Barnegat Bay Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Development

Created: 3/29/2010 - Updated: 3/02/2020


With a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Ready Estuaries Program, the Barnegat Bay National Estuary Program (BBNEP) is continuing its adaptation planning efforts. Through the creation of a working group, BBNEP is conducting a needs assessment, coordinating with other climate-related efforts in the state, and working on potential adaptation plans with input from stakeholders.


The Barnegat Bay estuary, located in New Jersey, is currently experiencing an accelerated rate of sea level rise (about 16 inches per century); future rates are projected to double and be exacerbated by other effects of climate change, like increased precipitation and more frequent and intense storm events. In summer 2009, BBNEP created a Climate Change Work Group to provide technical support and peer review for the program's adaptation activities. The group has been charged with:

  • conducting a needs assessment to identify data gaps and potential challenges and opportunities for adaptation with input from stakeholders,
  • developing potential adaptation plans and tools for two municipalities, and
  • coordinating with other hazard mitigation planning activities in the state.


BBNEP received financial and technical assistance in 2009 through the Climate Ready Estuaries Program to support research, planning, and outreach activities. Project leads are soliciting input through a series of public listening sessions and a technical workshop on climate change impacts and adaptation. The workshop, “Preparing Your Communities in the Face of a Changing Climate: Starting the Dialogue,” was held in February 2010 for coastal resource managers, policy makers, and scientists to exchange information on actual and projected climate change impacts to the estuary and potential adaptation strategies. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, The Urban Coast Institute, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Coastal Management Program. In addition, BBNEP is developing area-specific education and outreach materials and expanding their website capabilities.

Outcomes and Conclusions

BBNEP’s efforts to create and expand climate change adaptation strategies for the estuary are underway. Outcomes of the listening sessions and the technical workshop will be used to inform opportunities for improving ecosystem resilience.


Information gathered from interviews and online resources. Last updated on 3/29/10.


Gregg, R. M. (2010). Barnegat Bay Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Development [Case study on a project of the Barnegat Bay National Estuary Program]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE:… (Last updated March 2010)

Project Contact(s)

The Barnegat Bay Partnership (formerly the Barnegat Bay National Estuary Program) is one of 28 designated National Estuary Programs throughout the United States working to improve the health of nationally significant estuaries. The program is sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and Ocean County College.

The Environmental Protection Agency has ten Regional offices, each of which is responsible for the execution of the Agency's programs within several states and territories.


Scale of Project
Community / Local
Sector Addressed
Conservation / Restoration
Development (socioeconomic)
Tourism / Recreation
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Habitat extent
Sea level rise
Storms or extreme weather events
Climate Type
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Incorporate future conditions into natural resources planning and policies
Capacity Building
Increase organizational capacity
Coordinate planning and management
Increase / Improve public awareness, education, and outreach efforts
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Conduct vulnerability assessments and studies
Governance and Policy
Develop / implement adaptation plans
Taxonomic Focus
Other Invertebrates
Effort Stage
In progress

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