Atlantic City Electric, together with its program administrator, Sustainable Jersey, have chosen 11 local municipalities to receive $75,000 in funds to support open space and resiliency projects in South Jersey.
This funding is provided as part of Atlantic City Electric’s Sustainable Communities Grant program, which was launched earlier this year to support open space preservation, improvements to parks and recreation resources, environmental conservation and innovative community resiliency projects.
“We have a strong commitment to protecting and preserving the environment in the communities we serve. Through our new Sustainable Communities Grant Program, we are helping our communities conserve critical open space, support recreational opportunities and build resilience in the face of a changing climate,” said Melissa Lavinson, senior vice president of Governmental and External Affairs for Pepco Holdings. “I commend our community partners and our local leaders for their commitment to sustainability and for the innovative ideas and projects that we are so proud to support. Because, we know that healthy environments equal healthy communities”
“Sustainable Jersey values our partnership with Atlantic City Electric,” said Randall Solomon, executive director of Sustainable Jersey. “These grants will encourage municipalities to complete important environmental stewardship and resiliency projects that will make our communities better. Funding sustainability initiatives at the local level will have a ripple effect that will benefit us all.”
Atlantic City Electric’s Sustainable Communities Grant Program will provide up to $75,000 in grants annually to fund open space and environmental projects and resiliency projects across the company’s South Jersey service area.
The program will provide grants of up to $10,000 each to municipalities for projects focusing on open space preservation, improvements to parks and recreation resources, and environmental conservation.
The company also will provide grants of up to $25,000 to support resiliency projects.
In partnership with Sustainable Jersey, an organization that researches best practices for what communities could and should do to contribute to a sustainable future, Atlantic City Electric is providing grants to the following municipalities:
Cape May City ($10,000)
The grant will be used for conducting a study around Cape Island Creek to identify the causes of nuisance flooding and develop a citizen early warning system in order to reduce property loss.
Mayor Clarence “Chuck” said: The City of Cape May is pleased to receive a $10,000 Sustainable Jersey grant to investigate nuisance flooding at Cape Island Creek. Kudos to Atlantic City Electric for providing essential funding for the grants. Our study’s findings will provide the City and our stakeholders with information on causes and effects of nuisance flooding. Moreover it will provide a platform for engaging the community in developing a citizen’s early warning system to prevent consequential property damage and loss.
We welcome a renewed partnership with Stockton University’s Coastal Research Center that will carry out the vital data collection and analysis and prepare a final report for discussion and recommendations by our project team and community stakeholders. The area of immediate focus will be the City’s Lafayette Street Park, thus representing the first study of this type on an inland tidal waterway. In addition to the Coastal Research Center, our partners include the Cape May Elementary School, the City’s Green Team, Environmental Commission, and Lafayette Street Park Advisory Committee, the Cape May County Planning and Emergency Management operations and Rutala Associates. As we move along, we anticipate gaining the interest and involvement of additional community groups and organizations.
The study’s findings will be presented to City Council and may form the basis for a broader consideration of ways to understand mitigation of nuisance flooding and development of future resiliency improvement projects in the City. We are excited at the prospects of engaging the community from elementary school children and their families to our year-round residents and second homeowners. As the saying goes, “We’re all in this together.”
Egg Harbor City ($10,000)
The grant will be used for repairs needed at Lake Dam including replacing missing fence along the secondary spillway, repairing a tilted pedestrian bridge railing at primary spillway, and repairing abutment walls including removing and replacing fractured concrete at ends of spillway.
Lisa Jiampetti, Mayor, Egg Harbor City, Atlantic County said: “Egg Harbor City is a small community with a population slightly over 4,000 residents. The Egg Harbor City Lake is a treasure within the City that offers a recreational experience where people can camp, enjoy the beach, swim, and picnic with friends and family. The $10,000 resiliency grant will go a long way towards improving our City Lake Dam and making the lake and dam more resilient. The City is very appreciative of this grant award by Sustainable Jersey and the funding by Atlantic City Electric.”
Hamilton Township ($10,000)
The grant will be used for incorporating green infrastructure to address stormwater issues and enhance emergency management related to flooding events.
Mayor Art Schenker said: “We are pleased that the Township of Hamilton has been selected to receive a 2020 Sustainable Communities Resiliency Grant, funded by Atlantic City Electric. A Green Infrastructure Action Plan will be strategically created to identify sites where green storm water infrastructures can be installed.”
Medford Township ($10,000)
The grant will be used for creating an intelligent weather station for monitoring, modeling and visualization in order to enable timely preparation and implementation of emergency plans.
Clementon Borough ($5,000)
The grant will be used for reinventing Clementon’s Open Space and Recreation Plan to ensure the preservation of natural spaces including the community’s lakes and almost 200 acres of dedicated open space.
Mayor Tom Weaver said: “We thank Atlantic City Electric and Sustainable Jersey for this grant. These funds will allow us to update our Open Space and Recreation Plan, therefore protecting and utilizing our natural resources for the betterment of our community. This will help us meet the needs of our ever changing and growing community.”
Downe Township ($5,000)
The grant will be used for making Raybins Beach, a currently untamed coastal wilderness ecosystem, accessible to residents and visitors.
Hammonton Township ($5,000)
The grant will be used for planning responsible development and preservation of open space by updating Hammonton’s Open Space and Recreation Plan.
Mayor Steve DiDonato said: “We are very grateful to recieve the 2020 Sustainable Communities Environmental Stewardship grant funded by Atlantic City Electric in the amount of $5,000. As our Town works to incorporate the Open Space and Recreation Plan into our Master Plan and update our Recreation and Open Space Inventory, these funds will help with the implementation of that project.”
Middle Township ($5,000)
The grant will be used for updating Middle Township’s Open Space and Recreational Plan, which will promote responsible public recreation, preserve and enhance historic and cultural resources, conserve land for wildlife, enhance water quality, protect open space lands and promote health and wellness in the community.
Mayor Timothy Donohue said: “Middle Township is honored to accept this 2020 Sustainable Communities Environmental Stewardship grant in the amount of $5,000. We remain committed to sensible and sustainable development that balances smart growth with improving recreational opportunities and the preservation of the unique rural nature of our hometown.”
Salem City ($5,000)
The grant will be used for redeveloping Salem’s West Playground, making the park a safe place where children can play and be active.
Mayor Charles Washington, Jr. said: “Salem City’s West Side Court park is in desperate need of repair and maintenance so that our children can exercise and socialize in a safe place; this problem was exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our partner, the Community Collaborative Initiative at NJDEP, suggested we apply for the Sustainable Jersey and Atlantic City Electric grant and helped us with the application. With the grant funding, we can improve the park’s surface material and repair the swing and play sets, making the park an asset to our community. Salem appreciates what winning this award will do for our parks and community, though the smiles from the children will be the biggest reward of all. Thank you, Sustainable Jersey!”
Waterford Township ($5,000)
The grant will be used to build a bike path between two of the Township’s primary recreational facilities and two schools, lessening the dependence on motor vehicles and acting as a safe route for kids to take to schools.
Mayor Richard T Yeatman, Sr., said: “Waterford Township is very pleased to accept the 2020 Atlantic City Electric’s Sustainable Communities Grant Program award. This will allow us to continue to move forward with our goal of creating a safe and secure bike path for our residents to travel between our Recreation Fields. On behalf of our Township, I want to thank you for your continued efforts. It is programs such as these that allow communities such as Waterford Township to better serve our residents.”
Wenonah Borough ($5,000)
The grant will be used for repairing and renovating the Clay Hill trails of the Wenonah Conservation Area that supports residents, school students and visitors throughout the county for hiking and learning.
Municipalities in the Atlantic City Electric service area can apply for a Sustainable Communities grant each year.
A committee with representatives from Atlantic City Electric and Sustainable Jersey reviews each application and selects the projects to receive funding.
Interested organizations can learn more about the Sustainable Communities Grant Program and how to submit a grant request at atlanticcityelectric.com/SustainableCommunities.
Readers are encouraged to visit The Source, Atlantic City Electric’s online news room. For more information about Atlantic City Electric, visit atlanticcityelectric.com. Follow the company on Facebook at facebook.com/atlanticcityelectric and on Twitter at twitter.com/acelecconnect. A mobile app is available at atlanticcityelectric.com/mobileapp.