Photo Caption: New Jersey Department of Environmental Commissioner Robert Martin.
Jersey Water Works has been selected as a winner of the 2016 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award, in the category of Water Resources. Steering Committee Co-Chair Jane Kenny accepted the award on behalf of the collaborative at a luncheon ceremony on Dec. 7, and was joined by Steering Committee members Daniel Van Abs, Dan Kennedy and David Zimmer.
“This year’s winners have demonstrated true leadership in finding ways to enhance New Jersey’s environment,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said. “Through their collaborations and dedication, these honorees are setting high standards and excellent examples of how everyone in our state can help the environment through partnerships and commitment. As stewards of New Jersey’s environment, we salute the outstanding contributions of this year’s winners.”
The awards honor and recognize individuals, businesses, educators, institutions, communities, youth and others who have made significant contributions to environmental protection in New Jersey. To date, 140 award winners have been recognized since the program was established in 2000.
“While numerous collaboratives exist around the country for many purposes, Jersey Water Works is perhaps the first in the nation to take on the large, complex and costly problem of aging and inefficient water infrastructure statewide and of combined-sewer overflows in New Jersey’s cities,” said Kenny. “We are grateful for this recognition from the DEP and for the department’s ongoing support of the collaborative’s work.”
Below are remarks delivered by David Zimmer, the executive director of the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (a co-sponsor of the awards program), as he presented the award. We are truly honored!
“The basis of our first co-winner goes to the heart of one of Commissioner Martin’s core tenets … the stakeholder process.
“Anyone who has worked with Commissioner Martin over the past seven years knows his commitment to community buy-in.
“Communication is, in fact, the foundation of this co-winner, Jersey Water Works.
“Jersey Water Works is a collaborative of representatives from the public and private sectors — utilities, the environmental community, and regulatory agencies — focused on water issues in New Jersey.
“What makes Jersey Water Works unique is its cross-sector collaboration to work on the many facets of statewide wastewater infrastructure issues such as combined sewer overflow systems. …
“I can personally attest to the power and effectiveness of getting this large group of relevant individuals with disparate perspectives in one room, working toward one goal: Developing creative ideas and solutions for state and local decision makers regarding water services.
“The collaborative targets cost-efficient solutions that result in cleaner water; flood and climate resiliency; and economic growth – solutions that also create local jobs as well as healthier and safer neighborhoods.
“In its short one-plus year lifetime, this collaborative, with support from the League of Municipalities:
Is identifying best practices nationwide;
Is sponsoring research that identifies and promotes cost-effective capital investment in water infrastructure;
Has established a peer-to-peer network for communities with CSO systems; AND …
Has identified new ways of doing business that can improve the way we address CSOs and how we incorporate green infrastructure practices.
“This is truly an inspiring grassroots initiative and group of individuals.
For their accomplishments in Water Resources, Commissioner Martin and the DEP are pleased to present a 2016 GEEA to Jersey Water Works.”
Read Jersey Water Works’ full news release about the award.
The Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards program is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust and the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology, in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.