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Natural Awakenings Hudson County NJ

Sustainable Jersey City Wins $10K ‘Change Makers’ Grant.

paper cut sun and melting earth and thermometer

Sustainable JerseyCity, a collaborative network of community groups and individuals working to move the city toward a more sustainable and resilient future, is the recipient of Unilever’s 2021 Change Makers and Do-Gooders community grant. SJC will use the $10,000 award to help address the urban heat island (UHI) effect across three environmental justice communities—Jersey City, Elizabeth and Newark.

The UHI effect is an increase in temperature caused by dark, heat-absorbing urban surfaces like asphalt roofs, roads and parking lots. It’s made worse when there is a lack of tree cover. According to SJC, the UHI effect can cause a temperature spike of 15 to 20 degrees in affected neighborhoods, worsening air quality and causing heat-related health issues. The problem especially impacts lower-income communities, which are often characterized by fewer trees and green spaces.

SJC has announced that it will partner with Groundwork Elizabeth and the South Ward Environmental Alliance of Newark to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the UHI effect, supported by CAPA Strategies, across the three environmental justice communities. The Rutgers Environmental Occupational Health & Science Institute will work with them on an air quality monitoring study in sync with the UHI effect study. SJC will use the results to develop actionable reports for municipal decision makers and the general public.


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