Mr. Andy Kricun, the Executive Director and Chief Engineer for the Camden County Municipal Utility Authority (CCMUA) since 2011, has long championed green infrastructure in New Jersey as a multi-benefit stormwater management approach, starting with the City of Camden.
Key to Mr. Kricun’s success has been his commitment to engage and enlist partners. In 2010, CCMUA and five partners — the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Rutgers University, the New Jersey Tree Foundation, the City of Camden, and the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership (a local community development non-profit) — banded together to form Camden SMART (Stormwater Management And Resource Training), with the mission of developing, as the CCMUA website describes it, “a comprehensive network of green infrastructure programs and projects for the City of Camden. The initiative includes neighborhood…projects, stormwater management policy development, and green infrastructure training programs.”
By 2014, just 4 years later, efforts by Camden SMART have resulted in 49 green stormwater infrastructure projects completed; 1,458 new trees planted; 223 rain barrels distributed; 5 new riverfront parks constructed and a stream daylighted; 4,000 residents engaged; more than 40 partnerships created; and $5 million invested in the city. These efforts have not only diverted more than 61 million gallons of stormwater from the city’s sewer system, but also have improved the appearance and health of many Camden neighborhoods.
Among the Camden SMART projects spearheaded by Mr. Kricun, is the construction of Phoenix Park, which transformed a 5-acre brownfield site into a new waterfront park that currently manages over 5 million gallons of stormwater annually. Phoenix Park, which serves as an oasis for residents while also alleviating some of the neighborhood’s severe flooding issues, is a bright example of the potential for revitalization of Camden and other distressed urban areas.
Phoenix Park has been recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Environmental Council of the United States as one of the ten most innovative uses of Federal water infrastructure funding in the country, and is included in the GSI Precedent Library that SBN’s GSI Partners co-published with DVGBC in the fall of 2016.
Mr. Kricun is also a founding member of the Camden Collaborative Initiative, a partnership among governmental, non-profit, private, and community-based agencies formed to develop and implement innovative strategies to improve the environment and the quality of life of Camden’s residents.
Additionally, Mr. Kricun’s efforts have been instrumental in transforming statewide understanding of green stormwater infrastructure and its importance through his prominent role in Jersey Water Works, an innovative state-wide collaborative that was formed to address the crisis in New Jersey’s water infrastructure. Mr. Kricun is a member of the steering committee, co-chairs the combined-sewer permittee network within the collaborative, and has been an active member of its Green Infrastructure Committee.
Thanks in no small part to Mr. Kricun’s leadership, Jersey Water Works has grown to almost 300 members, half of whom serve on one or more of its committees. The collaborative reaches more than 2,300 interested stakeholders, and has achieved ambitious goals for 2016 and set more for 2017.
Mr. Kricun’s inspires all who work with him! Congratulations to Mr. Andy Kricun, the winner of the 2017 Leadership in GSI award.