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The New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance was formed in response to a diverse group of stakeholders who came together on November 29, 2011 at Rutgers University to participate in the conference "Preparing NJ for Climate Change: A Workshop for Decision-Makers."

A changing climate and rising sea levels will have a devastating impact on New Jersey’s economy, the health of our residents, the State’s natural resources, and the extensive infrastructure system that delivers transportation services, energy and clean water to millions of New Jerseyans. The Alliance will focus on climate change preparedness in key impacted sectors (public health; watersheds, rivers and coastal communities; built infrastructure; agriculture; and natural resources).

The 2011 "Inaugural" meeting highlighted the devastating impacts that a changing climate and rising sea levels will have on New Jersey's economy, the health of our residents, the State's natural resources, and the extensive infrastructure system that delivers transportation services, energy and clean water to millions of New Jerseyans.

The November 29, 2011 gathering pointed to the need for undertaking aggressive climate change preparedness as an antidote to forestalling serious public health impacts, economic, ecological and infrastructure investment impacts. Even if the most aggressive efforts were underway to stall climate change, the best outcome would be reducing global surface temperatures from their projected worst case by 3-4 degrees F. In that scenario, as a densely populated coastal State, with aging infrastructure and housing stock, New Jersey remains highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Additionally, the workshop pointed to the need to focus New Jersey's preparedness efforts on key areas affecting the State's economy and quality of life: public health; watersheds, rivers and coastal communities; built infrastructure; agriculture; and natural resources. Recommendations clearly pointed to a strong role for Rutgers, as the State University, to work through a stakeholder process to build capacity in New Jersey.