The sea is rising. The land is sinking. Entire mid-Atlantic communities are anchored in between, bookended by certain disaster unless a way is found to turn back the tide and save the shore… No one knows how to fix the fix we’re in, as climate change and sea-level rise continue to assault our shores, although several organizations are beginning to put forth innovative suggestions for dealing with the coastal flooding that inundates barrier islands from the bayside… “The bayside is basically the Achilles’ heel of New Jersey,” said Michael Kennish, a research professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University. “It’s a crisis scientists are concerned about. People are more concerned about what they’re going to eat two days from now.”… Kennish said most experts advocate what he calls “a practical view,” endorsing infrastructure improvements to stormwater drainage systems and the installation of pumping stations, along with raising roads and houses.
Gary Howard never envisioned himself needing help from a food bank, but that changed in February. Howard, 61, of Egg Harbor Township, lost his job in receiving when the Showboat Casino closed in September 2014. With his unemployment benefits coming to an end, he had to do something… And that has led to a strain on the Community FoodBank of New Jersey-Southern Branch, which is struggling to meet an 11 percent increase in demand,” said Evelyn Benton, executive director of the food bank branch… The numbers are grim: Rutgers University’s “Rutgers against Hunger” report found that 77 percent of emergency food clients in the state said they’ve had to chose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel. That’s up from 40 percent in 2006… Similar increases were found in other decisions: 70 percent of respondents said they had to choose between food and paying rent, while 73 percent had to choose between food and medicine.
The growing oyster aquaculture industry on the Delaware Bay tide flats may be harming an endangered migratory shorebird, a new study says… Oyster farmers on the bay and environmental groups trying to save the robin-sized red knot from extinction have spent the year trying to find ways to coexist. The study may make that more difficult, especially because the oyster growers want to expand operations north to prime red knot foraging areas… Lisa Calvo, aquaculture program coordinator with New Jersey Sea Grant at Rutgers University, sharply criticized the study. Her husband also is one of the oyster growers… Calvo said the study presents no evidence of impact on horseshoe crabs, was based only on “one single summer” and more data is needed for a clearer picture. She noted that emergency funding is in place to study the impacts for two years, so the study release at this time was “unfair and premature.”
A longtime ban on winter dredging, designed to protect a fish that isn’t even here in great numbers, has been lifted… The dredging ban’s lifting was announced by Lou Chiarella of the National Marine Fisheries Service. It was based on work done at Rut…
Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County received a $460,170 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture as part of a multimillion federal award… The three-year grant, which is awarded through a program administered by the USDA, is used by the Rutgers extension to educate new and beginning farmers in the state. It teaches them how to grow high-value crops on small acreage… Larry Katz, the director of the extension, was pleased that it is continuing programs like this… “This Rutgers project will provide training and information on how farmers can make more money with less land,” said Jenny Carleo, agricultural agent for the extension.
Entrepreneurs who want to start oyster farms in South Jersey say New Jersey’s regulations are a hard shell to crack… No fewer than 11 state and federal agencies typically have some say over the commercial use of New Jersey’s waterways. This sometimes leads to contradictory instructions and other conflicts that can tangle businesses in needless red tape, industry officials said… “It’s an issue. It’s probably the primary limiting factor in the growth of aquaculture in New Jersey,” said David Bushek, director of the Haskin Shellfish Research Lab at Rutgers University. “The Office of Shellfisheries is working very hard to streamline the process.”… Aquaculture is a $5 billion industry in the United States, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service. Farmed catfish and salmon are top producers. Farmed oysters such as those grown in the Delaware Bay generate $100 million per year. Virginia alone is responsible for $45 million of that.
The Jersey tomato has a special place in its home state’s self-image, and not only because New Jersey’s farmers grew and sold more than 62 million pounds of them last year, $38.1 million worth… But the Jersey tomato brand has been watered down in recent decades, according to many critics. So Rutgers, the state’s university, is trying to do something about that… The Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station in Cumberland County is part of a long-running effort to re-create the Rutgers tomato, a variety with a history well beyond its home state… “What people remember as the Jersey tomato was really the Rutgers tomato,” said Tom Orton, a professor of plant biology and head of Rutgers’ tomato program.
Coryn Dykhouse, 15, walked a miniature horse named Willow around the stables Thursday during the Cape May County 4-H Fair. Coryn lives in the suburbs of Middle Township, but is competing in equestrian events this week on her huge chocolate-chip colored…
Ice cold beverages: Check. Sunscreen: Check. Air conditioning: Check. That is a basic checklist of things area residents will need to weather the forecast upper 90 degree temperatures for today. If those highs are not bad enough, add high humidity and the heat index could approach 100 degrees, said Dan Skeldon, Press of Atlantic City meteorologist… The impact of the heat will not be limited to South Jersey, said David Robinson, professor of geography at Rutgers University and state climatologist. But tomorrow’s oppressive forecast doesn’t mean the state is state is expected to see an overly hot summer… “We are on the boundary of the southern heat. If the heat comes up here we could see a couple of warmer days, but overall I don’t expect an extremely hot summer,” Robinson said.
Most experts believe the offshore ridges of sand that are prime spots for sand mining are related to the ice ages, although storms may also play a role… Beyond those ridges is flatter terrain and finer sand that is not as good for beach-building. It is also farther out and that adds to the cost of mining… Kenneth Able, who directs Rutgers University’s Marine Field Station in Tuckerton, said the real concern is removing the ridges or lumps. Able said research in waters off Little Egg Inlet show the sand ridges have “been around a long time” and fish seem to prefer them.