DEP AND UNION COUNTY SIGN CONTRACT FOR PLAN TO IMPROVE
ELIZABETH, RAHWAY RIVERS
COUNTY TO RECEIVE $400,000
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Shinn
and Union County Freeholders today signed a contract to develop a comprehensive
management plan to improve the waterways in parts of four counties including
Essex, Hudson and Middlesex.
Shinn and Freeholder Chairman Dan Sullivan signed the contract along
the Rahway River at Nomahegan Park, part of the county's Greenway in Cranford
and Kenilworth. Shinn also presented the freeholders with a $240,000 advance
check to begin work.
The watershed, known as Area 7, includes the Elizabeth and Rahway rivers,
Woodbridge, Morses and Piles creeks, Newark Bay, Arthur Kill, Kill Van
Kull and Upper New York Bay. It covers 250 square miles in 36 towns.
Union County will receive $400,000 for the two-year contract. The county
engineering department will be the lead in coordinating a partnership
committee and developing the plan with assistance from the other counties
Governor Whitman, who initiated the statewide watershed management program,
said, "Watershed management planning will help to improve water quality
in Union and Hudson counties and throughout New Jersey for years to come."
DEP has now signed contracts with regional representatives for each of
the state's 20 watershed management areas. "I'm excited that we now have
local watershed planning underway throughout the state. There are water
quality challenges to be met in densely populated regions such as Union
County, but working together we will produce a plan to reduce various
sources of pollution that will enhance this area's waterways," said Shinn.
"These rivers are a vital resource for all Union County residents," said
Union County Freeholder Chairman Daniel Sullivan. "We use them for drinking
water, transportation, drainage and flood control, recreation and fishing.
For the health and safety of all Union County residents, we must protect
An Area 7 Watershed Management Partnership Committee will be organized
consisting of local agencies, watershed associations, and municipalities.
The committee will seek input from other local groups and interested citizens
in developing the plan at the partnership's Congress meetings. Task committees
will be formed for public outreach and other technical and support work.
Upon completion of a draft plan, DEP will seek formal public comment and
review prior to adoption.