I’ve spent my life loving the state of New Jersey, a place that seems to be the perpetual underdog no matter how many artists, athletes and geniuses we’ve produced and nurtured. No matter where you go in the world, the saltwater taffy is never as sweet as it is from one of our boardwalks. I’ve lived through two financial crises and survived Superstorm Sandy and never dreamed of leaving this paradise the world too often treats as a joke.
But I do worry about the future New Jersey holds for my daughter. Will she be forced to move as rising seas flood parts of our state? Unless we take bold action to reduce reliance on fossil fuels that worsen the danger and destruction climate change is bringing, and unless we embrace clean energy technology like offshore wind power that will boost the economy, opportunities will decrease for future generations.
Through my work with the New Jersey Resource Project, I have talked to people all over South Jersey who share my fears about the world we’re leaving for our kids and grandkids. We know we need solutions such as offshore wind to lower harmful greenhouse emissions. We must be stewards of the beautiful coastline and farmland so many enjoy and get economic benefit from throughout the year.
Because the Jersey Shore is unique and iconic, change can feel threatening. But offshore wind can be implemented safely and responsibly. With community voices coming together to fight for good-paying jobs, cabling plans that prioritize the well being of people and marine life, and for studies to continue after construction to promote accountability, we can make sure offshore wind works for us. Everyone in New Jersey deserves a safe place to live — a place to call home for generations to come.