Issue #9           

Winter 2005           


The Basin Bulletin   
Newsletter for Stakeholders of the Raritan Basin Watershed    




Raritan Basin Projects Take Home

NJDEP’s Environmental Leaders and Innovators Excellence Awards

Last November, when New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell honored environmental leaders at a ceremony in Atlantic City, the Raritan Basin took home one third of the awards.  Seven projects in the Raritan Basin won or earned honorable mention in four of the nine categories.  A total of twenty awards were given out to recognize individuals, businesses, and communities who have made significant contributions to environmental protection in New Jersey.

“These awards recognize the leaders in New Jersey’s towns, companies, authorities, and military bases who are achieving superior environmental performance,” said Campbell. “These leaders are setting the standard for innovation and commitment, while reminding us that the best ideas in environmental protection emerge from local problem solving rather than traditional regulation.”

Once again, DEP received a record number of nominations, with winners judged on the basis of the documented environmental benefits, innovation, and long-term impact of their work to the environment. This year, DEP added a ninth category for awards that recognizes achievement in Environmental Education. In addition, DEP received nominations in eight other categories: Clean Air, Clean and Plentiful Water, Safe and

Healthy Communities, Open Space Protection and Preservation, Healthy Ecosystems, Innovative Technology, Environmental Stewardship and Environmental Leadership.

This is the fifth year the awards - co-sponsored by DEP, the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology (NJCAT), and the NJ League of Municipalities - have been bestowed on state environmental leaders. Last year’s winners included the Naval Air Engineering Station at Lakehurst, Hackensack Riverkeeper, Chesterfield Township, and James Shissias.

NJCAT is a public-private partnership that pools the resources of business and industry, entrepreneurs, university research centers, utilities and government to promote New Jersey’s emerging environmental technologies.

Below is a list of this year’s winners and honorable mentions from The Raritan Basin:

Clean and Plentiful Water Winner - Sourlands Planning Council

The Sourlands Planning Council is a nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to preservation and conservation issues in the Sourlands Mountain region in the central New Jersey counties of Hunterdon, Mercer and Somerset. This award recognizes the Council for their comprehensive efforts to improve this region’s water quality and quantity. Efforts include advocating and promoting municipal rezoning and resource protective ordinances as well as developing a comprehensive management plan designed to preserve natural and cultural resources and to encourage consistent smart growth land-use strategies.        

Clean and Plentiful Water Honorable Mention - Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc.

Janssen Pharmaceutica, located in Titusville, Mercer County, received an honorable mention award for several initiatives related to watershed protection that have yielded environmental benefits in improving water quality over the past year. Janssen’s wide-ranging program includes innovative stormwater management techniques, use of environmentally sensitive fertilizers and pest controls, establishment of no-mow and no-spray zones around all water bodies, construction of a solar powered aeration system to minimize algae growth at an on-site pond, and a cooling condensate recycling program that saves approximately 400,000 gallons of water annually. Other beneficial activities include establishing a natural buffer around their fence-line consisting of native grasses and trees, and the construction of a number of bluebird and bat houses.    

Clean and Plentiful Water Honorable Mention - North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council and Hunterdon County Planning Board

The North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council is a regional nonprofit organization dedicated to helping communities with the wise use and management of their human and natural resources. The Hunterdon County Planning Board has led many successful collaborative planning and technical assessment programs with municipalities and has long recognized the need for providing communities with useful tools to deal with growth issues.  Together these agencies are awarded with an honorable mention for their joint effort in producing a handbook on woodland conservation entitled “Building Greener Communities -Planning for Woodland Conservation.” Among other benefits, healthy woodlands are essential to maintaining continued clean and plentiful ground and surface water supplies.

Environmental Education Winner - Hillside School Environmental Leaders and Protectors

Hillside School Environmental Leaders and Protectors (HELP), a 100-member environmental club comprised of fourth and fifth graders, received this year’s Environmental Education award for a student activity. These students of the Hillside Intermediate School located in Bridgewater performed a number of tasks related to habitat loss and wildlife populations. Among these were transformation of six acres of school property into a nature preserve. Other projects included reforestation, establishing a wildlife meadow, a freshwater marsh and hosting an annual Forest Fest environmental festival.

Healthy Ecosystems Honorable Mention - Franklin Township

Franklin Township, located in southeastern Somerset County, is recognized with an honorable mention for its open space planning efforts. The Township’s Open Space Plan promotes preservation of natural habitats and provides opportunities for recreation. Together with other non-profit organizations, Franklin Township has created an open space network that includes 3,000 acres of Six Mile Run, 22 miles of the Delaware & Raritan Canal, forest preserves, large tracts of agricultural land and a well-developed park system.  Presently, almost one-third of the acreage in Franklin Township is open space.

Open Space Protection and Preservation Winner (tie) - Delaware and Raritan Greenway

The Delaware and Raritan Greenway is being honored for being a model in the open space protection movement in New Jersey. For the last 15 years, Delaware and Raritan Greenway’s efforts have resulted in the protection of thousands of acres in central New Jersey. In conjunction with the DEP Green Acres Program, Delaware and Raritan Greenway’s work led to protection of 1,190 acres of mature forests and perched wetlands in the Sourlands region, in the last year alone, which will provide for critical wildlife habitat and water resource protection.

Open Space Protection and Preservation Honorable Mention – Township of Mount Olive

The Township of Mount Olive in Morris County received an honorable mention for demonstrating commitment to the preservation of open space in protecting 600 acres of open space in the heart of New Jersey’s Highlands region. This project required coordinating five funding partners including the Trust for Public Land, Morris County, DEP Green Acres Program, Forest Legacy and the U.S. Department of the Interior over a four-year period and serves as an example for other towns to follow. In addition, during the last eight years, Mount Olive has protected over 1,300 acres of municipal open space.


-This information has been taken directly from NJDEP’s November 16, 2004 press release, “DEP HONORS ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS AND INNOVATORS Excellence Awards Recognize Significant Environmental Achievements in New Jersey”




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