Watershed Health in 2019

 

This year the watershed health is a C

Our regional water quality rating received a C for 2019. Is our water clean and safe? Yes and no – The overall water quality grade of C means there is much room for improvement.  Because we are the headwaters of the Raritan River and the source of drinking water to 1.8 million people in New Jersey, our goal is to strive for an A or B in all areas.  RHA’s data indicates that stream habitats are in need of improvement and that benthic macroinvertebrate communities are being negatively impacted.  This report card tells us that we need to focus on protecting forests and riparian buffers and controlling stormwater by limiting impervious cover and installing green infrastructure.

What caused this rating?

Poorly-planned development and unwise policy decisions at the local and state level continue to threaten the region’s waterways along with the cumulative impacts of pollution coming from irresponsible management of hazardous materials, fertilizers, pesticides, failing septic systems and other common sources. Especially in the context of extreme weather events, there is a  heightened sense of urgency to protect our streams.