New Brunswick, N.J. (June 24, 2019) – It’s 2050 and the sea level along New Jersey’s oceanfront and bays is 1.5 feet higher than it was at the turn of the century. That may not sound like much, but it’s a major increase considering the daily high tides and occasional hurricanes and nor’easters that flood low-lying areas with storm surges, pounding surf and powerful winds. It’s enough to make the most severe flood that happens in a typical year a permanent state of affairs.

By 2100, the sea level could be 2 feet to 8 feet higher in the Garden State depending on the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity and how polar ice sheets respond in the coming decades. Those water levels would permanently inundate many coastal lands and wetlands. Still, government, businesses and residents can take steps to adapt to sea-level rise, increased flooding and growing storm threats.

Rutgers University–New Brunswick experts are providing sound science and evidence-based recommendations on how to be more resilient to these climate change-related impacts. In the following four essays, Rutgers experts share their insights from science, planning and policy, engineering and sociological perspectives. They have also developed or contributed to many online resilience tools to help New Jersey, counties, towns, businesses and residents adapt to the rising tide.

Full package of essays, illustrations, photos and online resources:

The essay writers include:

Robert E. Kopp, director of the Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Karl F. Nordstrom, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences.

Johnny Quispe, a doctoral candidate in the graduate program of Ecology and Evolution and in the Coastal Climate Risk & Resilience certificate program.

Marjorie Kaplan, associate director of the Rutgers Climate Institute and co-facilitator of the New Jersey Climate Change Alliance.

Lisa Auermuller, assistant manager and Coastal Training Program coordinator at the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Jeanne Herb, executive director of the Environmental Analysis and Communications Group at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and co-facilitator of the New Jersey Climate Change Alliance.

Qizhong (George) Guo, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering.

Karen M. O’Neill, an associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology.


Broadcast interviews: Rutgers University has broadcast-quality TV and radio studios available for remote live or taped interviews with Rutgers experts. For more information, contact Neal Buccino at [email protected]

Rutgers University–New Brunswick is where Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, began more than 250 years ago. Ranked among the world’s top 60 universities, Rutgers’s flagship is a leading public research institution and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It has an internationally acclaimed faculty, 12 degree-granting schools and the Big Ten Conference’s most diverse student body.