Projects & Programs - Green Infrastructure Program

Sussex County Green Infrastructure Program

What is Green Infrastructure?
Green infrastructure is an approach to wet weather management that is cost-effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. Green infrastructure management approaches and technologies capture and reuse stormwater to maintain or restore natural hydrology. 

Why should we be concerned?
Water, stormwater, and sewer infrastructure systems in many communities are reaching the end of their functional life. Opportunities exist to reduce costs for maintaining and replacing this aging infrastructure using new techniques and technologies, better preparing our communities for a sustainable future. Green infrastructure planning and design approaches help communities reduce demands on existing infrastructure, extend its functional life where possible, and provide cost-effective and sustainable solutions
that conserve and protect water resources while improving the quality of life of our citizens.

What is Sussex County doing?
The Water Resources Program has partnered with the Sussex County Division of Planning to pilot a Green Infrastructure Program throughout the County.  The program focuses on reducing impacts to waterways and communities from aging sewer infrastructure and flooding and promoting groundwater infiltration and recharge in support of the water resources planning goals of the County.  The initial target will be to conduct a series of educational and training seminars for communities throughout Sussex County and to implement four green infrastructure demonstration projects. 

The Sussex County Green Infrastructure Program will include:

    • Facilitating a series of seminars and workshops to educate community leaders, businesses, and residents on the benefits and opportunities for green infrastructure;
    • training local contractors and professionals on green infrastructure installation techniques; and
    • implementing four (4) green infrastructure demonstration projects in partnership with County and Municipal entities.

    Educational and Training Seminars Currently Offered:

    1. Green Infrastructure: Opportunities for Municipalities

    This program will provide municipal and public works staff
    with examples of practical, proven approaches to managing
    and improving existing facilities and infrastructure. Techniques
    will be discussed that address nuisance flooding,
    roadside and stormwater maintenance, good housekeeping
    practices, and open space management.

    Rain garden planting at Long Pond School

    2. Detention Basin Retrofits and Maintenance

    This seminar will outline strategies to reduce routine maintenance
    costs for mowing and maintaining detention basins.
    The program will also present techniques frequently used to
    improve water “quality” treatment in detention basins while
    maintaining the water “quantity” function of these systems.

    3. Green Infrastructure: Projects & Programs for
    Green Teams & Environmental Commissions

    Green Infrastructure education programs and demonstration
    projects provide the opportunity for municipal green teams
    and environmental commissions to engage citizens in taking
    the first steps towards a sustainable future. This seminar will
    discuss several programs and available resources to organize
    and lead community members in building a rain garden demonstration
    project, implementing a water conservation
    program through build-your-own rain barrel workshops, and

    Sussex County Build a Rain Barrel Workshop

    4. Green Infrastructure Planning, Design &
    Implementation: Training for Design Professionals

    This program will provide technical guidance, direction, and
    resources for use by Engineers, Architects, Landscape Architects,
    and Planners when preparing green infrastructure
    solutions. The training will include discussions on site constraints,
    design strategies, materials and construction techniques,
    cost analyses, and regulatory requirements.

    Sussex County Rain Garden Training Program

    5.  Green Infrastructure:  Green Alternatives and Opportunities for Business & Industry

    This seminar presented by Dr. Kevin Lyons at Rutgers University provides an overview of new and emerging technologies and programs that can be integrated into the way we conduct business in New Jersey to lessen the impact our commerce has on the environment. Details and discussions include information and resources involving “green” or “environmentally-friendly” purchasing practices. The goal of the seminar is to disseminate resource information to attendees for further investigation and adaptation into current business practices.

    Sussex County Rain Gardens

    Sussex County


    For more information about the Sussex County Green Infrastructure Program, please contact Christopher C. Obropta, Extension Specialist in Water Resources Program (848.932.5711).

    Other Green Infrastructure Initiatives currently underway by the Water Resources Program:

Water Resources Program  at Rutgers NJAES