The Sustainable Raritan River Initiative (SRRI) produced Volume 1 of the State of the Raritan Report (Lathrop et al. 2016) to identify trends in key indicators of water quality and watershed health for the Raritan River basin that were originally assessed in the Raritan Basin: Portrait of a Watershed as developed by the New Jersey Water Supply Authority (NJWSA 2002).
Eleven key indicators were assessed for Volume 1 including: population; housing units; urban land use; impervious surface cover; forested, coastal and emergent wetlands; upland forest cover; prime agricultural land; groundwater recharge; fish and macroinvertebrate bioassessments; riparian area integrity; and known contaminated sites and groundwater contamination.
The trends evident between 1986 and 1995 are continuing in the same general direction though the rate of change in trends has varied over the longer time period. The trend impacts over the 20 plus years were either trending negative for water quality or could not be determined.
This report is the first in a series that will eventually assess a broader array of metrics of watershed health for the Raritan Basin. The intent is to inform watershed management planning in concert with remediation, restoration and protection efforts at the state, regional and local levels.