Friday, March 18, 2016

The New Jersey Highlands and Watersheds


The New Jersey Highlands are part of the Appalachian Mountains that run along the East Coast from Maine to Georgia, as does the Appalachian Trail.

This region of New Jersey is almost 860,000 acres of forested ridges, farmlands, and a variety of recreation, wildlife and historic gems.

It is also a very important watershed that is continually being threatened and defended to be preserved from pollution and development. It provides more than half of New Jersey's population with clean drinking water. It also supplies industry with water.

The Highlands stretch about 60 miles across our state from Phillipsburg in the southwest to Oakland in the northeast. Of course, it extends, as the map shows, beyond New Jersey.

It covers portions of seven northwest New Jersey counties — Bergen, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren — and more than 88 municipalities.

One of the main objectives of the Highlands Act was to protect the watershed.

I continue to believe that water will be the oil of the future - an investment that will grow in the very near future.

In 2004, Governor McGreevey signed the Highlands Act into law to establish an independent Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council. they were charged with creating a regional master plan.  That plan was meant to guide development into appropriate areas and protect water resources, forests, critical wildlife habitat, farmland, historic sites, recreation and scenic beauty.

To learn more about the Highlands and what is being done to protect it, go to state.nj.us/njhighlands. and www.njhighlandscoalition.org


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