WEBSITE DEDICATED TO RARTIAN RIVER RESTORATION LAUNCHED BY WNET & ENVIRO NONPROFIT
WNET and Edison Wetlands Association partner on raising awareness for the Raritan River through new website BlueRaritan.org
Edison, New Jersey – BlueRaritan.org was launched today by state public television provider WNET in partnership with the nonprofit Edison Wetlands Association (EWA) and other environmental groups to raise awareness for the Raritan River Watershed. This unique website connects collaborative work from two decades of work to clean the Raritan River as well as educates and engages the public as partners in combating on marine pollution problems.
“BlueRaritan.org was created to engage the public and showcases 20 years of work cleaning up and restoring the longest river solely in New Jersey – the Raritan. It provides the public and all stakeholders the ability to understand the watershed, the Raritan’s projects, resources and even eco-tourism opportunities for the first time.” said Robert Spiegel, Executive Director of EWA. “In addition, the website serves to connect Central Jersey families, Rutgers University researchers and students, municipalities, and bordering watersheds. It also provides a clearing house for projects and work of environmental groups, Rutgers University, and other stakeholders groups working together to restore the Queen of Rivers.”
Blueraritan.org is much more than a website. This unique collaboration with WNET (which operates public television stations Thirteen and WLIW in in New York and NJTV in New Jersey) also links to NJTVonline.org where the documentary “Rescuing the River: The Raritan” can be viewed along with interviews and other features. Additionally, it links to Marine Defenders, a website devoted to combating worldwide marine pollution offering free apps for the public, schools and marine advocates. Finally, it showcases two of the largest environmental blogs in New Jersey: WildNewJersey.tv and NewGreenMedia.tv.
“Public television’s inherent mission is to educate,” said Dan Greenberg, General Manager, Interactive Engagement Group at WNET, “The Blue Raritan website serves to educate the public about the many, complicated issues surrounding a vital waterway in New Jersey. We built it to be an organic resource site for residents to turn to, and to be updated, for years to come.”
In 2001, EWA started the Raritan River Project with two sites: the Chemical Insecticide Superfund Site (CIC) and Kin-Buc Landfill Superfund Site. Today the CIC site, featured in the Molly Ivins’ New York Times best seller, Bushwhacked, is now clean, public parkland. The 70 million gallon chemical dump Kin-Buc is now contained and being remediated as a Greenfield site with public access trails. The work of EWA and their partners continues to identify toxic sites that are negatively impacting the Raritan River Estuary and hold those responsible parties accountable, with the goal to make the Raritan River swimmable, fishable and drinkable once again. This vision is documented in the “Rescuing the River: The Raritan” documentary mentioned above.
The rebirth of the Raritan River Estuary is tied to those who live along her shores. For the first time the Raritan has a truly innovative and educational website that combines multimedia, phone applications and connects the watershed in unique and comprehensive way.
“If New Jerseyans have learned anything from the recent extreme weather related disasters, it’s that we are truly connected to our shared environment. We must continue to restore our estuaries and learn to live in cooperation and balance with nature. We now see what happens when we ignore human impacts on regional ecological resources like the Raritan River Estuary,” stated Spiegel.
The Raritan Basin covers over 1,100 square miles of New Jersey, and is the largest river basin entirely contained the state, supplying water, recreation, and transportation to more than one million residents in seven counties. Approximately 1.2 million people live in the Raritan River Basin. Over 600,000 people work here, and millions drink its waters or use it for recreation. The basin supports a wealth of unique biological diversity, and has acted as a trade route throughout its history. The health of the river is central to quality of life in the region.
For more information about the Raritan River or to watch “Rescuing the River: The Raritan,” please visit BlueRaritan.org.
About Edison Wetlands Association:
EWA is a grassroots environmental nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment through conservation and the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. For more information about EWA, please visit EdisonWetlands.org.
In 2012, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York’s flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchaseand provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Todayand MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. For 50 years, THIRTEEN has been making the most of the rich resources and passionate people of New York and the world, reaching millions of people with on-air and online programming that celebrates arts and culture, offers insightful commentary on the news of the day, explores the worlds of science and nature, and invites students of all ages to have fun while learning.
Robert Spiegel, Executive Director, EWA, 732-841-9375
Kellie Specter, Sr. Director, Communications, WNET, 212-560-3009