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Ocean Wind Pro-NJ Grantor Trust Receives Unexpected Number of Funding Requests from Coastal Towns for Local Coastal Resiliency Projects

Ocean Wind Pro-NJ Grantor Trust Receives Unexpected Number of Funding Requests from Coastal Towns for Local Coastal Resiliency Projects

The Pro-NJ Grantor Trust’s call for Expressions of Interest, ahead of the formal application process needed to apply for funding for coastal infrastructure and resiliency projects, resulted in more interest than anticipated. Seventeen requests came from municipalities throughout Cape May, Atlantic and Ocean counties, totaling nearly $19 million, more than five times the amount the Trust set aside for this round.

The initial responding municipalities include: Avalon, North Wildwood, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest in Cape May County; Atlantic City, Hammonton, Longport, Margate and Ventnor in Atlantic County; and Brick, Little Egg Harbor, Township of Ocean Pine Beach and Stafford Township in Ocean County.

Of the 17 municipalities, seven have been invited at this time to submit formal applications – Avalon, North Wildwood, Wildwood, Longport, Margate, Ventnor City and Little Egg Harbor Township. The Trust’s goal is to fund at least one project in each of the counties while providing a sufficient grant award to allow a project to be completed.

During this round of funding, the Trust earmarked $3.5 million in support of coastal infrastructure and resiliency projects that aim to help mitigate the impacts of severe weather occurrences and flooding to help increase resiliency and help municipalities and counties better respond to natural disasters.

“The unexpected interest in this round was a welcomed surprise to the Trust,” said Beverly McCall, chair of the Pro-NJ Grantor Trust. “While we initially had to make a tough decision to move seven projects forward to fit the $3.5 million limit, given the need shown by our coastal communities, the Trust is reviewing ways to include the other towns in the application process for this round or provide special consideration for the next coastal resiliency round.”

McCall added, “Severe weather events and flooding leaves families and businesses in coastal communities with financial burdens that place undue strains on municipal budgets. Part of the Trust’s mission is to help alleviate these fiscal burdens and help towns maintain quality of life for residents – which is why we are open to reconsidering requests that were made during this round.”

The Trust is a $15 million fund established by Ocean Wind 1 following its selection by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in June 2019 as New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm. In addition to providing funding for coastal resiliency projects, the Trust offers small, women-owned and minority-owned businesses support in reconfiguring or adapting their businesses to participate in the developing offshore wind industry, with the goal of ensuring that the offshore wind industry in New Jersey is developed in a sustainable and inclusive way.

Following the award of coastal resiliency funds, the Trustees will publish a Request for Expressions for Interest directed toward New Jersey’s small, women-owned and minority-owned businesses.

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