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Raritan Basin Watershed Alliance

The Alliance is an unincorporated coalition of interests that play major roles in water resources management in the region.  It seeks to foster implementation of the Raritan Basin Watershed Management Plan, completed in early 2003 as a comprehensive approach affecting the 1100 square mile Raritan River Basin (see enclosed summary).  The Raritan Plan identified six key issues that must be addressed if the region’s water resources are to be restored and protected: 

  • surface water pollution,
  • stormwater management,
  • ground water recharge losses,
  • riparian area (stream corridor) losses,
  • biological impairment of streams, and
  • water supply limitations.

Formed in late 2003, the Alliance’s major functions are:

  • Create public and official support for Plan implementation
  • Create coalitions/partnerships for Plan implementation and assist with acquisition of financial and other resources where requested
  • Encourage and support implementation efforts and assist with project planning
  • Keep the Raritan Plan current and continually improving
  • Maintain and enhance technical knowledge and capabilities of the Basin and ensure dissemination to those who need it 

In the near term, the Alliance has two principal responsibilities: attracting resources to implement the Raritan Plan; and fostering partnerships to use those funds effectively.  Most project funds will go directly to the partnerships involved in each project, rather than to the Alliance itself.  The Alliance has selected three major initiatives for its initial efforts:

  •  Program Coordination – Workshops for governmental and nongovernmental entities engaged in major water resources management work, to increase the potential for cooperative projects and new initiatives.

  •  Nonpoint Source Pollution Cause Identification – “Demonstration project” of nonpoint source pollution cause analysis in three to five watersheds or subwatershed of the Raritan River Basin, including innovative techniques. 

  • Raritan Basin Stream Corridors Project and Riparian Restoration – Campaign for the creation of a linked network of vegetated stream corridors, using both parks and private lands, and comprehensive stream and riparian corridor habitat restorations as appropriate. 

The Alliance is guided by a Steering Committee comprised of a wide variety of governmental, nongovernmental and private sector interests (see attached list).  The Steering Committee is the policy-making body of the Alliance, and meets four to six times annually.  From the Steering Committee will be drawn a smaller Operations Committee to handle implementation functions and staff management; it will meet more frequently.   The Alliance is seeking funding for a staff person to assist both committees.   

The North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council, an incorporated 501(c)3 organization, serves as fiscal agent for the Alliance.


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