Summer Environmental Newsletter

Monmouth County Seal 2018

Monmouth County Environmental Newsletter:  Summer 2023

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Inland Flood Protection Rule Logo

Inland Floodplain Logo Source: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection website

New Jersey's new Inland Flood Protection Rule went into effect July 17, 2023. The Rule intends to identify areas at a higher risk of flooding using the most accurate precipitation data available. The Rule also aims to ensure new developments within these areas have the proper climate appropriate infrastructure. The new regulations will only apply to new developments and those under reconstruction. It is not applicable to any current or existing developments.

More information can be found on the Department of Environmental Protection website.

NJDEP Awards $7 Million in Stormwater Assistance Grants

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection granted $7 million to applicants completing local stormwater management infrastructure improvements. While continuing to cope with the ongoing challenges of climate change, these funds are intended to be used to improve the health of waterways. There are four primary grant categories:

  • Stormwater Asset Opportunity Planning and Analysis
  • Green Infrastructure Projects
  • Existing Infrastructure Enhancement
  • Removal and Restoration of Impervious Surfaces

More information can be found on the Official New Jersey website.

Upcoming Environmental & Outdoor Events In Monmouth County

Continuing To Preserve Farmland


Conover Farm, Wall Township Source: Monmouth Conservation Foundation

Monmouth County works in partnership with many organizations to preserve farmland throughout the County. These partners include but are not limited to: the Monmouth County Agriculture Development Board (MCADB), the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC), municipalities, and nonprofits. With their help, the County has been able to preserve more than 16,000 acres of farmland.

More and more farmers each year have been eager to preserve their land and ensure that the parcels will be only used for agricultural use. Many people believe that preserving farmland helps to retain the character of their towns and maintain the region's agricultural heritage.

This is the case for the Mosley family's Triple L Farm. This family farm in Colts Neck has been preserved since 2021 and continues to be a staple of Colts Neck's character. The family’s inspiration is based on their agricultural roots and the desire to keep farming their way of life.  Read more about the preservation story of Triple L Farm on the Monmouth Conservation Foundation's website.

DoD Climate Resilience Workshop

DoD Conference

The U.S. Department of Defense hosted its first climate resilience workshop in St. Louis, Mo., in July. Military personnel, environmental organizations, and representatives from government agencies around the country convened to share information about tools, projects, and resources for addressing climate threats.

The nation’s military installations and the communities in which they are located are facing an array of climate-related hazards such as flooding, fire, and excessive heat, all of which pose a national security threat.  Supervising Planner-Harriet Honigfeld, was invited to the conference to speak about Monmouth County’s  planning and coastal resilience projects that support the mission of Naval Weapons Station Earle.  For more information about the county’s military planning and resilience work see  Monmouth County's website.

New Special Occasion Event (SOE) Law

In February, the P.L 2023, c.9 went into effect to permit special occasion events to be held on preserved farmland under certain conditions. The goal of this new law is to provide supplemental income to established farm operations.

The events that will be allowed to be held include cultural or social events and lifetime milestone events such as weddings. Recreational events are not covered under this law.

There is a limit of twenty-six (26) events allowed on each preserved farm per year with a certain number of guests per event. To read more about the new law and for more details please visit the State Agricultural Development Committee's website.

Canadian Wildfires

Canada Wildfire Smoke Freehold

Smoke and yellow skies at Freehold Raceway Mall, Monmouth County. Photo by Ciara Wenger

In June, New Jersey residents experienced an intense change in air quality due to Canadian wildfire smoke that moved down the east coast. New Jersey was faced with an extreme increase in the Air Quality Index, or AQI, which gauges how clean or polluted the air outside is, as well as how it impacts any health conditions.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) suggested that everyone limit their time outside and to wear masks outdoors whenever possible. The conditions were so dangerous that the NJDEP declared a “Code Orange." According to the AirNow website, a Code Orange signifies unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups, people with respiratory issues, and certain other individuals.

The dangerous air quality in Monmouth County only lasted a few days before the air quality returned to normal levels. Though this experience was brief, the lingering smell of fire and yellow haze that fell over the county will be remembered by those who experienced the situation. 

Monmouth county Beach

Courtesy of Monmouth County Park System

Keeping Cool

Communities across the country are seeing record high temperatures this summer. According to Popular Science, it said that July 3 was the hottest day for the planet on record. With the planet’s temperature increasing, communities are facing the heat firsthand. Therefore, the federal government recently announced additional measures to protect communities from the dangers of extreme heat.

An article by The World Health Organization (WHO) explains why the heat can be so dangerous. Extreme heat poses many dangers to people’s health, including homeless individuals, children, the elderly, athletes, outdoor/manual workers, and individuals with chronic conditions such as respiratory issues.

A number of federal organizations are exploring ways to address the heat crisis.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) plans to establish two research centers to help communities manage and improve resilience to the extreme heat.

Additionally, the White House Interagency Working Group on Extreme Heat intends to create a national heat strategy that focuses on equity and environmental justice by in the following manor:

  • Meet with the Department of Defense and local officials to better equip communities to cope with heat related emergencies
  • Sponsored a summit about climate resilience
  • Promoting climate-smart infrastructure
  • Expanding green spaces

Some other means of addressing this dangerous trend will be providing clear and accessible information to protect communities, sustainability in affordable housing, lowering cooling costs, strengthening the power grid, and building a heat-ready workforce. For more information about the heat issues see