Check out the events page for rain barrel workshops, nature walks, stream cleanups, composting/gardening sessions and more for people of all ages to enjoy! There’s also a great list of resources for the region which includes maps of parks and protected areas, a book list, and lesson plans for teachers.
USA: New Jersey, Raritan River Basin
US: New Jersey, headwaters of the South Branch of the Raritan River. Purple loosestrife growing on shore of Budd Lake
Did you know that there’s a Quarterly publication called Raritan too? “Raritan offers writers and readers the opportunity for sustained reflection and aesthetic pleasure, uncluttered by academic jargon. Founded in 1981 by the distinguished literary critic Richard Poirier, and supported by Rutgers University, Raritan aims to reach the common reader in everyone and to provide a particular experience of reading, one that nurtures an engaged and questioning approach to cultural texts of all sorts: literary, artistic, political, historical, sociological, even scientific.”
New Jersey: Upper Raritan Basin, Hunterdon County, Tewksbury Township, Oldwick, aerial view of countryside at sunrise from hot-air balloon,
USA: New Jersey, Upper Raritan River Basin, Upper Raritan Watershed Association (URWA) BioBlitz on May 21, 2011, sign for rain garden
USA: New Jersey, Upper Raritan River Basin, Mt. Olive Township, Budd Lake (town), Sandshore Road views of Budd Lake at sunset, (Budd Lake is headwaters of South Branch of the Raritan River), kayaker silhouette with dock in foreground
New Jersey: Upper Raritan Basin, Hunterdon County, Tewksbury Township, Califon, River Road, South Branch of Raritan River, man fly fishing in river for heritage trout among fallen fall foliage,
New Jersey: Upper Raritan Basin, Hunterdon County, Tewksbury Township, Mountainville, sunflower (‘Helianthus annus’) with tiger swallowtail butterfly (‘Pterourus glaucus’),
The Raritan River, a long unsung treasure of New Jersey, was high on the list of special places for No Water No Life Founder and Director, Alison Jones. She lived in this NWNL case-study watershed all through her childhood and much of her adulthood. Thanks to documentary efforts by Alison and other Raritan stewards, the Raritan has risen in the esteem of many.
I had the pleasure of working with her and the many organizations that dedicate themselves to restoring and protecting this river. My recently-published book, The Raritan River: Our Landscape, Our Legacy, contains her images and those of many others who clearly love this river and this region.
The book presents the story of key organizations and their leaders by region, so everyone can appreciate their hard work and dedication to the protection of the watershed. The beautiful banks of over 2000 miles of tributaries moved many area photographers and artists to capture its magical nature.
The book offers New Jersey people across the country to say, “Hey. This is the New Jersey we know and love. It’s more than a turnpike and heavy industry. It’s beautiful and it’s really special.”
Since I retired from Rutgers University in December as the Founding Director of the Edward J. Bloustein School’s Sustainable Raritan Initiative, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the stewardship torch pass brightly on to the many who care as much as I did. So, get out and enjoy your natural treasures and capture the wonder in photos or paintings. You’ll be glad you did!
Have you ever posted about Climate Change on social media?
Do you care about animals and their habitat?
Have you used the word “sediment?”
Have you ever talked about soil in casual conversation?
If you answered YESto any of the above questions, think about becoming a Rutgers University Certified Environmental Steward. No previous environmental training is necessary. Anyone with an interest in the environment and a passion for creating positive change in their community can become an Environmental Steward thanks to this upcoming lecture series.
The program is designed to give participants a better understanding of local issues that are important and to improve their own watersheds. Special focus will be on the Lower Raritan River Basin and invasive species management.
No Water No Life applauds Dr. Judy Auer Shaw on the publication of her new book, “The Raritan River: Our Landscape, Our Legacy.” For 8 years, NWNL has observed the power of Judy’s outreach upstream and downstream along the Raritan. Her personal passion for this river and local stewardship has brought together residents, scientists, industry and other stakeholders in a ground-breaking effort to restore the services and legacy of the Raritan River to the State of New Jersey for future generations.
About the Author: Judy serves as an Advisor for NWNL. She is a researcher at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, where she also leads the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative. This initiative earned the Somerset County Regional Planning Award in 2010. In addition, Shaw has received the Elwood Jarmer Award for Environmental Leadership. Read her full bio here.
NWNL focuses on solutions to watershed degradation as much as it does on watershed threats. This spring, NWNL guest writer Carly Shields is investigating an exciting innovative approach to reducing pollution and stabilizing shorelines in the New Jersey-New York Raritan and Hudson Bays. Her first report begins:
“Oysters are more than something you’re served at a restaurant with Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce and a glass of white wine. Oysters are actually a keystone species in North America – and especially in areas like the New York Harbor. In two watersheds that were once the main source for the oyster business, concerned scientists and stewards are now trying to re-seed, and eventually re-harvest, a billion oysters in the waters of New York City. New York Harbor School students are making it possible for these pollution-filtering mollusks to make a comeback.
The marine-science focus of the high school on Governors Island is teaching its own students and middle school students in all five boroughs about the importance of oysters in their local waters and how to be the caretakers for these shellfish. This public high school is spawning oyster larvae: something not done by any other school in the state of New York or anywhere – outside of California.
With the help of NYC students, the school has already grown seven million oysters, which are now back in the New York Harbor. Aquaculture teachers from the school are helping students take New York harbor water, and then spiking the water temperatures. This allows the larvae to think it’s time to spawn. The larvae then metamorphose into full-sized adult oysters.“
Further investigations and interviews by Carly Shields for NWNL will explain the ecological importance of re-establishing oyster beds to improve water quality and strengthen shorelines. The latter is increasingly necessary due to wave erosion and higher water levels from severe storms like Sandy and further climate disruption.