Empowering River-Friendly Practices

River-Friendly Certification Programs promote clean water and a healthy environment through voluntary action by individuals and institutions. To achieve these goals we work one-on-one with residents, businesses, golf courses and schools to improve land stewardship practices. The program works to reduce pollution, conserve water, restore habitat for wildlife and educate the public about becoming better environmental stewards.

The Watershed Institute, New Jersey Water Supply Authority and Raritan Headwaters Association have formed a partnership to implement a suite of River-Friendly programs for businesses, golf courses, schools and residents in New Jersey. Click the link below to check out our joint River-Friendly website.

What does “river-friendly” mean to us?

Reduce polluted runoff into nearby streams by managing stormwater on properties and changing habits to minimize adding pollutants to the environment. Some ways to increase water quality are to reduce salt use in the winter, plant more native trees, bushes, and flowers, and dispose of any chemicals or medication properly.

Decrease indoor and outdoor water usage by minimizing unnecessary water use or by capturing rainwater for later use. Some methods to reduce water use are to use irrigation systems in the early morning and only as necessary, upgrade appliances to WaterSense-certified appliances, and fix leaks immediately.

Enhance property features to support beneficial, native wildlife which supports healthy local ecosystems. Methods to increase wildlife habitat include installing bird or bat houses, hanging bird feeders, and converting lawn to meadows or gardens.

Share River-Friendly information with all of our neighbors and encourage more environmental stewardship throughout our communities. This could be done by asking others to participate in a local watershed organization’s events, sharing your efforts with friends and families, and contacting your local representative about water concerns.

Resident Program

Becoming River-Friendly is easy. Simply fill out the survey, which outlines actions you can take at home to protect clean water and the environment. Categories include water quality protection, lawn & garden maintenance, water conservation, and wildlife habitat. If you check off a certain number of actions, you will become part of our River-Friendly Resident network. If you fall short, our coordinator will work with you to implement additional practices to help you reach the target score.

Take the Survey!

School Program

This program helps teachers, students and school leaders reduce water pollution while creating new teaching opportunities, enhancing wildlife habitat and establishing a healthier environment for our children. Certification is offered at several different levels based on points achieved through lessons and hands-on projects in any of the four River-Friendly categories: water quality, water conservation, wildlife habitat, and education & outreach. This certification program is offered to both private and public schools.

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Golf Course Program

This program is designed to help golf course superintendents and staff implement proactive environmental stewardship strategies that benefit the environment and the golf course. We also publicly recognize participating courses to connect them with the community and reward their stewardship initiatives. Some benefits of this program include healthier turf, lower operating costs, decreased water usage, and presence of beneficial wildlife.

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Business Program

Through certification, businesses can create a healthy, natural work setting that boosts employee morale and well-being, while protecting and enhancing the local environment. Some benefits of this program include healthier landscaping, positive work environment, reduction of employee exposure to chemicals, decrease in maintenance costs, and stronger connection with the community. We publicly recognize businesses that are participating and hold a certification ceremony when the process is completed.

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