New Jersey is spending $21 million on projects to help fight climate change, including purchasing electric trucks for some municipalities and handing out grants for projects to restore salt marshes, sea grass beds, forests and other areas.
The state Department of Environmental Protection announced a program Thursday to spend $6 million to help communities purchase electric trucks. It will help towns pay for a total of 16 new electric vehicles statewide, including garbage trucks, dump trucks and ambulances.
It also includes an electric car sharing project in Jersey City.
On Wednesday the department announced $15 million in funding for nature-based infrastructure projects.
Both initiatives will use money obtained through auction proceeds New Jersey has received through the regional greenhouse gas initiative, a collaboration of Mid-Atlantic and New England states that works to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.
States receive auction proceeds through the program to fund a variety of initiatives that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
“Climate change is the greatest long-term threat to New Jersey’s people, communities, and economy,” said Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat. “This year’s Earth Week theme of investing in our planet is reflective of our New Jersey values as we aim to set an example for the nation."
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The grant program will allow local governments, academic institutions, nonprofits and others to receive grants to restore coastal, woodland and urban ecosystems to reduce greenhouse gases.
“Natural solutions are important because they have the potential to do so much more than sequester carbon,” said Katrina Angarone, a DEP associate commissioner. “Trees planted in our urban areas also help cool our cities, clean our air, provide habitat, reduce flooding and provide green spaces in highly urbanized spaces. Restored tidal wetlands provide important wildlife and fisheries habitat and can increase the resilience of our coastal areas. These projects have the potential to be a win several times over for communities on the front line of climate change.”