On April 18, 2022, building on New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s recent investments in restoring environmental infrastructure, State Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette announced the launch of a $10 million lakes management grants program that will fund restorative projects to mitigate stormwater and runoff pollution, improving recreation or conservation at public lakes throughout New Jersey.
Local governments, lake commissions, nonprofit organizations and other entities established specifically to manage publicly accessible waterbodies are eligible for the funding.
According to a Request For Proposal (RFP) issued by the Department of Environmental Protection, projects eligible for funding address stormwater management, nonpoint source pollution and related infrastructure needs at public lakes, while maintaining, improving or enhancing recreation, restoration or conservation activities.
Stormwater runoff and nonpoint source pollution can endanger the water quality of lakes. Increased runoff due to climate change carries excessive nutrients and impacts water temperatures, which can harm the ecosystem and contribute to persistent harmful algal blooms.
These issues also can endanger recreational activities, as well as conservation ventures, and potentially have devastating impacts on the local economy of lake communities if critical summer revenue is lost.
Projects that may be eligible for grant funding include:
- Development and/or implementation of Lake Watershed Protection Plans, including updates to existing approved plans statewide;
- Development and implementation of individual lake stormwater/non-point source pollution plans;
- Use of green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff in communities with aging combined wastewater-stormwater infrastructure;
- Projects that improve existing stormwater management infrastructure;
- Projects that restore or improve the water quality function of stream and waterbody riparian zones and/or wetland buffers;
- Watershed and lake management activities designed to improve lake water quality and maintain recreational and conservation uses of the qualifying lake; and
- Lakes with existing Lake Commissions for lake management activities that will improve water quality and maintain recreational and conservation uses at the waterbody.
Grants are made possible with funds provided under the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
For more information, call Larry Torok, Bureau of Watershed Management, Restoration Unit, at (609) 984-0921.
Funding applications and project proposals must be submitted to the DEP’s Water Quality Restoration Grants Program. Applications are due by Saturday, May 28, 2022.
Proposals for Lakes Stormwater Management Grants must be submitted electronically using the DEP’s System for Administering Grants Electronically (NJDEP SAGE). Registered users will log on and the listing for this RFP will be under “View Available Opportunities” Lakes Management 2022.