Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure

Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure

Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit

Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit

Permeable Pavement

Permeable Pavement

Developers' Green Infrastructure Guide

Developers' Green Infrastructure Guide

Stormwater Camp in Sussex County

Stormwater Camp in Sussex County

Stormwater never travels alone.

Stormwater never travels alone.

Under today’s climate trends, the art and science of managing stormwater is getting more complicated. Even moderate rain events and brief but powerful downpours cause flooding, and carry pollutants like motor oil, trash, fertilizer, pesticides, and animal waste into local bodies of water, making many of our waterways unsuitable for recreation. Stormwater runoff pollutes the majority of New Jersey’s rivers, streams, and lakes.

Green infrastructure (GI) helps address these problems. It can capture the rainfall from at least 90% of the rain events in New Jersey before it runs off, preventing pollution and flooding. GI techniques enable stormwater and melting snow to soak into soils near where they fall or be captured for a beneficial re-use such as irrigation or flushing toilets. Keeping runoff out of the storm sewer system improves water quality and minimizes localized flooding. GI also delivers multiple associated benefits. It cleans and conserves the world’s most precious resource, reduces flooding, improves public health, provides jobs, raises property values, beautifies neighborhoods, and supports wildlife.

Examples include street trees, pervious pavement, rain gardens, rain barrels and cisterns, green roofs, vegetated swales, and bioretention basins.

Learn how to make GI a mainstream practice in your municipality using the Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit or in your development project using the Developers Green Infrastructure Guide.



Our Program

Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure is a program aimed at moving green stormwater infrastructure practices into the mainstream. Years ago, green-building standards such as LEED were considered eccentric and expensive. Now, they are mainstream – understood to be the smart way to build. The same thing is beginning to happen with green infrastructure. To accelerate and facilitate the mainstreaming process, New Jersey Future works with municipalities, developers, state agencies, and nonprofit partners to provide education, training, and direct technical assistance.

Download a factsheet to learn more about this program.

Our Work with Municipalities

New Jersey Future and partners install a rain garden in Newton.

Municipalities are on the front lines of installing GI on municipally owned land: city hall, public parks, local streets and sidewalks, etc. We work with municipalities in New Jersey’s Highlands and Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer (including the Pinelands)–key water supply areas of the state– to identify and accelerate municipal GI projects; to recommend updates to the master plan, redevelopment plans, and stormwater and land use ordinances so that GI is included in all kinds of development; and to educate and train municipal officials and staff to properly maintain GI over the long term.

To learn more about how to plan, implement, and sustain GI in municipalities, view the Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit. 

Our Work with Developers

Photo courtesy of PaverGuide

GI can offer a powerful return on investment. New Jersey Future partners with the New Jersey Builders Association to convene the Developers Green Infrastructure Task Force, which helps New Jersey’s developers and their design professionals learn about, finance, and build green infrastructure. The task force includes developers, engineers, green infrastructure experts, and attorneys who advise and assist this important work and act as ambassadors to the industry.

The Developers Green Infrastructure Guide, a product of the Task Force, breaks down New Jersey’s Stormwater Rule amendments and helps developers and decision makers understand green infrastructure options (even for challenging sites), advantages, costs, and benefits.

Our program offers Developers Green Infrastructure Grants to grant funding to developers for projects that maximize the use of green infrastructure. Learn more.

Our work with State Agencies

New Jersey Future is working with state agencies to update and improve rules, manuals, standards, and programs to facilitate and incentivize the use of green infrastructure.

We have been working with our partners in the building and environmental communities to advocate for improved stormwater management rules.

On 12/3/18, NJDEP announced it is proposing significant changes to the state’s stormwater management rules (NJAC 7:8), which will change the requirement for how property owners meet the rule’s minimum design and performance standards by now requiring the use of GI. Read more about the proposal here.

developers for projects that maximize the use of green infrastructure. Learn more.

Factsheets and Brochures

Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure
New Jersey Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit
Developers Green Infrastructure Guide

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Much of New Jersey Future’s work to mainstream green infrastructure
is supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.

Future Facts

flooding photo from Jersey Water Works video
Want to Get Ahead of Flooding? Use NJF’s New Tool, the Enhanced Model Stormwater Ordinance

Municipal leaders should use New Jersey Future’s new tool to update their town’s stormwater ordinance as soon as possible to increase green infrastructure and reduce flood risk. 

Green streets are pedestrian-friendly alternatives to traditional streets. See the toolkit for a side-by-side comparison of green and traditional streets. Graphic designed by E&LP for NJF.
Stuck with Stormwater Issues? See Expert Solutions to Fight Flooding and Pollution in the Updated Municipal Toolkit

Green infrastructure can make your town a healthier, cleaner, and safer place to live by reducing flood risk, returning clean water to the ground, cleaning and cooling the air, and aiding in pedestrian safety. Learn more in the updated Municipal Toolkit.

New Jersey Future Partners with the New Jersey District of Key Club International

New Jersey Future is excited to announce a new partnership with the New Jersey District of Key Club International and the District Project Steering Committee for the group’s service year project “Keeping the Garden State Green.” 

Trainees and volunteers during installation of Waterfront South rain gardens in Camden, New Jersey
Greening the Garden State: These Three Towns Show You How! 

Green streets aren’t just for big cities like Philadelphia. They can help smaller cities like Camden and Hoboken and towns like Highland Park to meet flooding and stormwater challenges while providing community benefits.

New Jersey Future, New Jersey Builders Association release updated Developers Green Infrastructure Guide

New Jersey Future, in partnership with the New Jersey Builders Association, released the Developers Green Infrastructure Guide 2.0. The guide, specifically designed for the real estate sector including developers, builders, and their professional teams of engineers, landscape architects, planners, and architects, features detailed information and guidance on New Jersey’s amended stormwater rules. 

See all New Jersey Future Blog posts and articles in this category »

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It’s Official: NJDEP’s Stormwater Rule Changes Published in the New Jersey Register

On March 2, important changes to the state’s stormwater management rules (NJAC 7:8) were published in the New Jersey Register.

Access the amended rules.

These amendments to the stormwater rules have been in the works for years. They include a requirement that green infrastructure must be used to meet stormwater management standards for water quality, groundwater recharge and quantity control.  


Learn more