|New Toolkit From New Jersey Future Helps Municipal Leaders Fight Pollution and Flooding
TRENTON, Nov. 5, 2018 — New Jersey’s municipalities are facing the growing problem of nuisance flooding and polluted waterways.To help municipalities address these problems, New Jersey Future today released the Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit: an interactive, online resource to any community in New Jersey, whether new to the opportunities green infrastructure presents or already implementing GI and seeking more specific expert guidance. The toolkit contains detailed information, expert guidance and a variety of tools that cities and towns can use to plan, implement, and sustain green infrastructure in public- and private-sector development projects.
“Green infrastructure has become a mainstream stormwater management technique in much of the country,” said Louise Wilson, New Jersey Future’s green infrastructure manager. “We believe this toolkit will be a big help to New Jersey communities — especially in view of expected updates to the state’s stormwater management rules that will require the use of green infrastructure, making it the go-to strategy for pollution prevention and flood mitigation. And that’s a very good thing.”
Green infrastructure describes a range of stormwater management strategies that enable stormwater or melting snow to soak into soils near where if falls or that capture runoff for a beneficial reuse such as irrigation or flushing toilets. These techniques conserve and clean runoff that has become contaminated with pollutants like motor oil, trash, fertilizer, pesticides and animal waste, and they are cost-effective ways to meet regulatory requirements while also delivering valuable broader economic and societal benefits.
“The great majority of New Jersey’s rivers, streams and lakes are impaired. It’s a real problem, and green infrastructure is an excellent way to start fixing it,” noted Rutgers Professor Chris Obropta, a professional engineer and director of the Water Resources Program at Rutgers/NJAES. “Green infrastructure can prevent runoff pollution from most of the rain events we experience in New Jersey.”
Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly, immediate past president of the New Jersey League of Municipalities, urges his fellow elected officials to take green infrastructure seriously. “You ignore problems like pollution and flooding at your peril,” he said. “Working with community partners, you can make real, visible progress. Your constituents can see the work, and they appreciate that you’re paying attention to problems that affect their quality of life.”
The Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit features advice and resources for municipalities. Direct links to Sustainable Jersey actions illustrate a variety of ways that planning for and installing green infrastructure can translate to Sustainable Jersey points toward certification. The toolkit is designed to appeal to local elected officials and their entire teams, including planning board, environmental commission and green team members, municipal engineers, planners, administrators, and public works superintendents, and local environmental advocates.
The toolkit was developed in consultation with the Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit Advisory Committee, a group of more than 20 municipal leaders and experts. It is a product of New Jersey Future’s Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure program, which aims to move green stormwater infrastructure practices into the mainstream.
|About New Jersey Future
Founded in 1987, New Jersey Future is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes sensible growth, redevelopment and infrastructure investments to foster vibrant cities and towns, protect natural lands and waterways, enhance transportation choices, provide access to safe, affordable and aging-friendly neighborhoods and fuel a strong economy. The organization does this through original research, innovative policy development, coalition-building, advocacy, and hands-on strategic assistance.