NEW JERSEY – The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is seeking applicants for its latest round of grant funding, which prioritizes projects that will restore and protect New Jersey’s watersheds while better managing stormwater runoff and reducing flooding risks in our communities, according to Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette.
Specifically invited are those nonprofit organizations, local governments, community groups and state colleges and universities ready to plan and deploy multifaceted water quality projects in the Delaware River watershed and the northeast region of New Jersey, LaTourette said.
“When we invest in restoring and protecting natural assets within our watersheds through projects like constructing rain gardens or improving stormwater infrastructure, we help those natural resources to provide vital and free services for the public—like storm protection and improved water quality,” LaTourette said. “We are encouraging all local leaders and organizations in Northeastern New Jersey and in the Delaware River Watershed to join in and let us help them invest in their natural resources and environmental infrastructure.”
The DEP has issued a Request For Proposal to solicit applications for up to $9.4 million available to eligible water quality improvement projects and watershed planning activities. Funding applications may be submitted to the DEP’s Water Quality Restoration Grants Program. The project proposal submission deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28.
Projects that may be eligible for grant funding include those that:
- Use green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff in communities with aging combined wastewater-stormwater infrastructure, especially in overburdened communities;
- Improve suburban stormwater management systems;
- Help agricultural operations reduce nonpoint source pollution;
- Implement water quality improvements and support and expand watershed and lake management planning in the Lower and Upper Delaware River and Northeast watershed regions;
- Construct living shorelines;
- Improve water quality in lakes;
- Promote environmental education.
In addition, funding from the U.S. Department of Defense will target stormwater management and riparian areas of the Rancocas Creek watershed.
Stormwater runoff can carry pollutants such as nutrients from fertilizers and animal wastes as well as automotive fluids and pesticides into waterways. Excessive nutrients can cause algae blooms that impact the ecological health of waterways and diminish the public’s recreational enjoyment of them.
The grants are made possible through funds provided under Section 319(h) of the federal Clean Water Act, the Department of Defense Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program and a part of the environmental dedication from the state’s Corporation Business Tax.
To view the Request For Proposal, including requirements for proposal submissions, and for more information about New Jersey’s Water Quality Restoration Grants Program, visit www.nj.gov/dep/wms/bears/npsrestgrants.html.