Want to help make streams in your community cleaner and healthier?
Join Raritan Headwaters, the region’s watershed watchdog, for its 28th annual Stream Cleanup on Saturday, April 14, at dozens of sites in Hunterdon, Somerset and Morris counties.
“We’re looking for volunteers of all ages to pitch in with the cleanup,” said Angela Gorczyca, water quality manager for Raritan Headwaters and coordinator of the massive cleanup effort. “Last year, more than 1,300 volunteers teamed up to remove over 13 tons of trash and litter from stream banks and waterways. We’re hoping for even more this year!”
Raritan Headwaters’ 470-square-mile region includes the North and South Branches of the Raritan River and their many tributaries.
Online registration is now open for the Stream Cleanup, which will include about 50 sites. Two new sites were added this year: Raritan Borough in Somerset County and Hampton Borough in Hunterdon County. To sign up, go to www.raritanheadwaters.org/streamcleanup to view an interactive map of cleanup sites, then click the registration link to reserve a place at your preferred site.
Groups of more than 15 people should contact Gorczyca directly at email@example.com 908-234-1852 ext. 315 to make arrangements.
Individuals and groups who register by March 1, will be guaranteed a free custom-designed T-shirt for each person; those who register by March 26 will be guaranteed stream cleanup supplies like gloves and trash bags. Individuals and groups can still register after March 26, but they may have to provide their own cleanup supplies.
The Stream Cleanup will be held on April 14 from 9 a.m. to noon, rain or shine. According to Gorczyca, participants come away with the satisfaction of knowing they have improved the environment by removing trash that clogs waterways and harms wildlife.
“It’s a great way to help the environment and make a difference in your community,” said Gorczyca. “Last year, our volunteers included families, scout troops, businesses, civic groups and schools – and we were excited and grateful to have their support.”
She added that the Stream Cleanup helps not only communities within the Upper Raritan River watershed, but also downstream communities.
“Without the cleanup, wind and rain wash litter from the land into the headwaters of the Raritan River, which can harm wildlife and water quality all the way down to the Atlantic Ocean,” she explained. “By cleaning up areas along waterways, volunteers play an important role in helping protect not only their drinking water, but the water supply for 1.5 million residents living downstream, in New Jersey’s more urban areas.”
Last year’s online report can be view at https://arcg.is/1CS99D. The report includes a submission form to alert Raritan Headwaters to areas in need of a stream cleanup.