Image

New Jersey May Turn Their Wetlands Into A 'Climate Change' National Park

New Jersey May Turn Their Wetlands Into A 'Climate Change' National Park
User Avatar
8 months ago

The New Jersey Meadowlands is composed of low-lying wetlands. Unfortunately, the wetlands end up being the ground which is most vulnerable to sea water that rises due to climate change. But a New York-area research and planning nonprofit called the Regional Planning Association (RPA) suggests that they could turn this weakness into an asset.

Fast Company reports that the RPA would like to turn the area into the nation's first "Climate Change National Park."

Another shot from last week. #optoutside #foreverwild #reiemployee #meadowlands #fallhikes

A post shared by Erin Thames (@erin.j.thames) on

Rob Freudenberg, the VP for energy and environment at RPA, says that wetlands are actually perfectly designed to help with erosion and water levels created by the rising tides.

“The park would embrace the fact that water is coming,” he explained. "And show that if we let it in, we can essentially do a service for the region by absorbing some of the sea level rise.”

At the moment, Meadowlands National Park is inhabited by some residential communities, but it also contains a number of warehousing and distribution facilities. It's crossed by both rail lines and the New Jersey Turnpike. RPA's suggestions would turn the area into much more of a wilderness that can absorb water. 

However, it's predicted that as sea levels rise, most of these residents will be chased form meadowlands anyway, whether or not they attempt to do something drastic now. So why not be drastic?

“We want to see this as a place where you could take a train to, and get out and go on a kayak ride or a hike on the Tristate Trail,” Freudenberg said. “Right now, it’s the kind of place where you pass through. We want it to be a destination.”

A dry boardwalk beneath the sun

A post shared by cat.on.king (@cat.on.king) on

Beautiful #newjersey On-board #njtransit to #EWR #northeastcorridor #planestrainsandautomobiles

A post shared by Florentino Reyes (@florentinoreyes) on

It's a potentially scary compromise that risks what people are comfortable with now, with what could be possible in future. But RPA points out that other measures may not satisfy either—many living in the lowest points will have to be evacuated anyway, and attempts to build sea walls will only divert water to other areas, potentially damaging them.

“The idea of retreat is not one that sits well with the American public,” said Freudenberg. “But if you look at the region and the amount of adaptation that’s going to need to take place, you’ll see that there are going to be places we have to choose to protect, and others that we can’t.”

A grim prognostication, but one with a potentially exhilarating possibilities, if the state decides to take a risk and name a national park what it is—nature protecting us.

RecircNewsBelize's Barrier Reef Is Off Endangered List After Banning Oil Activity

Belize has saved the second-biggest coral reef in the world, which provides food and  economical benefits to the Central American country. After passing legislation to ban oil exploration, UNESCO has taken it off their endangered list.

By Brian Spaen
3 weeks ago
RecircNewsThis Beluga Whale Sanctuary In Iceland Is Officially Welcoming New Residents

Beluga whales are heading from China to a new home on an Icelandic island that brings them closer to a natural habitat. Multiple organizations are not only providing them a better home, but are hoping that other entertainment parks follow in their footsteps.

By Brian Spaen
3 weeks ago
RecircNewsWhy This Dutch Town Installed Bat-Friendly LED Street Lights

To keep rare bat species in an area where they thrive, a community that's already created nearly 100 sustainable homes is changing their street lights. These new red LED bulbs will allow humans to continue operating at night while the bats can avoid it.

By Brian Spaen
1 month ago
RecircNewsEndangered Mountain Gorilla Population Is On The Rise Despite Challenges

Mountain gorillas remain an endangered species, but conservation efforts such as regulated tourism and habitat protection has increased their population over the last 35 years. It's jumped 25 percent in a specific African region in the past eight years.

By Brian Spaen
2 months ago
Stay Green
Sign up for our newsletter