Working for Smart Growth:
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Time To Make Some Noise

October 2nd, 2014 by

By Debbie Mans

Debbie Mans serves as baykeeper and executive director of NY/NJ Baykeeper.

Cross-posted from The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread’s Inspiring Solutions series on urban water infrastructure


Deborah A. Mans Baykeeper & Executive Director  NY/NJ Baykeeper

Deborah A. Mans
Baykeeper & Executive Director
NY/NJ Baykeeper

Not many people give a second thought to what happens after they flush the toilet. And, not many people realize that what they just flushed down the toilet is finding its way, untreated, into a local waterway due to combined sewers that become overloaded with stormwater and wastewater during rain events and bypass the wastewater treatment plant. This is because they simply cannot access and enjoy their local rivers and bays to begin with.

The history of industrialization and privatization of our Northern New Jersey waterfront has led to a disconnect between our communities and local waterways. If people cannot see the problem, they are very unlikely to demand a solution. But within this problem there also lies a tremendous opportunity to awaken the public and spur action that can address both our aging infrastructure and improve quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities.

Innovative green infrastructure projects can address, at least in part, the overloading of our combined sewer systems while providing green space and community gardens in park-deprived neighborhoods.

Read the full article on The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread’s website.


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