Raritan Headwaters Association, the nonprofit watershed watchdog for a 470-square mile region in Hunterdon, Somerset and Morris counties, will hold its 15th annual “State of Our Watershed” conference Saturday, Dec. 1 from 8:45 a.m. to noon at Hoffman’s Crossing Campus, 37 Hoffman’s Crossing Road, Califon. Dr. Daniel Van Abs, a Rutgers University professor, will deliver the keynote address titled, “What Will Climate Change Do to Our Streams?”.

“Clean water is essential to each of us” said Cindy Ehrenclou, RHA’s executive director. “We urge anyone interested in knowing more about the health of their drinking water, or water quality in local streams, to join us at the conference.”

Keynote Speaker Dr. Daniel Van Abs, Rutgers University

Water scientists from Raritan Headwaters will discuss the health of our waterways, including our findings on microplastic pollution, as well as water quality in underground aquifers that supply residential wells.  In addition, policy and education initiatives will be discussed.

The conference will close with an informal “data reveal,” during which the audience will see the 2018 results of stream monitoring conducted by RHA’s staff and citizen scientists, who evaluated 63 stream sites throughout the watershed to determine water quality and ecological health. The drinking water quality data on contaminants such as arsenic, bacteria, and lead obtained from RHA’s Well Test Program will also be shared.

The conference, which includes breakfast, is free, though donations are appreciated. Attendees are asked to register in advance online at https://tinyurl.com/RHASOW2018  or by calling 908-234-1852 ext. 315.

“We are monitoring the health of our water to ensure a safe supply of drinking water and healthy ecosystems throughout the North and South Branch Raritan region and beyond,” said Dr. Kristi MacDonald, science director for Raritan Headwaters.  “The State of Our Watershed is a day when we invite the public to gather for a discussion of water quality in their community and learn about the part they play in protecting it.”

About Raritan Headwaters

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 300,000 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.

Raritan Headwaters recently was accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission, meaning it has been recognized as a strong and effective organization committed to professional excellence and maintaining the public’s trust.

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