Rutgers Cooperative Extension (Rutgers University Foundation)
7 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08550
ContactDr. Christopher C. Obropta, Ph.D.
To provide technical support to New Jersey communities to adopt green infrastructure strategies and implement projects designed to address stormwater pollution, improve water quality and reduce flooding.
Dr. Christopher Obropta created the Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Water Resources Program over 13 years ago and has developed it into an award winning state-wide program dedicated to solving New Jersey's water resources issues. Through competitive grants secured from local, state, and national entities, the program now supports 10 full-time staff and 25 student interns. The diversity of backgrounds of this staff reflects the variety of needs to be addressed and the holistic approach needed to solve New Jersey's water resources issues. With engineers, scientists, educators, landscape architects, and other design professionals, the team routinely approaches each project and program from a multidisciplinary point of view.
The mission of the RCE Water Resources Program is to identity and address community water resources issues -- using sustainable and practical, science-based solutions. We have prepared three regional stormwater management plans and seven watershed restoration plans. Each of these plans was developed with strong support from local partners. While these plans serve as blueprints to restore impaired waterways in New Jersey, they are very expensive and time-consuming to develop. Therefore, we have trained paraprofessionals and students to develop impervious cover assessments and reduction action plans, which are a less costly alternative to watershed restoration plans and quick to develop. The next step is to work with Green Teams, Environmental Commissions and other local stakeholders to implement the green infrastructure projects that have been identified in these plans.