Protecting Water

Your voice for the environment

Water is our most fragile and precious resource. Essential to all forms of life and to our economies, our water supplies face a myriad of threats from pollution to climate change. Keeping our water clean, safe and healthy in the face of these challenges is the heart of the Watershed’s mission. Our strategy for doing so involves scientific investigation, advocacy at the state and local level, enhanced land and water stewardship, and education to expand environmental literacy.

Fifty years ago, many of America’s rivers were open sewers for human and industrial waste. The nation was horrified in 1969 when the Cuyahoga River actually caught fire. The sight and stench of our waterways created a public outcry that prompted Congress to pass the Clean Water Act in 1972. That law sharply reduced direct discharges of untreated sewage and industrial pollution into our water bodies, which led to a dramatic improvements in water quality.

But unfortunately, this action has not come close to solving all of our water pollution problems.  In fact, most of the stream’s that have been tested in New Jersey still fail to meet all of the state’s water quality standards.  What’s responsible for most water pollution now? We all are! The sources of pollution are many: 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, to name just a few.

Climate change and the relentless creep of asphalt and concrete exacerbate the problem, which can be summed up in six little words: Too much. Too little. Too dirty. Our region is increasingly prone to extended periods of drought, punctuated by damaging floods, and too many of our streams and lakes are polluted.

The urgency and complexity of this challenge demands a multifaceted approach. Our strategy for protecting and restoring our water and natural environment involves scientific investigation, advocacy at the state and local level, enhanced land and water stewardship and education to expand environmental literacy.

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