Opinion: Our vision for the Meadowlands must address the urgency of climate change

New Jersey Meadowlands

ROB FREUDENBERG / NORTHJERSEY.COM – Last month, a U.N. study found that the “storm of the century” could soon come once a year. Here in New Jersey, a coastal state that is also the most densely populated in the nation, that spells very bad news indeed.

An area of stark contrasts, the Meadowlands is likely to bear the brunt of climate change.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of advocates in the state, it is our region’s largest remaining intact wetland habitat and a sanctuary for diverse wildlife — a buffer against flooding in the surrounding region that will be the first to face the threat of permanent flooding over the next century.

It is also an industrial and commercial center; a tourist attraction; a crucial hub for transportation, energy and water infrastructure; and home to hundreds of thousands of residents …

Rob Freudenberg is vice president of energy and environment at the Regional Plan Association.

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