The greatest source of water pollution in our region today is not factories or other industrial processes but the daily activities of ordinary residents: pesticides and fertilizers we spread on our lawns, petroleum and antifreeze that spill from our cars, leaks from failing septic systems and broken sewer pipes, waste from our pets, soap from washing our cars, road salt we spread on our driveways and sidewalks and other forms of “people pollution”.
How We’re Working with Towns to Address Flooding & Polluted Runoff:
With funding support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Watershed works with towns to adopt local environmental measures. Municipal stormwater ordinances require steps be taken to mitigate the stormwater impacts of new developments and redevelopments. Stream corridor ordinances prevent new development and clearing of native vegetation near streams that filters pollutants and slows the pace of runoff. Tree protection ordinances prevent the widescale clearing of trees, which perform a natural stormwater mitigation function.
With funding support from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Watershed is working in 16 central New Jersey towns to identify areas with large expanses of asphalt or concrete that can be reduced and/or retrofitted with strategies to capture polluted runoff, filter it with vegetation or other means, and allow it to percolate into the ground. Supplementing our towns’ existing infrastructure with a new kind of “green infrastructure” can help reduce pollution and flooding and improve the condition of our groundwater aquifers.
We work with the state legislature and state agencies to strengthen key environmental laws and regulations, including those implementing the clean water act, the flood hazard protection act and freshwater wetlands protection act. We fight against efforts to weaken these critical programs. We are also strong advocates for the state’s Green Acres program, which preserves key watershed lands, and Blue Acres program, which purchase flood prone properties.
The Watershed Institute is compiling a map of recurrent flooding in the Stony Brook-Millstone and central Delaware watersheds. This information will help us work with local officials and advocate for better stormwater management.
Does flooding regularly close roads in your neighborhood? If so, help us understand the problem by dropping a pin and uploading a photo using our interactive flood mapping tool.
Additionally, our River-Friendly program works one-on-one with residents, businesses, golf courses, and schools to improve land stewardship practices. Voluntary actions by individuals and institutions help to reduce pollution and prevent runoff at home and where you work. “River-Friendly” participants work to manage stormwater on their properties to reduce polluted runoff while sharing information, education resources, and best practices.
Rain Gardens Added to Hightstown Park to Absorb Runoff
The Watershed Institute recently installed two shallow rain gardens and a pollinator garden to manage stormwater runoff and foster wildlife habitat at the Rocky Brook ...
Green Stormwater Infrastructure Regulatory Webinar: April 23
Learn about NJDEP's new green infrastructure stormwater rules and what municipalities are required to do. What do the new rules mean for the design and ...
State Adopts New Stormwater Rule
NJDEP adopted an amendment to its stormwater rules that will change how new developments control and manage the polluted stormwater runoff in communities.
Upper Millstone River Subwatershed Report Card
The Upper Millstone River is a segment of the Millstone River that stretches from its headwaters in Millstone Township to where it meets the Stony ...
Hopewell Restoration Project Aims to Clean up Beden Brook
A demonstration project in Hopewell Borough will create a ribbon of green plantings in an effort to slow the polluted runoff.
Wrap Up of Green Infrastructure and Stormwater Utilities Symposium
More than 80 participants learned about stormwater utilities and green infrastructure at our second Stormwater Utilities symposium.
Green Infrastructure: Rain Gardens
Rain gardens are an important type of water capture feature in landscaping that helps slow and absorb runoff from storms.