Projects & Programs - Keep the Rain from the Drain

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ~ Implementing Green Stormwater Management Initiatives in the New Jersey Highlands

Background Project Location Project Description
Resources Project Deliverables Project Funding Source & Contacts


Background:

The Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act is a law signed in August 2004 to preserve open space and protect the state's greatest diversity of natural resources including the precious water resources that supply drinking water to more than half of New Jersey's families.  The Highlands Act documents the geographical boundary of the Highlands Region and establishes the Highlands Preservation Area and the Highlands Planning Area.  The Highlands Act requires the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to establish regulations in the Highlands Preservation Area to create a Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council and to develop a regional master plan for the entire Highlands Region.

There are 37 municipalities in the New Jersey Highlands Preservation Area or Planning Area in the Delaware River Watershed.  For Phase I of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, the RCE Water Resources Program prepared impervious cover assessments (ICAs) and impervious cover reduction action plans (RAPs) for 14 of these 37 municipalities to provide communities with a blue print of green stormwater infrastructure projects that could be implemented to reduce stormwater runoff, improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat.  These plans have led to strong community engagement and the implementation of several green stormwater infrastructure projects.  The RCE Water Resources Program is currently partnering with the New Jersey Highlands Council to develop ICAs, RAPs, and green infrastructure feasibility studies for municipalities that are completely or partially in the Raritan River Watershed.  Since these studies are completed on a municipal level, six of the municipalities in the Raritan River Watershed also have portions of their municipality in the Delaware River Watershed.  This leaves 17 municipalities in the New Jersey Highlands that are also in the Delaware River Watershed that still need ICAs, RAPs, and green infrastructure studies. 

An ICA will be completed for each of the 17 municipalities.  Five of these 17 municipalities will be selected for the development of RAPs and green infrastructure feasibility studies.  Engineering designs will be prepared for five projects within the municipalities that have plans or will have plans, and these projects will be implemented.  All projects will be designed to create and improve wildlife habitat as well as provide stormwater management to reduce flooding and improve water quality.

Project Location:

Click here for a larger map.

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Project Description:

Task 1 - Prepare impervious cover assessments (ICAs)

The RCE Water Resources Program will prepare ICAs for the remaining 17 municipalities in the New Jersey Highlands portion of the Delaware River Watershed.

Task 2 - Prepare impervious cover reduction action plans (RAPs)  

Using the data gained from the ICA, the RCE Water Resources Program will develop a RAP for five of the 17 remaining municipalities. The sites from the RAP will be incorporated into a web-based interface (i.e., RAP web map) so the general public can easily access the recommendations.

Task 3 - Create green infrastructure feasibility studies

The RCE Water Resources Program will prepare a green infrastructure feasibility study for the five municipalities that have been identified for RAP development in Task 2.

Task 4 – Wildlife habitat enhancement green infrastructure design and implementation

Upon the conclusion of Tasks 1, 2 and 3, all 37 municipalities will have ICAs and 25 municipalities will have RAPs and green infrastructure feasibility studies.  Engineering designs will be completed for five wildlife habitat enhancement green infrastructure projects taken from these plans.  Each of the five projects will be constructed, and maintenance plans will be developed for each project.

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Resources:

Highlands Region Map and Quick Facts (11x17 pdf; New Jersey Highlands Council)

Click here to access the Green Infrastructure Guidance Manual for New Jersey.

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Project Deliverables:

Links are provided to the impervious cover assessments (ICA), impervious cover reduction action plans (RAP), RAP web maps, and feasibility studies completed as part of this project.

Hunterdon County

Bloomsbury Borough

Holland Township

 

Morris County

Jefferson Township

 

 

Sussex County

Green Township

Stanhope Borough

  • ICA
  • RAP
  • RAP web map
  • Feasibility Study

Sparta Township

 

 

Warren County

Allamuchy Township

  • ICA

Liberty Township

  • ICA

Belvidere

  • ICA
  • RAP
  • RAP web map
  • Feasibility Study

Mansfield Township

  • ICA

Franklin Township

  • ICA

Oxford Township

  • ICA

Frelinghuysen Township

  • ICA

Washington Township

  • ICA
  • RAP
  • RAP web map
  • Feasibility Study

Hope Township

  • ICA

White Township

  • ICA

Independence Township

  • ICA
 

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Project Funding Source:

NFWF Grant ID 0403.19.065576


Contacts:
Christopher C. Obropta, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences
Extension Specialist in Water Resources
Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program
14 College Farm Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone: 848-932-5711/Fax:732-932-8644
obropta@envsci.rutgers.edu

Hollie DiMuro
Project Coordinator
Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program
14 College Farm Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone: 848-932-6728/Fax:732-932-8644
hollie.dimuro@rutgers.edu

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Water Resources Program  at Rutgers NJAES