The single most critical, widespread environmental issue facing humanity is climate change. Global warming has profoundly increased the odds of extreme heat, rain, and drought in our area. In other words, we can expect to get more rain and snow during increasingly more intense storms, and more frequent and intense drought periods.
RHA’s position: Climate change exists. In our region, it will likely bring more intense weather (although related, weather and climate are not the same thing), both drought and floods.
RHA’s action: RHA is working with Columbia University Earth Institute’s Masters in Public Administration (MPA) program to create several watershed-focused strategies to address climate related water quality and watershed resiliency issues in the Raritan Headwaters. Their findings identified three critical climate change threats to the Raritan Headwaters: flood, drought, and pollution.
To best combat these threats, the Columbia consulting team recommended RHA focus on the following:
- Wetlands restoration
- Riparian buffer zone remediation
- Region-wide stormwater management improvements
UPDATE: RHA held a briefing of findings in May and are reviewing and revising our programs and processes to implement those findings.