ELGL’s Best of Water
Using Green Infrastructure To Green Camden City and Reduce Combined Sewage Flooding and Overflows
Camden , NJ , United States
At a Glance: Constructed 4 riverfront parks and 60 rain gardens in Camden City to provide green amenities for the residents, reduce combined sewage flooding and overflows, and also create green maintenance jobs
The challenges this project addresses are: Hurricanes & Severe Storms, Sea Level Rise, Stormwater Management, Redevelopment & Brownfields, Workforce Development, Citizen Engagement
Camden City's combined sewer system is well past its useful life and so there is combined sewage flooding and overflows during most rain events. The CCMUA partnered with the NJDEP, Rutgers, the NJ Tree Foundation, and Cooper's Ferry, a local non-profit, to develop the Camden SMART initiative, a green infrastructure initiative designed to deal with Camden's combined sewage flooding problem through implementation of green infrastructure and also replacement of the City's failing sewer system. The project has also resulted in the creation of green jobs within the community, as at-risk youth are hired to maintain the new green infrastructure.
Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority used/is using green and grey infrastructure to address this/these challenge(s).
The success of the Camden SMART (Stormwater Management And Resource Training) initiative led to a sequel, the Camden Collaborative Initiative, which consists of the CCMUA, NJDEP, EPA Region 2, and over 60 environmental and community service non-profits working together collaboratively, and voluntarily, on all of Camden's environmental issues, such as flooding, brownfields, illegal dumping, environmental justice, air emissions, recycling, environmental education, etc
- Creation of a 40 acre, a 35 acre, and a 10 acre riverfront parks in Camden, which includes brownfield remediation, stormwater capture as well as a new park for the residents of Camden
- Construction of over 60 rain gardens to provide green space, stormwater capture and brownfield remediation
- Creation of the PowerCorps program, a program that employs 60 at-risk youth per year to maintain rain gardens and parks and get life skills training and job placement services
Local Government Champion: Municipal Utilities Authority
Something Unique: A voluntary collaboration among over 60 environmental and community service non-profits, governmental entities (Federal, State, County and City) and educational institutions dedicated to implement environmental solutions for the benefit of Camden City residents
Who should consider? Any municipality could benefit from replicating this community collaborative model (it has served as a model for three other NJ towns already), especially communities where resources are limited