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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 10/30/01
01/129

CONTACT: Loretta O'Donnell or Amy Collings
(609) 984-1795 or 609-292-2994

SHINN ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF $1 MILLION IN NEW WATERSHED MANAGEMENT GRANTS

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Shinn announced today that $1million is now available to support watershed management throughout the state.

For one program, local organizations must first establish themselves as eligible Watershed Management Groups. This year, $500,000 is available to support these groups. For the other program, another $500,000 is available for educational activities for the public advisory committees of the state's 20 watershed management areas.

"These additional funds will further our efforts to improve water quality throughout the state and involve the public in working with us toward that goal," said Shinn.

To become eligible Watershed Management Groups, the organizations must include a broad range of local interests in accordance with the state's recently adopted revisions to the Water Quality Management Planning Rules and the Watershed Protection and Management Act. These interests would include representatives from local and county government officials, water purveyors, wastewater utilities , representatives of the business, agricultural, academic and environmental communities, regional planning agencies, soil conservation districts and the general public.

Existing local organizations are encouraged to read the grant eligibility requirements on DEP's website. Monies for this program are provided through the Watershed Management Fund, which is generated from the Corporate Business Tax.

Projects for approved Watershed Management Groups may include the establishment of watershed associations and actions identified as priorities by Watershed Management Area Public Advisory Committees. The application deadline for these grants is March 15, 2002. After DEP has reviewed the applications, the department will submit a list of recommended projects to the New Jersey Legislature for approval.In addition to these grants, $500,000 is available from the state's General Fund to support watershed educational activities. In accordance with the budget appropriation, this funding will be distributed equally among the public advisory committees for the state' s 20 watershed management areas. These grants must be awarded before June 30, 2002. The Division of Watershed Management will be working with the agencies to review the requirements.

For more information on how to become a recognized Watershed Management Group and how to apply for funds, view DEP's web site at www.state.nj.us/dep/watershedmgt. Notice of Availability will be published in the Nov. 5 NJ Register, or contact DEP's Division of Watershed Management at PO Box 418, Trenton, NJ 08625-0418, Attn: Watershed Management Group Grants, or (609) 984-0058.

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