Upland forest plays an important role in protecting water resources by reducing soil erosion, filtering runoff, and increasing groundwater recharge. Forests, therefore, provide numerous environmental and economic benefits, which elevate water quality and protect water resources. Consequently, an analysis of conversion of upland forest (positive and negative) is required to correlate with water quality in the watershed.
Nearly one-quarter of the Raritan basin land cover is upland forest. The Raritan basin experienced a net loss of upland forest of over 8,300 acres. Loss of upland forest can negatively impact water quality in the region.