Jersey City Schools will receive a grant from the state to help retrofit schools with green infrastructure and rain gardens.

According to an announcement today by Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette, the grant is part of a $7 million statewide program to enhance and modernize local stormwater management practices and infrastructure and to offset the impacts of climate change.

The goal of the projects, many of which use green infrastructure technology and natural solutions and are in overburdened communities, is, according to LaTourette, to mitigate localized flooding and improve the ecological health of waterways.

LaTourette announced the Stormwater Assistance Grants during a news conference today in Perth Amboy as part of the Murphy Administration’s Infrastructure Investment Tour.

The administration says that the tour is aimed at raising public awareness about the need for concerted investments in water infrastructure projects that will reduce flooding threats, create jobs, protect public health, and enhance the health of the state’s waterways.

“This innovative Stormwater Assistance Grant program is funding projects in all corners of the state that will mitigate flooding and improve the ecological health of our waterways,” LaTourette said. “We are proud to provide our communities with the resources to make them safer, healthier, and more resilient. At the same time, we must acknowledge that we have much work to do to address New Jersey’s pressing water infrastructure needs, estimated at $30 billion.”

With the $79,521 grant, Jersey City Public Schools will develop a plan to survey and retrofit up to 39 schools with green infrastructure and construct rain gardens at two of them. The district, through its in-kind match partners, will make a $23,050 in-kind match, for a total project cost of $102,571. Work will include assessment of green infrastructure opportunities, development of a plan to receive public input on the green infrastructure retrofit plans, and community education and outreach.

The DEP is using money from the state’s Corporate Business Tax and the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund to fund the grant program. Grants were prioritized for municipalities with combined sewer systems and/or those that are designated by the DEP as overburdened.

Photo by Robert Lawton