The Watershed Institute raises awareness on central issues of protecting and maintaining healthy waterways and ecosystems in New Jersey. Threats to water quality are identified, monitored, and remedied using sound science and effective public advocacy. Here are some of our current issues:
• Cultivate knowledge about polluted stormwater runoff in local towns and cities. We’ve developed a model ordinance that exceeds the state’s basic standards and guide officials in crafting local ordinances to respond to the new state rule.
• Educate and model the use of green infrastructure, such as rain gardens and swales, which mimic nature and cleanse pollutants with native plants and grasses. Our Watershed Center is a demonstration area for porous pavement, rain gardens, vegetated filter strips, and other green infrastructure. We offer certification and training to an array of professionals.
• Fight PennEast and other unnecessary pipelines that expose New Jersey residents, private and public lands to the risks of transporting natural gas to benefit of private, for-profit companies. We’ve fought PennEast every step of the way and urge the U.S. Supreme Court to not grant the pipeline’s request to legally seize 42 parcels of state-conserved lands.
• Design and adopt innovative ways to tackle harmful algal blooms (HABs) in local ponds, lakes, and other waterways. We’ve built and deployed floating wetlands that grow hardy plants on a platform of soil/marine foam and absorb excess nutrients, such as pesticides and fertilizers, without the use of chemicals. These projects aim to make New Jersey waterways swimmable and fishable.
• Rid the region of antiquated and useless dams that impede natural spawning grounds, and contribute to sedimentation. Once removed, waterways such as the Millstone River have experienced a return of thriving shad runs as well as fish migrations of other anadromous fish.
We connect with diverse audiences including students, teachers, local and state officials, policy experts, landscape designers, engineers, corporate managers, scientists, volunteers, and more.