Environmental Sustainability Planning
The protection and preservation of the county's natural resources are important functions of the Monmouth County Division of Planning. Management of these resources is influenced by decisions made at the local level. However, the impacts of these decisions are often felt regionally. The Environmental Planning Section is charged with the responsibility of working closely with the municipalities to improve the regional preservation, protection and improvement of our valuable regional resources. The Section provides staff support services to the Monmouth County Environmental Council, the Monmouth County Agricultural Development Board, the Areawide Water Quality Management Planning Agency Amendment Review Committee, the Stormwater Technical Advisory Committee, Greenhouse Gas Reduction Advisory Committee, Right to Farm Subcommittee, several watershed management partnerships, and other county agencies interested in environmental issues.
This section is responsible for developing the countywide Wastewater Management Plan and for processing amendments, revisions or modifications. Staff is currently working on a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the overall carbon footprint of county facilities.
In conjunction with the County Environmental Council, the Environmental Planning Section completed regional Ecological Resource Inventories for the South Coast, North Coast and Mid Coast regions of the County. These documents provide detailed information on land uses, land cover, habitats, historic resources, agricultural resources, coastal resources, soils, geology, topography, surface water resources and vegetation. Most of this work was grant funded.
Watershed Management Studies have been conducted for Wreck Pond Brook in Wall Township and Lake Topanemus in Freehold. Environmental Planning staff provides technical support and assistance. Additional watershed management planning studies have been initiated in the North Coast, Mid-Coast and Panhandle regions.
Education and Outreach
Another role of the Environmental Planning involves public education and outreach. The Section prepared an Eco-Tourism map for the county and is responsible for the following outreach and projects:
- Eco-Tips is a brochure series prepared by the Environmental Planning Section. Titles in this series include "What is a Watershed", "Problem Geese", "Lawns and Gardens", "Stream Corridor Protection" and "Coastal Dunes". See the complete list below.
- Environmental Roundtables are held to offer information about programs and issues that affect the environment and citizenry of Monmouth County. Past events focused on environme ntally friendly landscaping techniques, watershed management issues, Brownfields Redevelopment and Energy Conservation.
- Non-Point Source Pollution is a subject that young students can learn about and find solutions in their own neighborhoods. This section has developed a series of three award winning coloring books which presents this material for students in grades K through 3. The lesson plans help teachers answer and ask specific questions and provide lesson extensions to take the concept a step further. They are available free to all schools in Monmouth County.
- To teach how watersheds function, this section has an interactive watershed in a suitcase model that can be loaned to schools or environmental councils. Free programs are offered between October and May.
The Monmouth County Farmland Preservation Program was designed to maintain farming as a viable economic resource in the county by preserving large, contiguous tracts of high quality farmland. Under the program, agricultural landowners receive payment for the development value of their properties. In return, the land is deed restricted with the landowners agreeing to use the land for agricultural purposes only, prohibiting any future development. This program is staffed by this section, and administered by the Monmouth County Agricultural Development Board on behalf of the County Board of Chosen Freeholders. As of July 1, 2008, through the efforts of the Farmland Preservation Program, the county has preserved over 175 farms totaling over 13,000 acres.
Brochures & Additional Information:
Linda J. Brennen, PP, AICP, Supervising Planner
Amanda Brockwell, Agricultural Resource Specialist 2
Harriet Honigfeld, PP, AICP, Agricultural Resource Specialist 1
Russel Like, PP, AICP, Principal Planner
Ann Waters, Senior Planner
Erin Johnson, WMA 12 AmeriCorp Ambassador
Phone: 732-431-7460 Fax: 732-409-7540
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