DEP AND BERGEN COUNTY SIGN CONTRACT TO PROTECT HACKENSACK,
HUDSON, PASCACK WATERSHEDS
COUNTY TO RECEIVE $400,000
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Shinn today
signed a contract with the Bergen County Department of Health Services
to develop a comprehensive watershed management plan to protect and improve
water quality in the northeast corner of the state.
The Bergen County Department of Health Services will receive $400,000
for the two-year contract and a total of $600,000 over four years to complete
the scope of work.
The plan will encompass the 165 square-mile watershed, known as Area
5, which covers parts of 61 municipalities in Bergen and Hudson counties.
Area 5 covers the Hackensack River, Hudson River and Pascack Brook watersheds
which also includes Berry's, Overpeck and Wolf creeks, as well as Lake
Tappan and Oradell Reservoir.
Commissioner Shinn presented an advance check of $168,300 to County Health
Director Mark Guarino and County Executive Director William "Pat" Schuber
at a ceremony held at Liberty State Park, Jersey City.
Bergen County is working in partnership with a consortium of organizations
including the Hackensack Riverkeeper, the Hackensack Meadowlands Development
Commission, United Water Co., Rutgers University in Newark, and Fairleigh
DEP has signed contracts and awarded funds to local partners for nearly
all of New Jersey's designated 20 watershed management areas to start
planning statewide this year.
Governor Whitman, who initiated the watershed management program, said,
"For the millions of people who enjoy the Hudson and Hackensack rivers,
this watershed plan will improve water quality and protect these priceless
resources for years to come."
"Working together, we will produce a plan that will protect the Hackensack
and Hudson River watershed by identifying strategies to reduce various
sources of non-point source pollution. Controlling nonpoint, or "people"
pollution, requires everyone's understanding and involvement to reduce
the impacts on waterways," said Shinn.
The county will seek input from other local groups and interested citizens
in developing the plan at the partnership's meetings. Task committees
will conduct 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.