WHAT: A day-long conference, “Climate Change Preparedness in New Jersey: Leading Practices and Policy Priorities,” focusing on climate change preparedness and resilience in New Jersey. In addition, leading practices throughout the United States to enhance climate change adaptation capacity in New Jersey will be discussed. Hosted by the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance.
WHEN: Wed., May 22, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Cook Campus Center, 59 Biel Road, New Brunswick, N.J.
WHO: First keynote, Dr. Beverly L. Wright, executive director, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and professor of Sociology, Dillard University will present reducing risks to vulnerable populations, drawing upon the needs of African American and minority residents of New Orleans after the devastation from Hurricane Katrina, as well as concerns of communities affected by the BP Deep Water Horizon oil spill. The second keynote address, delivered by Vicki Arroyo, executive director, Georgetown Climate Center, will cover an overview of climate change adaptation activities at the state and federal level. The Honorable James J. Florio, former Governor of the State of New Jersey, will offer remarks during the conference.
Morning panels will feature nationally recognized experts who will discuss leading practices, innovations and trends for climate change preparedness and resilience for sectors of relevance to New Jersey, like agriculture, coastal communities, natural resources, public health, transportation, utilities and water resources.
Afternoon panelists will include in-state experts who will discuss climate adaptation practices underway in New Jersey. A complete agenda with panelists is available online.
BACKGROUND: Climate scientists predict that heat waves, heavy rains and droughts will become more frequent in the face of a changing climate and sea level rise will exacerbate the effects of coastal storms. In November 2011, Rutgers University hosted a statewide workshop to bring together public and private sector leaders to assess the most significant impacts of a changing climate for New Jersey and to begin preparedness planning. An outcome of the 2011 workshop was formation of the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance (NJCAA), a network of policymakers, public and private sector practitioners, academics and business leaders designed to build climate change preparedness capacity in New Jersey. Facilitated by Rutgers University, the NJCAA focuses on stakeholder engagement, education and outreach, demonstration projects and working with the business community.
This conference builds on the 2011 workshop by moving from assessing climate impacts to adaptation actions and to further enhance information exchange, best practice development and public engagement. In addition to nationally renowned experts who will relate adaptation practices from outside of New Jersey that are applicable here, New Jersey panelists will address current actions in the Garden State related to preparing our residents, infrastructure and communities. The goal of the workshop is to highlight climate preparedness and resilience activities underway outside of, as well as within New Jersey, in order to inform and enhance climate change adaptation capacity within the state.
Contact Jeanne Herb, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, at 848- 932-2725 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Marjorie B. Kaplan, Climate and Environmental Change Initiative at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, at 848-932-5739 or by email at email@example.com.