Mayor Jimmy Davis announced that the City of Bayonne has joined the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Community Collaborative Initiative (CCI) Program.  According to the DEP, this agreement “will help the community advance longstanding water infrastructure issues, redevelop brownfields, and improve waterfront access.”  Mayor Davis said, “This agreement is the result of several months of hard work.  DEP officials toured Bayonne on several occasions in 2017.  They recognized the importance of assisting us with economic development, waterfront walkways, and our water-sewer utility issues.”

    Mayor Davis explained, “As a result of the Community Collaborative Initiative Program, a DEP official will work at Bayonne City Hall three days a week.  This will help us to expedite solutions to a variety of concerns.  Instead of sending problems to a state office in Trenton, we will have an official from Trenton right here to respond immediately to our questions and proposals.”

    According to a statement from the New Jersey DEP, “Bayonne joins Camden, Perth Amboy, and Trenton in partnering with CCI projects designed to enhance each community’s quality of life.” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said, “This announcement is a proud day for both Bayonne and the Department of Environmental Protection, because it will help set the stage for the ongoing rebound of this great port city.”  Commissioner Martin continued, “For the three cities already in the program, we have a long list of environmental successes which will translate into stronger, more diverse, and better urban areas for residents and visitors.  We anticipate the same results for Bayonne.”

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    Mayor Davis added, “I am excited that the City of Bayonne is partnering with the DEP to address the long-term environmental issues affecting development in the city.”  He continued, “More importantly, a great working relationship with the DEP will allow the city to take full advantage of its waterfront via the creation of additional walkway access, boat launches, and access points.  This is just another example of people around the state recognizing the vast potential of our great city and its continuing growth.”

    The Community Collaborative Initiative Program assigns one DEP staff member with each of its cities to work on a diverse slate of projects, from remediation of landfills and brownfield sites to repair of urban parkland and restoration of natural resources.  The DEP will work with various partners, including all levels of government, local community groups, businesses, and institutions of higher education.  Under the program, the DEP will use a single point of contact “to leverage resources and expertise that brings innovative solutions to complex environmental challenges.”

    According to Mayor Davis, the DEP representative who will be stationed in Bayonne can expect to work in 2018 on the redevelopment of the former Military Ocean Terminal, the extension of waterfront walkways, and other local priorities.  Mayor Davis said that the collaboration between the City of Bayonne and the DEP would continue after the arrival of incoming Governor Phil Murphy’s administration later this month.   Mayor Davis concluded, “Bayonne’s future is bright.  Thanks to our growing relationship with the DEP, our residents can expect a better quality of life as Bayonne’s redevelopment continues in the 21st century.”