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Op-Ed: Climate Change is an Equity Issue; Green Infrastructure Can Help on the Water Front

Op-Ed: Climate Change is an Equity Issue; Green Infrastructure Can Help on the Water Front

Newly adopted rules are good, but we must dramatically improve stormwater management on previously developed sites

Oh, for the days when we confronted (it seemed) one crisis at a time. New Jersey, like much of the world, doesn’t have that luxury today. The crises keep on coming: COVID-19, a reinvigorated reckoning with systemic racism, unemployment, recession. And the granddaddy of them all, presenting threats that, like each of the above, affect Black and brown people disproportionately: climate change.

“Overwhelming” is a word in heavy circulation. Another word top of mind is “resilience” — not resilience as in bouncing back like an inflatable punching bag, but rather the ability to recover from setbacks, regroup, maybe rethink, evolve and move forward. To this way of thinking, resilience involves growth and change. Hold that thought!

And here it is, the hot and stormy season.

Invoking killer heat and floodwaters right now might seem like piling on. But more and more, these kinds of events prove catastrophic, and of course, weigh most heavily on the most vulnerable among us. After all, if you can’t flee to the suburbs or country house when the waters rise, you may find yourself jammed together with hundreds of strangers in a high school gym. Those with the least resources pay the highest price.
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