Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station [Water Resources Program]

Fixing Flooding: One Community at a Time

Fixing Flooding: One Community at a Time
Innovative Solutions using Green Infrastructure

Friday, February 26, 2016
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Hosted at the Middlesex County Fire Academy
1001 Fire Academy Drive, Sayreville, NJ 08872

CONFERENCE BACKGROUND:  Flooding, even from small storm events, has been affecting the quality of life of New Jersey’s residents.  Based upon a preliminary land cover analysis of New Jersey, the state has covered 12.1% of the land with impervious surfaces, which is 1,055 square miles of impervious cover or 675,200 acres of impervious cover.  During a one-inch rainfall event, 18.3 billion gallons of stormwater drains from these surfaces.  Many of these impervious surfaces are directly connected to our local waterways, meaning that every drop of rain that lands on these surfaces drains directly to a stream, river, lake, or bay without any treatment or having the opportunity to infiltrate into the soil.  Pollutants accumulate on these impervious surfaces and are washed into New Jersey's waterways during storm events.  Additionally, these impervious surfaces prevent rainfall from infiltrating into the ground to replenish the state's aquifers.  Limited infiltration of rainwater results in reduced base flow to the local streams that rely on groundwater during the dry summer months.

Green infrastructure can be used to reduce the impacts from these impervious surfaces.  Green infrastructure practices such as porous asphalt, bioretention systems, and rain gardens can be very effective at capturing, treating, and infiltrating stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces.  Green infrastructure practices also can provide an opportunity to collect and use rainwater for non-potable uses.  Many green infrastructure practices provide ancillary benefits such as providing pollinator habitat, sequestering carbon, reducing the heat island effect, and improving air quality.

Over the last several years, green infrastructure practices have been implemented across New Jersey.  These projects have clearly demonstrated the effectiveness and resiliency of green infrastructure technologies.  Water resources planning over the last 12 years has resulted in the creation of regional stormwater management plans, watershed restoration and protection plans, green infrastructure feasibility studies, and impervious cover reduction action plans.  All of these plans are good tools to identify opportunities for retrofitting existing development with green infrastructure practices.  Green infrastructure technology has proven to be a cost effective means to reduce the impacts of impervious surfaces.  The final step is to further empower local communities to advocate for green infrastructure and to implement practices.

PURPOSE:  The purpose of the conference is to educate stakeholders and engage them in addressing the impacts of stormwater runoff from impervious cover.  The workshop will acknowledge on-going efforts by the Sustainable Raritan River Collaborative and showcase their work.  It will also provide attendees an opportunity to network and develop new partnerships so they can better achieve the goal of a sustainable Raritan River Basin.

REGISTRATION:  Registration will close at 11pm on Friday, February 19th!

We have requested continuing education credits for professional planners (APA), licensed landscape architects, floodplain managers, and public works managers; engineers can self-report CEUs for this conference. 5 CECs for CFMs and 6 contact hours for CPWMs are available. Click here for more information.

COST:  $25 per person; scholarships are available

DIRECTIONSclick here




8:00 - Continental Breakfast/Registration

8:45 – 9:00 - Welcome

9:00 – 10:00 - Impervious Cover Project for Climate Resilience in New Jersey – Christopher Obropta, Rutgers

10:00 – 10:30 - Networking Break

10:30 – 12:30 - Presentation Tracts:  These are traditional presentations designed to increase knowledge and awareness and promote behavior change.  Participants are encouraged to change tracks throughout the morning.



Tract A

Tract B

Tract C

Tools of the Trade

Case Studies and Highlighted Projects

Educational Programs


Green Infrastructure Overview

(Christopher Obropta
and Jeremiah Bergstrom, Rutgers)

Parsippany-Troy Hills

(Karl Kuber, Parsippany Department of Public Works and Pat Rector, Rutgers)

Rain Garden Rebate Program

(Robert O'Neil, NJ Water Supply Authority
and Sara Mellor, Rutgers)


Impervious Cover Assessments and Reduction Action Plans

(Christopher Obropta, Rutgers)

Perth Amboy SWIM

(Leigh Anne Hindenlang, City of Perth Amboy
and Michelle Hartmann, Rutgers)

Asking the Right Questions Program

(David Peifer, Association of NJ Environmental Commissions and Jeremiah Bergstrom, Rutgers)


E-Learning Tools

(Charlotte Anderson, Amethyst and Iris Consulting and Christopher Obropta, Rutgers)

Detention Basin Assessment: Hamilton

(Jeremiah Bergstrom, Rutgers)

Sustainable Jersey for Schools

(Donna Drewes, Sustainability Institute at the College of New Jersey and Rosana Da Silva, Rutgers)


Municipal Action Teams

(Debbie Mans, NY/NJ Baykeeper and Rosana Da Silva, Rutgers)

Milltown Borough Parkview Elementary School

(Doriann Kerber, Milltown Borough and Sara Mellor, Rutgers)

Rahway River Rain Garden Program

(Tobiah Horton
and Michele Bakacs, Rutgers

12:30 – 2:00  
- Lunch, Networking, Poster and Booth Exploration

2:00 – 4:00  - Workshop Tracks:  Interactive presentations where the audience can work together to learn about planning, promoting, implementing, and maintaining green infrastructure in their community



Tract A

Tract B

Green Infrastructure for
Your Community

Policy and Ordinances
to Promote Green Infrastructure


Green Infrastructure Planning, Design and Implementation

(Christopher Obropta
and Jeremiah Bergstrom, Rutgers)

Green Infrastructure Policy
and Ordinances

(Stacy Perrine Krause,
Rutgers - Bloustein School)


Construction Costs and
Maintenance Requirements

(Christopher Obropta
and Jeremiah Bergstrom, Rutgers)

Green Infrastructure Policy
and Ordinances

(Stacy Perrine Krause,
Rutgers - Bloustein School)


4:00  - Adjourn – Thanks for coming!