RRWA River Friendly Certification Program – 2020/2021

In Spring of 2020 the RRWA was awarded a Merck Foundation, Neighbor of Choice grant for the purpose of implementing a River Friendly Certification Program in our watershed.

The Watershed Institute, New Jersey Water Supply Authority and Raritan Headwaters partner together to implement a suite of River-Friendly programs. The RRWA joins the River-Friendly team as the first affiliate. The River Friendly Program promotes clean water and a healthy environment through voluntary action by individuals and institutions.

The RRWA will be administring the River-Friendly Schools and River-Friendly Residents Programs in the Rahway River Watershed.

The River-Friendly Program for Schools has generated a good deal of interest with many schools agreeing to participate. If you are an educator or decision maker for a school or school system in the watershed and wish to take part, please call Clea at 908-472-6152 for more information.

The River-Friendly Residents Program is very simple. To apply, all you need to do is fill out a survey. If you score a predetermined amount of points you will be certified.


Schools and residents who obtain River-Frindly certification will receive an eye-catching yard sign that will let the community know about their commitment to protecting the Rahway River Watershed.

For more about the River-Friendly Program


RRWA Water Quality Monitoring Program – 2020/2021

The RRWA started a water quality monitoring program in 2018 with the help of a grant from the Watershed Institute. The program is supervised by the NJDEP (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection). Monitoring locations throughout the watershed are vetted beforehand as to their safety and accessibility.

Training is provided by The Watershed Institute and NJDEP AmeriCorps Ambassadors who have been highly trained by the NJDEP for this purpose.

In 2019 we were awarded another grant from the Watershed Institute that has allowed us to expand the program to include macroinvertebrate identification. A 2020 Spring training session – Stream School – was postponed to Autumn 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ABOUT MACROINVERTEBRATE IDENTIFICATION TRAINING AND MONITORING!

The RRWA has training sessions 1 to 2 times per year. Members of the public who go through this training process become members of our Stream Team and agree to perform water quality monitoring assessments several times per year.

Stream-side monitoring is only done in shallow, wadable rivers with rocky bottoms, with a river dept of usually only 2” to 24” deep. Visual Assessments require taking many measurements such as the depth and width of the river, water temperature, flow speed, and making certain observations including degree of canopy cover, evidence of erosion, litter, invasive species, etc. The information is then graded, and a score is given to indicate the quality of the water/habitat in that location. This is done to determine the health of the river, and its ability to sustain native plant and animal life.