Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Water Resources Program
Water Pages eNewsletter
Water Resources Program Interns join the Peace Corps!
The Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Water Resources Program strives to encourage our student interns to be successful and overcome challenges we face in protecting water resources in New Jersey. For the first time in our intern history, two interns have been accepted into the Peace Corps, "a service opportunity for motivated change-makers to immerse themselves in a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation." The RCE Water Resources Program staff wish the best of luck to both Adam Cucchiara and Cherish Wanter on their future journeys! We are excited to see how this opportunity challenges them and the impact they will make in Peru and Senegal!

Adam will be departing for Lima, Peru on April 17th to join the Peace Corps for a 27 month commitment. Adam will be working in their Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program as their water engineer and educator for Lima and surrounding neighborhoods. Adam has taken this opportunity to expand his knowledge in water management and how other regions around the world deal with water resources issues. His hope is to specialize in water management as a future landscape architect and incorporate culturally influenced perspectives into his future work. Adam's decision to take this leap in life to help communities stems from his personal growth goals before settling for a career in landscape architect. Adam looks forward to his two year commitment in Peru and looks forward to sharing his experiences with the RCE Water Resources Program.

Cherish will be departing for Senegal in August to join the Peace Corps. A disproportionate percentage of the human population resides in environments that pose health risks and have limited educational opportunities. From her personal experience in living in the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana for the first eleven years of her life, Cherish suffered from various ailments because her family lived in a community without basic sanitation. They used ruffled paper as toilet paper and a nearby landfill as a public bathroom and means of garbage disposal. During rain events, the stormwater runoff carried these pollutants downstream, flooding and filling homes with fecal matter and garbage. In her aim to uphold Billy Graham's statement, "God has given us two hands - one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoardings; we are channels made for giving," Cherish will utilize her tools and skillsets she's acquired as an undergraduate and the opportunities offered by the Peace Corps to work alongside global leaders. As a Peace Corps Agroforestry agent in Senegal, Cherish will be working with local community leaders to improve the agricultural techniques being used in the community and introduce new techniques that will emphasize sustainable agricultural methods to enhance soil resilience and increase crop yield. Although she recognizes the difficulties associated with serving aboard, Cherish is looking forward to embracing this next chapter of her life.
Municipal Action Teams are Moving Green Infrastructure into Action Across the State

Municipal action teams have been formed in combined sewer system communities to foster community engagement and serve to advocate for green infrastructure. Green infrastructure is one method to reduce the negative impacts associated with combined sewer systems. Municipal action teams are established to bring together local governments, utility authorities, residents, and community organizations to develop a community-based green infrastructure initiative. The goal of these teams is to foster collaboration and collective action that helps the municipality speak with a common voice and achieve a common goal while advocating for green infrastructure. Detailed below is an update on the various municipal action teams across the state.  

Camden: Camden SMART (Stormwater Management and Resource Training) partners have been making plans to convene an Environmental Summit with other Camden Community Collaborative partners.  Look for upcoming notices about the event to be held in June 2017.  This past year has seen the installation of nine new green infrastructure projects.  These projects will be planted and completed this spring and were funded through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust.  Other programs to begin this year include a rain barrel distribution effort for Camden residents and the installation of signage in and around the many green infrastructure projects completed throughout the city over the past six years.   Camden SMART partners recently met on Tuesday, February 14th and meet monthly at the offices of the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA).  For more information about Camden SMART, please visit www.camdensmart.com.    

Gloucester City:  The Gloucester City Green Infrastructure Team has been meeting along with the Green Team and the Supplemental CSO Team.  Participants are working to communicate green infrastructure and CSO planning efforts with residents and businesses.  The members prepared an informational brochure that will be mailed to all residents along with their quarterly sewer bill.  Presentations to local boards and committees are being scheduled, and a display is planned for Gloucester City Day in June 2017. The team members last met on February 8th at Gloucester City Hall and will be meeting again in early March.
 
Jersey City: The Jersey City Green Infrastructure Team is reconvening meetings in an effort to highlight the 2017 Year of Water. Participants are working to elevate the last year of planning and designing to be in a position to implement several green infrastructure projects across the city. Partners are also working on elevating community awareness on water and water resources issues through programming and press releases. A resiliency master plan has been drafted, which includes green infrastructure and will be made available for comments at a public hearing to be held on March 23rd. The team members last met on February 20th at the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority and will be meeting monthly on the 4th Thursday of each month. For more information on the 2017 Year of Water, please visit www.innovatejerseycity.org/year-of-water/

Newark: Newark DIG (Doing Infrastructure Green) members are working towards implementation of 11 green infrastructure projects of various scales and with multiple partners in 2017 and 2018. DIG is also actively working with the City of Newark to understand the stormwater utility fee feasibility study. These efforts will help elevate resident concerns during the development of this study as well as identifying opportunities for green infrastructure to be considered as part of an incentive program. Newark DIG has been awarded a grant from the Victoria Foundation to continue outreach to local residents regarding the stormwater utility fee feasibility study and to educate residents on the benefits of green infrastructure. DIG will be presenting at the March 17th Annual NJ Land Conservation Rally and is looking forward to additional events throughout the year including a Quality of Life Summit. Newark DIG recently met on Tuesday, January 24th and regularly meets every 4th Tuesday of the month at Newark City Hall.  For more information about Newark DIG, please visit www.NewarkDIG.org.

Paterson: Paterson SMART (Stormwater Management and Resource Training) partners are designing green infrastructure demonstration project sites and looking to begin construction in spring 2017.  Projects include cisterns at community gardens, rain gardens, depaving, tree plantings at schools, and adding parking lot bioretention islands at parks.  The group is participating in the Supplemental CSO Team in support of the Long Term Control Plan development.  Members of the team are working to schedule a presentation to the City Council and will be participating in the Paterson Falls Earth Day Youth Program in April. The partners recently met on February 22nd at City Hall and regularly meet on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. For more information about Paterson SMART, please visit www.PatersonSMART.org.   

Perth Amboy: Perth Amboy SWIM (Stormwater Infrastructure Management) partners are working together to design and implement a green infrastructure project at Washington Park and two porous asphalt opportunities on municipal lots. Partners are planning and developing public outreach workshops to engage local residents and the community about the benefits of green infrastructure to address the flooding issues in the area. SWIM members are also working on establishing Earth Day with the city. Activates are being planned to celebrate Earth Day activities beginning on April 17th. The partners recently met on February 16th and meet regularly on the 3rd Thursday of the month.

Trenton:  The Trenton Green Infrastructure Partners began meeting in August 2016.  The partners have been working to identify and prioritize green infrastructure opportunities throughout the City of Trenton and align these opportunities with City initiatives.  Current participants are reaching out to others working in Trenton to increase participation and are working to coordinate efforts with the City and its many civic organizations.  The final draft of the Trenton 250 Master Plan has identified green infrastructure programs as a priority for the community, and partners are very excited to learn how to assist in implementing this action in collaboration with city leaders.  The partners recently met on February 21st at the Isles Youth Institute and Center for Energy and Environmental Training facility on Tucker Street and will be meeting again in late April or early May.
  
Technical assistance provided to these municipal action teams by the RCE Water Resources Program is funded in part by the Surdna Foundation with support from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and our local partners. For more information about the RCE Water Resources Program’s New Jersey Technical Assistance Program for Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) communities please click here.   

Upcoming Events and Conferences
Complying with New Jersey Stormwater Regulations Workshop on March 6, 2017
The RCE Water Resources Program will be hosting Complying with New Jersey Stormwater Regulations on March 6th with a registration fee of $15 per person. This two-hour workshop is sponsored by the William Penn Foundation and hosted by the Lopatcong Creek Initiative and Phillipsburg Township. The program will highlight steps to guide you and your municipality to ensure that new development is in compliance with the New Jersey stormwater management regulations. We will also focus on the importance and benefits of inventorying your municipality's stormwater infrastructure while complying with the state's municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits. 

This workshop will be held at the Phillipsburg Library's Community Room, located at 200 Broubalow Way, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Registration will begin at 5:30 PM. Registration is $15.00 per person, but free registration is being offered to ANJEC and Trout Unlimited members! To register, please click here.

Questions or concerns, please contact Hollie DiMuro at dimuro@envsci.rutgers.edu or call 848-932-6728.
Municipal Stormwater NJDEP General Permit Public Hearing
Earlier this month, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) issued a draft renewal of the Municipal Stormwater General Permits. A public hearing has been scheduled for March 22nd. Comments on the draft permit are due to NJDEP by April 3rd. For more information, please click here. 
Right Tree in the Right Place, the Right Way Workshop
The New Jersey Tree Foundation and Public Service Electric & Gas are offering a FREE seminar on planting the Right Tree in the Right Place, the Right Way on Friday, March 31st at the Hopewell Municipal Complex (201 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville, NJ) from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

Topics include: Emerald Ash Borer, planting the right tree in the right place, the importance of utility mark-outs prior to planting, vegetation management policies to ensure safe and reliable delivery of electric service, and Hopewell Valley Arts Council ash tree re-use. The program encourages mayors, freeholders, DPW supervisors, environmental and shade tree commissioners, county officials, and other interested parties to attend. Space is limited. Please RSVP to  Lisa Simms by March 24th.
RCE Water Resources Program | New Brunswick, NJ 08901 | M-F 8:30 - 4:30pm