The Raritan River Project
“Ode to the Raritan, Queen of Rivers”
by John Davis, 1806
All thy wat’ry face
Reflected with a purer grace
Thy many turnings through the trees,
Thy bitter journey to the seas,
Thou Queen of Rivers, Raritan!
The Raritan River Estuary
The Raritan River forms at the confluence of the North and South Branches just west of Somerville. It flows 16 miles before slowing in tidewater at New Brunswick. Its estuary extends 14 miles more until the Raritan Bay at South Amboy.
The Raritan River was an important water transportation route for the Native Americans. The “Raritan” was an Algonquin word meaning “stream overflows.” The Raritan people were also an Algonquin tribe.
In colonial days, early industry around developed along the Raritan around New Brunswick. During the Revolutionary War, the river provided a means for troop conveyance. The construction of the Delaware and Raritan Canal along soon provided a critical link between New York City and Philadelphia.
The Raritan Estuary’s Recovery
The Lower Raritan Watershed’s environmental health has strongly rebounded through EWA’s advocacy over the past decade, but there is a long way to go. Bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and osprey again soar the Raritan skies, and a thriving fish population has helped seals, otters, and marine life recover here.
There is a long way to go, however. Since 1989, EWA’s Raritan River Project has fought for the cleanup and restoration of the hazardous waste sites posing the greatest threats to human health and environment.
The Lower Raritan Watershed has a disproportionate amount of the NJ 25,000 toxic waste sites draining into its watershed. Most of these are not remediated to levels that are protective of human health or the environment. Federal and State regulatory agencies responsible for cleaning up these sites have abdicated their responsibilities and the pollution remains unchecked. Over-development threatens the remaining natural areas along the Raritan and her tributaries.
By joining EWA and supporting our work, you support a non-profit organization that fights to make the Raritan River fishable and swimable again. EWA strongly advocates for the cleanup and preservation of the remaining natural areas. In fact, EWA’s Brownfield-to-Greenfields program creates a national model for the balanced redevelopment of brownfield area’s to incorporate conservation and public access, as well as economic ratables.
EWA champions restored open space in the Raritan River Estuary, and has fought multinational polluters and greedy developers who seek to destroy the fragile recovery of this unique ecosystem.
By joining us you lend your voice and support to group who has time tested methods for getting results. A group that fights for a clean river and healthy communities around the estuary. Join Edison Wetlands’ growing movement and make your voice heard. A clean and healthy Raritan River Estuary is everyone’s right! Our future generations depend on you getting involved!