CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION AWARDS $3 MILLION IN STREAM CLEANING GRANTS TO PASSAIC RIVER BASIN MUNICIPALITIES
PART OF CONTINUING EFFORT TO MITIGATE FLOODING IN PARTS OF BERGEN, ESSEX, MORRIS AND PASSAIC COUNTIES
(14/P15) TRENTON –The Christie Administration has awarded $3 million in stream cleaning grants to municipal and county governments in the Passaic River Basin as part of an ongoing, long-term effort to reduce flood impacts in communities in a four-county region of North Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
The DEP, which is administering the program, solicited applications from municipalities in Morris, Essex, Bergen and Passaic counties last fall. A total of 36 municipalities and three counties will receive grants ranging from $31,000 to $300,000 to help finance projects to keep their waterways clear of snags, debris and shoals, allowing water to run freely through stream and river channels.
“While there is no silver bullet to prevent flooding in the Passaic River Basin, we can initiate steps like stream cleaning, de-snagging, shoal dredging and other measures identified in Governor Christie’s Comprehensive 15-Point Passaic River Flood Plan to help lessen flooding impacts,” said Commissioner Martin. “These grants will help participating cities and towns clear fallen trees and debris that can cause streams to clog and floodwaters to divert from river channels. We hope the towns and counties move on these projects as quickly as possible.”
In awarding grants, the DEP established a priority list based on several key factors, including previous flood damage in applying municipalities, the feasibility of the proposed projects, matching contributions from municipalities or counties, and the ratio of claims filed after previous flood events to the total number of flood insurance policies in a city or town.
Municipalities considering stream-or river-cleaning projects were encouraged to submit joint letters of interest for combined regional projects to be coordinated through their county governments. Several municipalities, in fact, received grant funding for more than one watercourse project.
All projects approved for these grants require DEP land use permits. They will be processed in an expedited manner to allow work to begin as soon as possible.
For a complete list of stream cleaning grants awarded, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/docs/2014-stream-cleaning-grants.pdf
On August 7, 2013, Governor Christie signed legislation that re-appropriated $3 million from the “Dam, Lake, Stream, Flood Control, Water Resources and Wastewater Treatment Project Bond Act of 2003’’ to fund state flood control projects.
Stream cleaning or de-snagging, is defined as the removal of accumulated sediments, debris, garbage, or vegetation from a stream with a natural stream bed, or the removal of any accumulated material from a stream previously channelized with concrete or similar artificial material.
The Passaic River watershed is about 935 square miles, with 84 percent located in New Jersey and the remainder in New York State. The Passaic River has seven major tributaries: the Whippany, Rockaway, Pompton, Pequannock, Wanaque, Ramapo, and Saddle rivers, all of which have periodic flooding problems.
For a copy of legislation signed by Governor Christie, visit: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2012/Bills/PL13/100_.HTM
To review the recommendations of the Passaic River Basin Flood Advisory Commission, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/passaicriver/docs/passaic-report201101.pdf