County of Monmouth

For Immediate Release:
June 18, 2019

County’s Division of Planning wins innovation award

PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Monmouth County Division of Planning was recently awarded the Rutgers Sustainable Raritan River’s 2019 Government Innovation Award for its partnership with Naval Weapons Station Earle (NWS Earle) at the Richards Weeks Hall of Engineering.

The partnership includes the 2017 Joint Land Use Study (JLUS), a multi-year land preservation effort under the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program, and planning for climate adaptation initiatives through the ongoing Raritan/Sandy Hook Bay Coastal Resilience Planning Study.

“I am so proud to say that our County’s Division of Planning has been recognized for their innovative partnership projects with Naval Weapons Station Earle,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Division of Planning. “The JLUS was the first of its kind nationally to focus on climate adaptation planning. It was done cooperatively with several County agencies, NWS Earle, the five municipalities surrounding the base and eight additional communities within the Military Influence Area.”

The Monmouth County JLUS for NWS Earle sought to create land use strategies for compatible development alternatives that could help keep the base operational while protecting the environmental sustainability of the surrounding municipalities.

“One of the main goals of this study was to improve the land sustainability, climate resiliency and marine safety for the base and residents from coastal storms that our County experiences,” said Freeholder Burry. “The project also considered the transportation and economic development impact of this cooperative planning effort.”

Completion of the JLUS led to $765,000 in federal REPI funding, which will allow the permanent preservation of farmland and open spaces around Earle to protect the station’s mission, improve water quality, protect water supply, enhance habitat restoration and improve both resiliency and stormwater management.

According to its website, the Rutgers Sustainable Raritan River Initiative, launched in 2009 to assemble concerned environmental professionals, businesses and governments to craft an agenda that met the standards of the U.S. Clean Water Act to restore and preserve New Jersey’s Raritan River, its tributaries and its bay. The Initiative partners with other Rutgers schools, centers and programs to ensure the best contributions from sciences, planning and policy.

For more information about NWS Earle JLUS and the Monmouth County Division of Planning, go to
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