BEARS provides the scientific foundation for restoration and protection of New Jersey’s water resources so that all of the state’s rivers, lakes and coastal waters are fishable, swimmable and support healthy ecosystems and so all of the freshwater resources are clean sources of drinking water.
The Continuing Planning Process (CPP) is broadly accomplished throughout the DEP and includes a Statewide implementation strategy to achieve water quality standards and objectives for the management of water quality and wastewater. These regulatory and non-regulatory strategies are identified in the CPP document.
BEARS is responsible for conducting and coordinating environmental stewardship, maintaining clean shorelines, water quality analysis and restoration, and water quality standards programs and activities designed to protect, maintain and enhance water quality for all waters of the State in accordance with the federal Clean Water Act, New Jersey Water Pollution Control Act, and New Jersey Water Quality Planning Act. BEARS develops, promotes and supports community-based environmental stewardship programs like the AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program, Community Water Monitoring, and the Watershed Education and Urban Fishing Program, which are designed to raise public awareness about watershed issues and promote watershed stewardship through hands-on experience.