2016 Sponsors:

  • American Rivers
  • Alexandria Township
  • Bedminster Township
  • Bernardsville Borough
  • Bethlehem Township
  • Bridgewater Township
  • Califon Borough
  • Chester Township
  • Crown Trophy of Flemington
  • Delaware Township
  • Far Hills Borough
  • Flemington Borough
  • Glen Gardner Borough
  • High Bridge Borough
  • Hot Rods Hot Dogs
  • Hunterdon County Utilities Authority
  • Lebanon Township
  • Mendham Borough
  • Mendham Township
  • Morris County Clean Communities
  • Mount Olive Township
  • Peapack-Gladstone Borough
  • Ramsey Outdoor
  • Randolph Township
  • Raritan Township
  • Raritan Valley Disposal
  • Readington Township
  • Roxbury Township
  • ShopRites of Hunterdon County, Inc.
  • Somerset County Solid Waste Management
  • Special T’s
  • Tewksbury Township
  • Town of Clinton
  • Union Township

Clean Streams

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Each spring RHA organizes clean up programs to protect water quality and promote public stewardship of local streams and rivers.

Click HERE to register for the 2017 Stream Cleanup.


Massive Volunteer Cleanup Improves Raritan River’s Health and Appearance!

Stream Cleanup Site 36 at the Dickerson Mine Preserve in Mine Hill.

The Raritan River became cleaner and healthier on Saturday, April 16, 2016, as more than 1,200 volunteers hauled out nearly 12 tons of trash along riverbanks, reservoirs and headwaters streams in Hunterdon, Somerset and Morris counties.

For three hours on a sunny spring morning, volunteers recruited by the nonprofit Raritan Headwaters (RHA) spanned out among 52 cleanup sites in 31 towns.

Wearing boots and gloves, they picked up pieces of trash large and small. In addition to the expected plastic bags, drink bottles and tangled fishing line, volunteers found many large items that had obviously been dumped, including a refrigerator, couch, stovetop, mattress springs, ironing board, sewing machine, rocking horse, playground slide, scooters, lawn chairs and beach umbrella.

“This is the largest cleanup we’ve ever had and we can’t thank our volunteers enough,” said Angela Gorczyca, RHA Water Quality Program Manager, who coordinated the massive cleanup. “The Raritan River is a source of drinking water for 1.5 million New Jersey residents, and it’s where families go to fish, canoe, kayak and enjoy nature. We all want a clean river.”

“My observation from the noteworthy trash is that there was enough to furnish a house and a playground,” Gorczyca added.

Cindy Ehrenclou, executive director of Raritan Headwaters, said every piece of litter and trash removed by volunteers makes the river – and, eventually, the Atlantic Ocean – that much cleaner.

“Wind, rain and snowmelt wash litter into local streams, and it eventually finds its way downstream, quite possibly all the way to the ocean,” said Ehrenclou, who pitched in with State Senator Kip Bateman along a section of river in North Branch. “It’s a threat to drinking water quality, and a hazard to wildlife. So the volunteers who helped out had a much farther-reaching impact than they might have imagined.”

The Stream Cleanup was also designed to instill conservation values in volunteers young and old, giving them a chance to get to know their local streams.

“The day is about more than just picking up trash,” said Kristi MacDonald, RHA’s Science Director. “It’s about bringing attention to the streams and rivers that flow through our communities and reminding ourselves that what we put on the land eventually ends up in our water.”

The 26th annual Stream Cleanup drew students, Scout troops, families, churches, community clubs, environmental commissions, open space committees, residents, and businesses from throughout the 470-square mile watershed of the North and South Branches of the Raritan.

In Hunterdon County, the cleanup included sites in Califon, Clinton Township, the Town of Clinton, Delaware Township, Glen Gardner, Flemington, High Bridge, Kingwood, Lebanon Township, Raritan Township, Readington, Tewksbury and Union Township.

In Somerset County, volunteers cleaned up sites in Bedminster, Bernardsville, Branchburg, Bridgewater, Far Hills, Franklin Township, Hillsborough and Peapack-Gladstone.

In Morris County, the cleanup effort included sites in Chester Township, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Mine Hill, Mount Olive, Randolph, Roxbury and Washington Township.

Event Sponsors
In addition to Raritan Headwaters, 2016 event sponsors included American Rivers, Alexandria Township, Bedminster Township, Bernardsville Borough, Bethlehem Township, Bridgewater Township, Califon Borough, Chester Township, Crown Trophy of Flemington, Delaware Township, Far Hills Borough, Flemington Borough, Glen Gardner Borough, High Bridge Borough, Hot Rods Hot Dogs, Hunterdon County Utilities Authority, Lebanon Township, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Morris County Clean Communities, Mount Olive Township, Peapack-Gladstone Borough, Ramsey Outdoor, Randolph Township, Raritan Township, Raritan Valley Disposal, Readington Township, Roxbury Township, ShopRites of Hunterdon County, Inc., Somerset County Solid Waste Management, Special T’s, Tewksbury Township, Town of Clinton and Union Township.

This event was a great success and victory for watershed protection! For more information about the annual Stream Cleanup, please contact Angela Gorczyca, Water Quality Program Manager, at 908-234-1852 ext. 315.

To let us know about a stream site that needs attention, please contact RHA’s Watershed Ambassador at 908-234-1852, ext. 323 or email.

2016 Stream Cleanup Report_Final

Program History

Ann Greszczak's 6th grade class working together to remove a large tire rim from the South Brach near Mount Olive

Ann Greszczak’s 6th grade class working together to remove a large tire rim from the South Branch near Mount Olive


Our clean up programs began in 1991.  They have been successful thanks to the volunteers who coordinate clean up efforts at various sites across the region, the volunteers who venture out along and into the streams to remove debris, the municipalities and businesses who provide financial and in-kind support for the supplies we need each year and the local media who help us recruit volunteers.