graybill, agronomy educator at Penn State Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County…Agricultural agent Ray Samulis of Burlington County’s Rutgers Cooperative Extension says farmers in the sandy, well-irrigated South Jersey soil couldn’t disagree with Graybill’s sentiments more. "I’ll give you the name of fifty farmers that say the exact opposite of that," said Samulis.

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Blight disease hitting crops in New Jersey

Farmers and home gardeners are on the watch for a destructive disease that is hitting tomato and potato crops in New Jersey. The disease, called "late blight," has been found at five farms in New Jersey. Gardeners should keep a careful eye on the leaves of potato and tomato plants, advised Meredith Melendez, agriculture coordinator for Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Mercer County. "The disease starts out as sort of greasy area on the surface of the leaf under the right conditions," she said. "If you were to flip over the leaf when we have those moist humid mornings, you would see spoilation occurring. You will actually see it producing reproductive spores as an attempt to spread throughout the crop."

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Camden receives ‘Environmental Excellence’ award

The Camden Stormwater Management and Resource Training (SMART) initiative has received the 2012 New Jersey Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award… It is comprised of the City of Camden, Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program, New Jersey Tree Foundation and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

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