In 2009, the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy partnered with the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences — both at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey — to form the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative (SRRI). This Initiative brings together concerned scientists, environmentalists, engineers, businesses, community leaders and governmental entities to craft an action agenda that meets the goals of the U.S. Clean Water Act to restore and preserve New Jersey’s Raritan River, its estuary and its tributaries.
A group of twenty professionals met over the summer of 2009 to build upon the foundation laid by the 2002 “Raritan Basin Watershed Management Plan”, developed under the New Jersey Water Supply Authority. A responsive update report entitled, “The State of the Raritan River: A Work in Progress”, was crafted in early 2009 and made available to the public through the SRRI website.
Support for the vision for the Raritan Basin grew, and the Collaborative quickly expanded. During the summer of 2009, over seventy-five professionals worked on five committees to research and write white papers outlining the challenges and opportunities for the Raritan. The five committees focused on balanced redevelopment, public access, remediation, stewardship, and water quality. Detailed reports for each of these five areas were made public in December of 2009, and with the support of the Mushett Family Foundation, the University’s Initiative published a summary Action Plan entitled “Reclaiming the Raritan: A Restoration and Sustainable Reuse Plan”.
Today the Sustainable Raritan River Collaborative has grown to over 130 members, including environmental organizations, Raritan-based counties and municipalities, foundations and charities, businesses, and key regional, state and federal agencies. This growing Collaborative, along with Rutgers’ Sustainable Raritan River Initiative, keeps the vision for a more sustainable Raritan moving forward.