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South Jersey Gas Supports The Nature Conservancy’s First Blue Carbon Study for New Jersey Coastal Wetlands

Feasibility study to determine salt marsh carbon storage capabilities

FOLSOM, NJ, November 9, 2016 – South Jersey Gas, a subsidiary of South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE: SJI), has partnered with The Nature Conservancy to provide $10,000 to support the first “blue carbon” feasibility study in New Jersey. The study will determine the potential of establishing a coastal wetlands carbon sequestration program in New Jersey. It will also assess whether blue carbon credits could be generated to help fund future coastal restoration and conservation efforts.

“Protecting wetlands and improving air quality are central to South Jersey Gas’ sustainability focus,” said Jeffrey E. DuBois, president. “The Nature Conservancy’s blue carbon study has the potential to deliver new approaches toward saving and restoring regional natural resources.”

Coastal wetlands are one of the most productive ecosystems on earth and store vast amounts of carbon in their soils, accumulated over thousands of years. The loss of coastal wetlands due to erosion, storm damage, and development impacts the ability of the marsh to store carbon and can release carbon back into the atmosphere as a damaging greenhouse gas.

The locations selected will be analyzed to determine if wetland restoration can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They include the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Galloway and the Avalon Marsh.

“This study is a high priority for The Nature Conservancy because it represents the critical first step in assessing the potential for generating blue carbon credits right here in New Jersey that could potentially be sold to the voluntary carbon market, as forest and wind credits are, and help fund coastal restoration projects,” explained Bob Allen, assistant state director for The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey. “South Jersey Gas’ support was extremely valuable to us in conducting the study.”

If feasible, blue carbon credits could provide a new way to offset carbon emissions and generate revenue that can fund coastal wetland restoration and conservation. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), salt marsh can sequester more carbon in its soil than tropical forest.

South Jersey Gas sustainability initiatives are described in the 2015/2016 South Jersey Industries Corporate Sustainability Report available online.

About South Jersey Gas

South Jersey Gas, subsidiary of South Jersey Industries (NYSE:SJI), delivers safe, reliable, affordable natural gas and promotes energy efficiency to approximately 381,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Salem, and portions of Gloucester, Burlington and Camden counties in New Jersey. Visit www.southjerseygas.com to learn more about South Jersey Gas and its programs.

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