Stormwater (Water)

Runoff water from storms needs to be clean of debris and pollutants so that drinking water and waterways are clean for all.  This can be achieved by appropriate Stormwater Management.   In March 2020, The Department of Environmental Protection formally adopted groundbreaking amendments to the state’s stormwater management rules to better protect water quality by reducing polluted runoff through implementation of  required green infrastructure technologies for major developments.  As of March 2021 all municipalities must adopt new stormwater management ordinances to incorporate these changes.

Model Ordinance (NJ DEP model ordinance)
Enhanced Model Ordinance (Watershed Institute)

ANJEC Informational Sheets:    

ANJEC Resource Papers:

Web Resources:

Wetlands (Water)

Wetlands are an important natural resource that naturally clean water and they need to be protected from pollutants and overdevelopment. Municipalities can help protect water quality and prevent non-point-source pollution through planning and ordinances.

The entire Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules can be downloaded from NJDEP Division of Land Use Regulations

The 4th edition of ANJECs’ “Freshwater Wetlands Protection in New Jersey: A Manual for Local Officials” can be downloaded here.

Streams and Rivers

New Jersey contains 18,126 miles of rivers and streams which are a critical natural resource. Our waterways are the source of about half our drinking water, support agriculture and industrial uses, and provide scenic beauty, recreational opportunities, and wildlife habitat. In New Jersey water quality, quantity, and stream habitat all continue to decline as we build and rebuild in floodplains, encroach upon riparian buffers, and increase our water use.  Environmental commissions play a critical role in protecting waterways by gathering information, educating the public, and working within the municipality to support good planning.

Protecting our Streams  (ANJEC Resource Paper)
New Jersey Rivers (ANJEC Info Sheet)
Regulating Stream and River Flooding (ANJEC Info Sheet)

Water Conservation

Three percent of the earth’s water is fresh water, and only 1% is available for usage, while the average American uses 100 gallons of water per day.  Water conservation of this limited resource is paramount as our demand increases.  ANJEC can provide your EC with sample water conservation ordinances contact us.

Download the comprehensive guide to water conservation Blue Guide for Water Conservation (PDE)

Website links to initiatives and programs:


Wastewater Management

Wastewater management is critical to protecting water resources. The ANJEC paper Septic Systems, Clean Water and Your Municipality explains the connections between development, water pollution, sanitary sewers, and septics.  Residents in more than 300 NJ communities use on-site septic systems. Most of them depend on wells for their water supply. Because septic systems replenish the groundwater, it is very important that they function properly and do not pollute the groundwater.

Municipal Options for Stormwater Management

Stormwater is precipitation that falls as rain, snow, sleet or hail. Stormwater is best understood in terms of water cycle. Under natural conditions, about 10 percent of precipitation runs over the land surface and about 50 percent infiltrates the soil to replenish groundwater flow and base flow to streams. Plant uptake and evapotranspiration account for about 40 percent.

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Protecting Our Streams

New Jersey’s streams and rivers are the source of our drinking water, scenic beauty, recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat. Stream systems, generally referred to as stream corridors, extend beyond the water flowing in the channel to include the stream banks (or riparian area), adjacent wetlands, the floodplain and ecosystems of important biological diversity. Protecting the entire stream corridor is the best way to protect the health of the stream.

Regulatory programs have focused on solving specific problems like flood control and wastewater discharge, but generally don’t address the stream system as a whole. Effective stream corridor management requires addressing the entire system – the stream’s hydrology and ecology – to solve problems of surface water pollution, loss of groundwater recharge and decline in animal and plant habitats.

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Sample Ordinances for Protecting Significant Coastal Habitats

ANJEC originally developed this booklet in 1998 in an effort to establish sound public policy guidelines for land use decisions and to educate local officials and citizens on the benefits of protecting coastal migratory bird habitat. Today, with growing concerns about the impacts of sea level change due to global warming, the importance of sustainable land use decisions has become even more
critical, particularly in coastal areas. We hope this booklet will offer local environmental commissions and planning boards an arsenal of practical tools and techniques they can use, not only to protect bird habitat but to mitigate and adapt to the changes ahead.

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Coastal Waterways (Water)

New Jersey’s coastal zone boundary encompasses approximately 1,800 miles of tidal coastline, including 126 miles along the Atlantic oceanfront from Sandy Hook to Cape May.  NJ’s coastal waterways can be affected by many land changes, protecting natural resources also protects the waterways.

The New Jersey’s  Coastal Management Program (NJCMP) is part of the National Coastal Zone Management Program which addresses pressing coastal issues, including sustainable and resilient coastal community planning, climate change , ocean planning, and planning for energy facilities and development.  NJCMP is a networked program comprised of many offices within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) with the shared responsibility of managing New Jersey’s coastal resources.

Sample ordinances for protecting significant coastal habitats can be found here.

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