With 130 miles of Atlantic coastline and 1,792 miles of tidal shore, New Jersey can readily be described as a coastal state. Nearly 9 million people reside within New Jersey's coastal counties year-round, with the population increasing dramatically during the summer vacation months. New Jersey's economy is also tightly linked with the use of coastal and marine resources, through industries such as port's commerce, tourism, aquaculture, and recreational and commercial fisheries. Thus, it is critical to ensure that these coastal resources upon which the entire state depends are managed in a way that enables economic growth while also safeguarding the health and integrity of such resources for use by future generations.
The Extension Program manages a comprehensive rip current awareness campaign for New Jersey which includes producing and distributing thousands of metal signs in English and in Spanish, warning swimmers about the danger of rip currents and illustrating what to do if caught in one.
The New Jersey Coastal Access website offers legal information and tools that address coastal access issues and enables New Jersey's waterfront users, coastal communities, and land owners to deal with those issues cooperatively and hopefully without litigation.
Historic and cultural sites exist up and down the New Jersey coast, but are widely unknown. To better inform visitors and residents of tourism opportunities, the Extension Program developed the Coastal Heritage New Jersey Web Guide.
Hazard resilience has received an extraordinary amount of attention since August 29, 2005 when the landfall of Hurricane Katrina ushered in a new era in American history. The term "hazard resilience" refers to a community's ability to understand, plan for, and respond to a given hazard or set of hazards, whether they are natural or man-made.