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July

July 31, 2013

Jersey Fresh: South Jersey farmers feel climate change effects, and making wine. Farmers in South Jersey are beginning to rethink what they grow as many of them are witnessing changes in New Jersey’s climate. The Heritage Family farm, located in Mullica Hill, is usually known for its peaches and apple production, but in more recent years, this family has been growing grapes, too. The warmer temperatures allow for grapes such as Malbec to be grown in the Garden State. Rich Heritage, director of marketing for the winery was quoted, "Climate change is definitely something we're aware of and we talk about." He noted, "We will have New Jersey's very first commercial release of Malbec and that's a clear-cut example of climate change allowing us to make new wines."

July 29, 2013

Global Warming, Development Lure Jellyfish to Barnegat Bay. According to Rutgers research Mike Kennish, a research professor with the Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences as well as a CECI affiliate, Barnegat Bay has been experiencing increased numbers of stinging jellyfish over recent years as a result of global warming and coastal development.

July 29, 2013

Longer pollen seasons nothing to sneeze at. As a result of climate change, the pollen production of plants that commonly cause allergies is becoming more potent and lasting for longer periods of time. Warmer temperatures and increasing carbon dioxide concentrations are causing plants to produce more pollen and at earlier points in the year. Rutgers professor of environmental sciences and CECI affiliate Leonard Bielory has recorded the highest pollen levels this year in over a quarter century of monitoring which he notes could possibly be due to heavy precipitation events from last year such as Sandy.

July 9, 2013

Powering the Future: Will Algae Fuel Your Next Car? Scientists’ are increasingly looking to algae for its potential to replace petroleum because it is considered a carbon neutral energy source and does not compete with food crops in the way other biofuels such as corn-derived ethanol or vegetable oil do. Rutgers has one of the largest algae research centers in the nation where a team of researchers lead by Director of the Rutgers Energy Institute, Paul Falkowski is attempting to make algae more efficient in producing usable biofuel through genetic modification.

July 8, 2013

New Jersey Supreme Court Side with Harvey Cedars in Dune Compensation Case. The New Jersey Supreme Court has unanimously sided with the Borough of Harvey Cedars in an important case regarding the proper degree of compensation owed to homeowners in cases where eminent domain is applied to construct protective sand dunes along the shore. Lower courts had previously ruled that homeowners were due potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars per case for decreased property value associated with the construction of dunes. However, the N.J. Supreme Court ruled that the protective benefits derived from such dunes should be included in the calculation of the compensation packages, thus drastically reducing their potential payout. The ruling is considered a victory for municipalities along the shore who faced potentially prohibitive costs in implementing protective barriers and beach replenishment projects if the lower court ruling had stood.

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