Winding along the western boundary of New Jersey, the Delaware River has been a dynamic force in shaping the landscape and development patterns of the state’s riverside communities. Now, with climate change expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather and floods across the Delaware River Basin, these low-lying municipalities are looking for effective strategies to safeguard homes, infrastructure, and lives.
Rising to the challenge, the Open Space Institute (OSI) through the Delaware River Watershed Initiative is funding more efforts to embed watershed and climate science in local planning. Building on earlier grants, including a 2017 grant for planning work in Warren County, New Jersey, OSI this year awarded a “Watershed Catalyst” grant to The Land Conservancy of New Jersey (TLCNJ) that will support development of updated open space and flood protection plans for two of the county’s townships, Knowlton and Harmony.
“The next big storm is coming — towns know it and are trying to figure out how to prepare,” said Barbara Heskins Davis, Vice President of Programs for TLCNJ, and lead planner on the project. “OSI’s Catalyst grant will facilitate an open space planning process that provides a cohesive vision of benefit for the community and a critical link to public funding.”