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Volunteers Needed for Earth Day Stream Cleanup

By | February 2nd, 2017

Looking for a way to help the environment and beautify your community? Raritan Headwaters, the region’s nonprofit watershed watchdog, needs your help this Earth Day, Saturday, April 22!

Bedminster-based Raritan Headwaters is looking for volunteers of all ages for its annual Stream Cleanup, a large-scale effort which last year drew over 1,350 volunteers to dozens of river and stream sites in Hunterdon, Somerset and Morris counties. Together, the volunteers – including families, scout troops, businesses, civic groups and schools – picked up nearly 14 tons of trash.

Angela Gorczyca, water quality manager for Raritan Headwaters and coordinator of the Stream Cleanup event, is hoping for another strong volunteer turnout this year.

“I think people are hungry for opportunities to make a difference in their local community,” she said. “The act of picking up trash empowers volunteers, who instantly see a positive change in their neighborhood.”

Raritan Headwaters’ 470-square-mile region includes the North and South Branches of the Raritan River and their many tributaries.

Online registration is now open for the Stream Cleanup, which will include more than 40 sites. To sign up, go to https://www.raritanheadwaters.org/streamcleanup/ to view the map of cleanup sites, then click the registration link to reserve a place at the site you want.

Groups of more than 15 people should contact Gorczyca at agorczyca@raritanheadwaters.org or 908-234-1852 ext. 315 to make arrangements.

Individuals and groups who register by Friday, March 3, will be guaranteed a free custom-designed T-shirt for each person; and those who register by Tuesday, April 4, will be guaranteed stream cleanup supplies like gloves and plastic trash bags. Individuals and groups can still register after April 4, but they may have to provide their own cleanup supplies.

The 27th annual Stream Cleanup will be held on April 22 from 9 a.m. to noon, rain or shine. Gorczyca said participants will come away with the satisfaction of knowing they have improved the environment by removing trash that clogs waterways and harms wildlife.

“Wind, rain and snowmelt would otherwise wash litter from the land into the headwaters of the Raritan River, which can adversely impact the drinking water of nearly 1.5 million New Jersey residents downstream,” she explained. “By cleaning up areas along waterways, volunteers play a very important role in helping to protect and improve water quality, not only in their neighborhoods but all the way down to the Atlantic Ocean.”

About Raritan Headwaters

Raritan Headwaters won the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award 2015 and 2016 in the category of Water Resources for:  improving surface or ground water quality

The largest watershed organization in New Jersey, Raritan Headwaters has been working since 1959 to protect, preserve and improve water quality and other natural resources of the Raritan River headwaters region through efforts in science, education, advocacy, land preservation and stewardship. RHA’s 470-square-mile region provides clean drinking water to 400,000 residents of 38 municipalities in Somerset, Hunterdon and Morris counties and beyond to some 1.5 million homes and businesses in New Jersey’s densely populated urban areas.

To learn more about Raritan Headwaters and its programs, please visit www.raritanheadwaters.org or call 908-234-1852.

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