Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership Corporation

Restoring the Raritan through Stewardship and Science.

aka LRWP   |   NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ   |  www.lowerraritanwatershed.org

Mission

The mission of the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership (LRWP) is to restore, enhance, and conserve, the natural resources of “New Jersey Watershed Management Area 9” (the Lower Raritan Watershed) through science-based stewardship, education and innovation.

Ruling year info

2015

President

Dr. Heather Fenyk

Main address

54 HASSART STREET #A3

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ 08901 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-3574185

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Natural History, Natural Science Museums (A56)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The LRWP is New Jersey’s newest watershed association. We formed in 2015 to address industrial pollutants that left a legacy of contamination in the Raritan River and the Lower Raritan Watershed. Although dumping is much ameliorated, current contamination levels in many stream segments are unknown, and no comprehensive assessment of water quality for the LRW has been performed since the 1970s. Ongoing threats to the watershed include combined sewers, an average of 34% impervious surfaces, and significant non-point pollution related to stormwater flows. We seek to foster environmental appreciation and stewardship by staging and supporting nature-centered activities in the watershed, by cultivating science through community participation and collaboration in watershed research activities, and by communicating scientific findings about the watershed to residents and established decision-making bodies for informed decision making about policy, land use and landscape change.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Project WADES

Project WADES (Watershed Action Dialogue Education and Stewardship) is a K-12 school-based environmental service-learning curriculum developed by the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership (LRWP). Project WADES combines an Environmental Education (EE) curriculum with volunteer citizen science environmental monitoring, science communication and environmental action to foster deep learning around scientific inquiry and the natural environment. Project WADES directly engages area youth to advance watershed health!

Through problem-based service learning, Project WADES engages Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for high school (9-12) science, technology, engineering and math instruction, and is consistent with core curriculum requirements for K-8. Working with local arts organization coLAB arts, we integrate arts communication approaches and tools to provide a true STEAM curriculum.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Young adults

The LRWP’s growing community of civic scientists — or Streamkeepers — help implement water quality monitoring efforts at sites across our watershed. The primary goal of this monitoring is to gather and report data, evaluate the health of area streams, and measure the impact of stream restoration projects and stormwater management.

Our committed Streamkeepers are the eyes and ears of our waterways. They fill out forms, take photos, identify opportunities for restoration, coordinate clean-ups, share stories of their streams, and give a “voice” to our waterways. Regular monitoring of our streams would be impossible without their commitment!

LRWP Streamkeepers are required to go through a training in Visual Habitat Assessments and Macroinvertebrate Monitoring. Once trained they can “check out” monitoring supplies from our lending library for regular data gathering and field study.

While the LRWP is happy to train and support Streamkeepers for any stream in the watershed, we are especially interested in working with volunteers to assist with on-going monitoring of the 33 key headwater streams.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The LRWP is part of a team working with NJDEP funding and technical assistance to develop a comprehensive coastal resilience plan for our Lower Raritan Watershed communities. Other team members include Middlesex County Office of Planning, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South River and Woodbridge. We seek to ensure that our central New Jersey landscape is better able to handle the impacts of climate change, sea level rise and future storms. Our work involves community engagement, data gathering, planning, restoration and much more.

“Preparing for climate change is imperative and should be at the forefront of our coastal communities across the nation but we will not protect our coast lines with only sea walls and tide gates. This alternative is shortsighted, will have dire environmental consequences, and may result in increased damages from failure.

Coastal resilience must be looked at holistically and regionally. We must include engineering, nature-based, economic, and social solutions to successfully mitigate long term-impacts. Coastal states and communities must focus on developing the capacity for regional coastal resilience management plans that integrate businesses, communities, non-profits, academic institutions, and government (at all levels). Without proper stakeholder engagement, coordination, and participation our proposals will continue to fall short of what is needed to prepare for sea level rise.”

Population(s) Served
Adults

#lookfortheriver inspires care for neglected waterways in the context of climate change, intensified urban flooding and sea level rise. It is a transformative climate justice campaign and social movement that empowers geographically and socio-economically vulnerable populations to value and restore freshwater ecosystems and the environment as community care and resilience. Working at multiple scales it involves local streamside actions of knowledge co-production, performances of climate change impacts and proposed solutions, art installations that pattern regional stewardship and adaptation, engagement with national circuits of knowledge and practice, and connection with global movements that embrace water as the lifeblood of our communities.

As a campaign #lookfortheriver transforms community-environment connectivity through knowledge co-production and the arts and cultivates cultures of on-going environmental stewardship.

As a social movement #lookfortheriver advances a cross-scales theory of landscape change and resilience.

At all scales work is conceived and articulated in non-economic terms of shared health, prosperity and well-being.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Running for 20 weeks through Summer 2019, the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County (RCE) will gather data and other information on water quality for public access sites along the tidal portions of the Raritan River at locations considered non-bathing beaches. This project is supported through grants from the Interstate Environmental Commission (IEC) and Rutgers’ Sustainable Raritan River Initiative (SRRI).

LRWP and RCE will monitor non-bathing beach sites with active kayak/canoe launches and/or fishing and other primary contact activities that, as non-bathing beach sites, are not regularly monitored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) or the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services and lack sufficient water quality data.

In addition to yielding important data about the health and safety of our waterways, the Project will also allow for development of civic science and expanded volunteer environmental monitoring programming within the Lower Raritan Watershed and Middlesex County, NJ. We are working with an approved Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP), provided by the IEC, which will allow for data generated from this project to inform water quality policy and regulatory decisions at all levels of government within the project area, and to educate the public about the safety of recreating on the River.

Real-time reporting of enteroccocus data will be posted every Friday on the LRWP facebook page and website, and through the New York City Water Trail Association’s citizen’s water quality testing program. Users will be able to easily interpret the data as being above or below the recommended water quality standards for primary contact recreation.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of projects showing an upward trend in the number of conservation actions at site

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Streamkeepers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of conservation areas with evidence that illegal activities causing key threats have declined or stabilized

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Pathogens/Bacteria Monitoring

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of stakeholders/stakeholder groups with whom communication has been achieved and expectations shared

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of trainees successfully carrying out desired practices at least once to appropriate problems

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Pathogens/Bacteria Monitoring

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The LRWP will inspire environmental appreciation and stewardship by staging and cultivating nature-centered activities, and by helping those in our communities be more effective actors in safeguarding the future of the watershed.

The LRWP will inform relevant stakeholders in the watershed area through community participation and collaboration in science-based watershed activities, and by building a trusted framework for the sharing of relevant data and knowledge about the watershed and its health.

The LRWP will innovate to improve watershed health responsibly, through collaboration with diverse partners, by disseminating research findings and by tracking the impacts of these efforts.

Strategic Areas of Focus:

Education and Outreach

Water Quality Monitoring (Civic Science)

Watershed Restoration

Our Approach:

Social Equity. We believe in building an equal and inclusive movement for our water policies.

Collaboration. We believe change happens through the connections, creativity and contributions of our entire community.

Responsible Innovation. We believe in a cooperative approach that inspires and rewards responsible innovation.

Humanism. We believe in upholding a humanist sensibility throughout our environmental education and outreach.

Systems Thinking. We believe that all social-ecological systems are interconnected, and we focus on relationships and interactions when addressing environmental problems.

The LRWP has a committed board with deep ties to the Lower Raritan Watershed, and substantive expertise in landscape design, environmental planning, natural history, environmental restoration, environmental law and environmental education. We link our research activities to Rutgers University curricula, and leverage undergraduate and graduate learning experiences (studios, applied environmental history, etc.) to advance our goals.

We have strong institutional (County, municipal and University partners) and over 100 active non-student volunteers who conduct "civic science" monitoring and data reporting.

We are a new organization, but recently hired our first staff member - someone with considerable expertise in our areas of focus.

We have an active blog, monthly newsletter, and 100 + volunteers regularly engaging in our work.
See below for a summary of accomplishments by year.

2020 Accomplishments:
Raritan River water quality monitoring conducted weekly during the summer, data used by EPA
Conducted genetic source tracking for Raritan River pathogens
2 Water quality monitoring trainings
18 stream segments monitored
Delivery of on-line educational programs for youth and general public
Completion of Municipal Public Access Plan for the City of New Brunswick
Creation and distribution of a "watershed facts" poster to more than 200 schools
3 clean-ups of area streams

2019 Accomplishments:
11 clean-ups of area streams
1 rain garden installation
1 pollinator garden installation
2 rain barrel builds (30 barrels total!)
2 water quality monitoring trainings
4 multi-week environmental education programs in the schools
9 general meetings
7 special events (NOAA resilience workshop, field trips, special lectures)
8 environmental festivals or other outreach events
18 stream segments monitored
30+ research/internship projects completed
and so much more…

2018 Accomplishments:
16 clean-ups of area streams
1 pollinator garden installation
1 rain garden installation
3 water quality monitoring trainings (visual habitat, pathogens and macroinvertebrate identification)
3 multi-week K-12 environmental education programs
9 stakeholder meetings
7 special events (dance performances, gallery openings, field trips and special lectures)
10 community meetings, environmental festivals or other outreach events
2 blessings of area streams
20 stream segments monitored
30+ research/internship projects
and so much more….

Financials

Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership Corporation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership Corporation

Board of directors
as of 3/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr. Heather Fenyk

Global Metrics, LLC

Term: 2015 - 2022


Board co-chair

Alex Zakrewsky

Middlesex County Planning

Term: 2015 - 2022

David Tulloch

Rutgers University

Amy Braunstein

Johnny Quispe

Rutgers University

Doriann Kerber

Boro of Milltown

Missy Holzer

Chatham School District

Heather Fenyk

Global Metrics, LLC

Alex Zakrewsky

Middlesex County

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/29/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Female
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/29/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.