Category One Protections: Another Hackensack River Victory
Adoption of C-1 status helps make 2004 a banner year for our watershed
By Hugh M. Carola
On July 9, the State of New Jersey officially declared the entire upper Hackensack River and all of its tributaries, from the New York border to Oradell Dam, Category One (C-1) waterways.
“Seeing the entire upper Hackensack declared a C-1 waterway is a goal we have worked toward from the beginning,” said Captain Bill Sheehan, executive director of Hackensack Riverkeeper. “Without question, this is a real victory for clean water and for the one million people in New Jersey who rely on the Hackensack River for their drinking water.”
“The Master Plan, with its ultimate goal of creating the Meadowlands Estuary Preserve, dovetails perfectly with the C-1 protections upriver,” explained Captain Bill. “After so many years of losing wetlands, woodlands and open space, the people of our watershed are finally catching a break.”
Each preservation initiative will bring lasting benefits to the region; not the least of which is the protection of clean potable water – a renewable yet finite resource – for most of the residents in eastern Bergen and Hudson Counties. This is particularly true of the Hackensack River watershed, which contains one of New Jersey’s most urbanized water supplies.
“Without a doubt, the best and most cost-effective way of preserving the quality of drinking water is to preserve the lands that surround it,” said Captain Bill. “It was a long time coming, but Category One will ensure that quality for the foreseeable future.”
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