FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2022
Caryn Shinske (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
(22/P016) TRENTON – Building on the Murphy Administration’s investments in environmental infrastructure, State Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette has announced the launch of a $10 million lakes management grants program that will fund projects to mitigate stormwater and runoff pollution, improving recreation or conservation at public lakes throughout New Jersey. Local governments, lake commissions, nonprofit organizations and other entities established specifically to manage publicly accessible waterbodies are eligible for funding and applications are due by Saturday, May 28.
The funding announcement today kicks off Earth Week, which this year has a global theme of Invest in Our Planet. According to a Request For Proposal issued by the Department of Environmental Protection, projects eligible for funding address stormwater management, nonpoint source pollution and related infrastructure needs at public lakes, while maintaining, improving or enhancing recreation or conservation activities. Applications will be accepted through May 28.
“Investments such as rain gardens or stormwater improvements to restore and protect natural resources in our watersheds help protect communities from damaging storms, reduce the impacts of climate change that are favorable to harmful algal blooms and improve water quality,” Commissioner LaTourette said. “I encourage all local leaders and organizations in northeastern New Jersey and in the Delaware River Watershed to apply for this grant funding so we help enhance their natural resources and environmental infrastructure.”
Stormwater runoff and nonpoint source pollution can endanger the water quality of lakes. Increased runoff due to climate change carries excessive nutrients and impacts water temperatures, which can harm the ecosystem and contribute to persistent harmful algal blooms.
These issues also can endanger recreational activities, as well as conservation ventures, and potentially have devastating impacts on the local economy of lake communities if critical summer revenue is lost.
Funding applications and project proposals must be submitted by May 28 to the DEP’s Water Quality Restoration Grants Program. Projects that may be eligible for grant funding include:
“This is an investment in preventing algae blooms that have impacted Lake Hopatcong, Greenwood Lake and other waters in the state,” said Senator Pennacchio. “These grants will help prevent conditions that encourage the growth of algae and strengthen the monitoring of water conditions so these important environmental assets are protected. There is more to be done, but this is a significant development in preserving our lakes for the future.”
“Stormwater runoff has contributed to significant problems in the states two most important destinations for summer recreation in northern New Jersey -- Lake Hopatcong and Greenwood Lake.” said Senator Bucco. “These DEP grants are a step toward mitigating the flow of polluted water into the lakes that contributes to the unchecked weed growth and dangerous algal blooms that have harmed the crucial summer seasons in recent years. This is an investment in the health of our lakes and the economies of our lake communities.”
Senators Oroho, Pennacchio and Bucco were the primary sponsors of S3618, which made a supplemental appropriation of $10 million for grants for certain lake management activities for recreation and conservation purposes. The Assembly version was A5778.
Grants are made possible with funds provided under the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Proposals for Lakes Stormwater Management Grants must be submitted electronically using the DEP’s System for Administering Grants Electronically (NJDEP SAGE) at https://njdepsage.intelligrants.com. Registered users will log on and the listing for this RFP will be under “View Available Opportunities” Lakes Management 2022. For more information, call Larry Torok, Bureau of Watershed Management, Restoration Unit, at (609) 984-0921.
To view the Request For Proposal, including requirements for proposal submissions, and for more information about New Jersey's Water Quality Restoration Grants Program, visit https://www.nj.gov/dep/wlm/grants/lakestormwater.html
Follow Commissioner LaTourette on Twitter and Instagram @shawnlatur and follow the DEP on Twitter @NewJerseyDEP, Facebook @newjerseydep, Instagram @nj.dep and LinkedIn @newjerseydep