Highlands Council Funds Watershed Protection Projects in Morris County and Plan Conformance Assessment in Warren County

Highlands Council Funds Watershed Protection Projects in Morris County and Plan Conformance Assessment in Warren County

CHESTER, N.J. — At its most recent meeting, the Highlands Council approved funding to support lake management planning in Rockaway Township, water use and conservation management planning in Randolph Township, and Regional Master Plan (RMP) conformance assessment in Independence Township.

“The projects moving forward in Rockaway and Randolph address the very heart of the Highlands Act and Regional Master Plan, taking a proactive approach to watershed protection in the Highlands,” explained Lisa Plevin, Highlands Council Executive Director. “In Independence Township in Warren County, where we have been having increasingly productive conversations about municipal needs, the town will be embarking on an assessment to determine how conformance with the Highlands RMP can benefit their community.”

Summaries of the three funded projects are below.

  • Rockaway Township, Morris County – Lake Management Planning Study
    Not to exceed $175,525
    Rockaway Township plans to conduct a watershed assessment of the watersheds surrounding eleven (11) small- and medium-sized lakes in the Township.  This comprehensive regional analysis will result in specific recommended watershed management measures including prioritization and costs.

  • Randolph Township, Morris County – Water Use and Conservation Management Plan (WUCMP)
    Not to exceed $60,000
    Randolph Township will develop a WUCMP that sets priorities for the use of available water where Net Water Availability (NWA) is positive, and establishes methods to reduce and, where feasible, eliminate NWA deficits where they exist.

  • Independence Township, Warren County – Initial Assessment Grant
    Not to exceed $10,000
    Independence Township will complete an assessment of the impacts of Plan Conformance on the Township.  The assessment will focus on the ability of the Township to (re)develop its commercial corridors, conformance in the Preservation Area and Planning Area, as well as possible Highlands Center Designation.

“It’s a testament to the success we have had across the Region that municipalities continue to launch new efforts to implement the provisions of the Highlands Act and RMP,” said Carl Richko, Highlands Council Chairman. “A great deal of work still remains to be done to protect the New Jersey Highlands, but the sustained engagement of municipalities demonstrates a united commitment to protect the Region.”

Actions taken by the Council at this meeting will take effect following the Governor’s review and consideration of the meeting minutes, up to 10 business days from receipt of the minutes. Materials related to this meeting including resolutions, presentations, audio and minutes will be posted at: www.nj.gov/njhighlands/about/calend/index.html (click on January 14 meeting).

The Highlands Council is a regional planning agency, established in 2004 with the passage of the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act and charged with implementation of the Act. More information is available at www.nj.gov/njhighlands.

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