The Jersey Water Works (JWW) Membership meeting was hosted on Thursday, July 11th, by American Water in Camden, a city which has undertaken numerous positive economic and environmental developments in recent years. Highlighted throughout the day were the Camden County MUA's many contributions to the City envisioned by its notable Executive Director and JWW Steering Committee member, Andy Kricun. The meeting opened with welcome remarks from Mark Mauriello and Jane Kenny, JWW Co-Chairs. 

The message of the day was "It's all about the message." Jon Shure, Senior Director of Taft Communications, shared some concrete ideas on how to communicate the value of water infrastructure. The idea, according to Shure, is to inform listeners why infrastructure is so important to water conservation before explaining the problems and solutions. According to Shure, it's important to engage people by inspiring them instead of just feeding them facts. Shure then engaged the group in an activity designed to drive home the message from the differing perspectives of individuals in the room. 

Dominique Lueckenhoff, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs & Sustainability at Hugo Neu Corporation, discussed some of the solutions she has found that work for  water issues in New Jersey. Previously, as a Senior Advisor at the USEPA, Lueckenhoff coordinated strategies and initiatives related to innovative Public Private Partnerships (P3s). According to Lueckenhoff, the combination of P3s and green infrastructure is one of the most effective ways of combating the impacts of extreme weather that can lead to rising tides and floodwaters. One of her more prominent projects is the redevelopment of Kearny Point, a 4 million-square-foot former WWI and WWII ship-making facility which she is helping develop into a green workplace. 

Luis Olivieri, GIS Director at Hope Works in Camden described the program and how it assists Camden youth. The program combines education, technology and entrepreneurship in contracted projects for local businesses which helps build the students' professional web design and development skills. The focus of Olivieri's talk was Hope Works' development of GIS applications. He stressed, however, that the program has many areas of interest for the youth to learn and achieve their highest potential as qualified workforce applicants.  

The Cooper's Ferry Partnership was represented by JWW Steering Committee Member Meishka Mitchell, who discussed the Collaborative's work and its importance to developing vibrant communities. A Camden native, Mitchel works at neighborhood revitalization and managing the implementation of numerous critical infrastructure and park improvement projects. She has been a key player in Camden's innovative sustainability initiatives. 

The day wrapped up with committee workshops that included  Asset Management and Finance; Education and Outreach; Green Infrastructure; and Combined Sewer Overflow. At the end of the day, the membership was inspired to explore sustainable, cost-effective solutions to transform New Jersey's water infrastructure, from four separate vantage points.  

For more information, contact the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank at (609) 219-8600.

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