In early 2009, a group of concerned environmentalists joined staff from Rutgers to form the Sustainable Raritan River Collaborative to craft an action agenda that meets the goals of the U.S. Clean Water Act, restoring and preserving New Jersey’s Raritan River and its tributaries, including the Raritan Bay. This network of organizations and agencies in the Raritan River region work together to promote the integration of sound planning and a vision for the Raritan River region that balances social, economic and environmental objectives. The Collaborative is facilitated by Rutgers University (as the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative) which, with the input and guidance from a Steering Committee, assists with the following:
- Annual Conference: An annual conference provides opportunities to highlight accomplishments within the region to advance local and regional sustainable development efforts, address issues of common concern throughout the region, and identify priorities for ongoing activities.
- Topical Workshops: Periodic topical workshops provide opportunities for education and information exchange on issues identified as priorities in the watershed.
- Technical Assistance: Upon request, the scientific, technical, planning and other resources of the University are brought to bear to support elected officials, businesses and non-profit groups in their efforts to advance sustainable initiatives. This technical assistance ranges from professional assistance, faculty research and student assistance to graduate studio courses.
- Anchor Projects: Working in partnership with local organizations and agencies, the University leverages resources to assist with tangible projects that demonstrate effective sustainable methods and best practices.
- Communication and Outreach: Rutgers facilitates communication about the Initiative through the E.J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy providing a Web presence (www.raritan.rutgers.edu), a Facebook page (the Sustainable Raritan River Collaborative) and periodic email communiques on key issues and events.
The Sustainable Raritan River Initiative is independently funded. Funding for the ongoing expenses of facilitating the Sustainable Raritan River Collaborative through the Bloustein School comes primarily from a single annual outreach in conjunction with the Annual Conference, including private sponsors, vendors and conference registration fees. Contributions in the form of donations to the Initiative are welcome any time.