May 18, 2023
Dear Friends,
With spring in full swing, we are seeing the signs of new growth and life throughout the Garden State. In the spirit of new growth and the life-giving water that drives it, I’m happy to announce a new program that will play a critical role in equitably improving our water infrastructure systems. New Jersey Future’s new Funding Navigator is the first nonprofit statewide program in NJ committed to helping localities access funding to meet their water infrastructure needs. Read more about it below in this newsletter, and visit our new webpage for more information.

To raise awareness for this new program, and to encourage municipalities, agencies, and water systems to stay informed, Jersey Water Works and several partners are sponsoring a webinar on May 31 to explore new technical assistance programs that help water systems and municipalities. This is a don’t-miss event if you or someone you know is in need of funding for their water infrastructure needs.

As it warms up and outdoor activities become more inviting, it’s a good time to recall that May is National Bike Month. We believe bicycles and e-bikes are key transportation alternatives to driving and will help New Jersey cut vehicle miles traveled (VMTs), the standard measurement of vehicle demand on public roadways, and ultimately reduce carbon emissions in NJ. We’re not alone in this thinking—recently, several cities and states have begun to incentivize e-bike purchases in order to reduce car dependency. With a bill already introduced in NJ, we took a look into the various incentive programs across the country, and compiled our findings in a new report, Rolling Along: Why New Jersey Should Join Other States and Offer an E-Bike Incentive Program, linked below.

We are only a few weeks away from the NJ Planning and Redevelopment Conference, which NJF is co-hosting with the NJ Chapter of the American Planning Association. This annual convening brings together members from various communities of NJ’s redevelopment scene, and provides a great opportunity for professionals to acquire credits while exposing them to a myriad of pressing issues in our state. We’re thrilled with how the plenaries, keynote, and breakout sessions are taking shape—read more below and don’t miss your chance to join the conversation in June.

Peter Kasabach
Executive Director

P.S. We’re still pushing for the state government to "finish the job" and fund the Capital Park behind the newly renovated State House. Read more below and join the more than 800 people who have signed our letter of support!
Electric bicycles, along with programs intended to incentivize their adoption, are rolling out across the country and New Jersey can’t afford to be left behind in this transportation revolution. Transportation emissions, which account for more than a third of all total greenhouse gas emissions in the state, are a critical target for climate change mitigation, necessitating the use of every tool to help us drive less. Read more.
In early April 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a major change in the allocation of federal funds provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to remove lead service lines (LSLs), replacing a distribution scheme that failed to properly recognize states with older housing stock where the lion’s share of LSLs are likely to exist. This was welcome news to New Jersey, as the state’s allocation will more than double from 1.7% to 3.8%, increasing annual funding for LSL replacement by $35 million (73%), from $48 million to $83 million. Read more.
New Jersey Future—in collaboration with our national partner, the Environmental Policy Innovation Center—is excited to announce the launch of our Funding Navigator Program to help municipalities acquire funding and financing for water infrastructure improvements. New Jersey’s water infrastructure is in desperate need of major overhauls and costly improvements. Whether we’re addressing outdated combined sewer overflows, replacing lead service lines completely by 2031, upgrading our waste water plants to meet compliance standards, or even reducing stormwater flooding, serious investment is crucial for the health and prosperity of our communities, particularly those that are overburdened.

By directing government funding to our water infrastructure through the state revolving fund, we can ensure our communities are safe and resilient for future generations. This program is prioritizing high need communities, to advance equity in our water systems. Learn more about the Funding Navigator Program and fill out the interest form to become one of the first to be contacted on how the program can best serve your community. Be sure to also attend the webinar Jersey Water Works and several of its partners will be sponsoring on Wednesday, May 31, 2:00–3:15 p.m., to explore new technical assistance programs, including the Funding Navigator Program. Register using this link.
New Jersey is one of the most racially and economically segregated states in the country, and one of the most expensive, due in part to exclusionary local zoning. In April, Fair Share Housing Center released a new report, Dismantling Exclusionary Zoning: New Jersey's Blueprint for Overcoming Segregation, which demonstrates how enforcement of court-imposed requirements for local governments to provide affordable housing is addressing regional inequities. It also shows how local zoning changes have a broader positive impact by stimulating housing development to benefit not just low-income and working class families, but middle-class households who also face the affordability crunch.

At NJF, we were keen to read this report, fully recognizing the role inclusionary zoning will play in increasing affordable housing options and desegregating NJ’s communities. We’ve posted our quick takeaways online, with a further link to the full report.
On April 24, we were joined by Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman, Senator Shirley Turner, partners, advocates, and fellow New Jerseyans at the walkthrough of the proposed Capital Park site. The walkthrough, led by Co-Executive Director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation Jay Watson, emphasized the possibilities for this open space. Multiple speakers, including Representative Coleman and Senator Turner, discussed the numerous benefits and connectivity creating this park would bring to Trenton locals, New Jerseyans, and visitors of our great state.

We are continuing to urge for $15 million to be set aside in this year's budget to build Capital Park. As the multi-year renovation of NJ’s historic State House nears completion, now is the timely and critical moment to envision the next steps for greening downtown Trenton by creating an urban park. Join us in calling for Governor Murphy and the state legislators to finish the job by building Capital Park now!
New Jersey Future and APA New Jersey are proud to present the annual New Jersey Planning and Redevelopment three-day conference convening virtually on June 21–22 and in person on June 23 at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick. The conference will feature 36 timely sessions, and brings together New Jersey professionals, elected officials, and community activists who share a passion and commitment to the Garden State. Check out the featured plenary and keynote sessions:

Hip Hop Beyond Beats and Rhymes, Architecture Beyond
Bricks and Mortar

Inflation, Interest Rates, and Indicators of NJ's Post-Pandemic
Real Estate Economy

Delivering Walk-Bike-Ride Transportation in New Jersey

The State of Planning and Redevelopment in New Jersey

Visit the NJPRC23 website to view all session topics and register. If you are interested in available sponsorship opportunities, please contact Michele Glassburg.
Legislative Updates
  • Assembly Bill 179: The bill signed by the Governor this month requires the Department of Environmental Protection to make certain information regarding water purveyors available on its website. New Jersey Future applauds this step towards greater transparency.
Coming Up
  • May 20: Due to inclement weather on April 29, the Trenton Community Day is now being held on May 20. Come out to George Page Park to meet local community organizations, learn about Assunpink Creek, play games, enjoy food, and celebrate the Trenton community.
  • May 31: Jersey Water Works and several of its partners will be sponsoring a webinar from 2:00–3:15 p.m. to explore new technical assistance programs to help water systems and municipalities with their water infrastructure needs. Register using this link.
  • June 21–23: The 2023 NJ Planning and Redevelopment Conference hosted by New Jersey Future and APA New Jersey will be held virtually June 21–22 and in person on June 23. Discover all 36 timely session offerings and register today.
  • July 12: Jersey Water Works and Lead-Free NJ are hosting their joint Membership Meeting from 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. at Rutgers University. All are welcome to join for opportunities to connect, exchange ideas, and advance the conversation about the state’s water infrastructure and the need for statewide holistic lead remediation. There is no cost to attend but pre-registration is required.
  • October 3: Save the date! The 2023 Smart Growth Awards will be back in person this year at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. We can’t wait to see you there to celebrate the honorees.
Smart Growth for Everyone
Smart Growth is equitable growth. It is also restorative, as smart growth and redevelopment can help correct systemic racial and economic disparities. As New Jersey Future drives land use decision-making toward more equitable outcomes, we will be sharing useful resources and lessons in this monthly spotlight. Please give us your feedback and share with us any particularly insightful articles, talks, events, or videos that you come across.

As the impacts of climate change escalate in New Jersey, so have flooding events. Increased precipitation, extreme weather events, and sea level rise are major culprits behind the increased frequency and severity of flooding, with frequent flooding risk more than doubling since 1980. At New Jersey Future, we have worked to mitigate the risk and impacts of flooding advocating for flood disclosure and remediation after Hurricane Ida, creating an award-winning Water Risk and Equity map, and testifying on flood disclosure laws in front of the legislature in the past year alone.

Flooding does not impact us all equally, however. A recent article by Word In Black, "When Floodwaters Rise, So Do Racial Inequities," reminds us that the risk of flood damage, as well as the ability to recover from the impacts of flooding, are tied tightly to race. Nationwide, Black people are more likely to be impacted by flooding than people of other racial identities. Additionally, given the racial wealth gap, Black people impacted by flooding typically have less of the means needed to rebuild or relocate after flooding. Exposure to repeated, severe flooding is an environmental injustice that poses tangible harm to the health and livelihoods of people of color in this country.

We encourage you to read this article by Word In Black to learn more about the real, human impacts of flooding for historically marginalized communities nationwide. As we continue advocating for infrastructure, funding, and support for New Jersey communities impacted by flooding, it is crucial to consider the inequities embedded in experiences of flooding.
Come Work With Us
  • Community Planner II: New Jersey Future is seeking an experienced planner to help grow our community planning program. Applicants for the position must have experience managing projects to meet deadlines and produce deliverables. Partner collaboration and stakeholder engagement will be integral to the position.
  • Policy Coordinator: New Jersey Future is seeking a highly skilled, organized, and motivated individual to join the team working to change the land use policies that shape our communities, including climate adaptation and mitigation, transportation, housing, state and regional planning, and economic integration. The coordinator will craft policy positions, conduct research, coordinate program activities, facilitate consensus-building among stakeholders, and advocate for change.
  • Jersey WaterCheck Intern: New Jersey Future is looking for a highly organized, motivated individual to work on a comprehensive data update for Jersey WaterCheck, Jersey Water Works data dashboard. The intern will be required to verify existing data, gather relevant new data on New Jersey’s water and wastewater systems, and compile it into a spreadsheet, as well as issue a survey to utilities and towns and conduct survey follow-ups.
New Jersey Future in the News
Featured Resources

This quarterly primer from the JWW Lead in Drinking Water Task Force provides key information on how lead pipes can be replaced quickly, cost-effectively, and with community support.

New Jersey Future has prepared Creating Great Places To Age: A Community Guide to Implementing Aging-Friendly Land Use Decisions to provide communities with a step-by-step process to make designing for the needs of older residents easier.

The New Jersey Stormwater Utility Resource Center is a one-stop shop housing technical, legal, and financial information, case studies, and helpful guidance on stormwater solutions, community process, and public engagement.

The Developers Green Infrastructure Guide 2.0 breaks down New Jersey’s Stormwater Rule amendments and helps developers and decision-makers more clearly understand green infrastructure options and advantages, compare alternatives, and evaluate costs and benefits.
Founded in 1987, New Jersey Future is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes sensible and equitable growth, redevelopment, and infrastructure investments to foster healthy, strong, resilient communities; protect natural lands and waterways; increase transportation choices beyond cars; provide access to safe, affordable, and aging-friendly neighborhoods; and fuel a strong economy for everyone. New Jersey Future does this through original research, innovative policy development, coalition-building, advocacy, and hands-on strategic assistance. Embracing differences and advancing fairness is central to New Jersey Future’s mission and operations. New Jersey Future is firmly committed to pursuing greater justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion through its programs, internal operations, and external communications.