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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2015

Contact: Caryn Shinske (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Bob Considine (609) 292-2994

CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION AWARDS $2.5 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR
FIVE WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS
PROJECTS TO USE GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE, OTHER TECHNIQUES TO REDUCE
NONPOINT SOURCE POLLUTION IN NEW JERSEY WATERWAYS

(15/109) TRENTON – Five projects across New Jersey will share more than $2.5 million in grants to help improve their water quality by using green infrastructure techniques and other measures to control nonpoint source pollution in their communities, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.

The grants, which are funded by the federal government through the federal Clean Water Act and by the DEP through the 319(h) Program, are awarded to programs in each region of New Jersey for projects that implement approved watershed-based plans that will have measurable environmental outcomes to improve water quality.

“Clean water is critical to the health and well-being of our communities and a priority of the Christie Administration,” said Dan Kennedy, the DEP’s Assistant Commissioner for Water Resources Management. “These grants support critical statewide priorities such as eliminating CSOs and protecting the Barnegat Bay. In providing these grants we are supporting New Jersey communities as we together improve water quality and reduce stormwater management.”

The DEP evaluates water resources management issues across the state to ensure that problems are addressed efficiently and effectively. Since Superstorm Sandy hit in October 2012, projects to improve resiliency statewide have become a priority.

Priority project areas include those that address combined sewer overflows (CSO) by implementing nonpoint source pollution control strategies, including green infrastructure; implementing approved watershed-based plans in the Barnegat Bay and non-tidal Raritan River watersheds; and living shorelines. Overall, 12 projects totaling $5 million have been funded during the past two years.

The latest round of approved projects are:

  • Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program, $500,000 to reduce stormwater runoff and the frequency of CSO discharges in the City of Paterson. The WRP will implement infrastructure techniques such as rain gardens, rain water reuse, community gardens and infiltration structures that were used successfully in Newark and Camden to reduce runoff volumes in those cities.
  • Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program, $700,000 to implement water quality improvement projects and a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for phosphorus levels in the Raritan River Watershed. The approximate 1,100 square-mile watershed covers portions of seven counties and 98 New Jersey municipalities. The WRP will use green infrastructure techniques to improve water quality and reduce flooding.
  • Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County, $597,000 to design and develop water quality projects within Jackson Township as identified in the Metedeconk River Watershed Protection and Restoration Plan. The Metedeconk River, an important regional source of drinking water supply, provides a significant amount of freshwater discharge to the Barnegat Bay estuary.  Rutgers Cooperative Extension is providing $22,500 of in-kind services to match the grant.
  • Readington Township, Hunterdon County, $650,000 for water quality improvement projects identified in a watershed improvement plan and to implement the phosphorous TMDL adopted for the Raritan River Watershed.  The township is providing $38,600 in matching funds for the project.
  • Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, $65,000 to install green infrastructure in Gateway Park, a 25-acre stretch of mostly grass parkland in Camden and Pennsauken between the Cooper River and the eastbound lanes of Admiral Wilson Boulevard. Tree plantings and installation of three bioswales are planned to help relieve stormwater impacts and reduce the amount of nonpoint source pollution entering Cooper River. The New Jersey Conservation Foundation and WRP are contributing $20,000 to the grant.

For more information about New Jersey’s Section 319(h) Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Grant Program, please visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/wms/bear/319_grant_program.htm

To learn more about nonpoint source pollution control, please visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/dwq/bnpc_home.htm

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