The Whippany River Watershed is an area of 69.3 square miles in Morris County, New Jersey that contains all of the small streams and tributaries that drain into the Whippany River. This 16-mile long river is one of the sources of drinking water for more than a million people in northern New Jersey.
In 2000 the State of New Jersey assigned responsibility for implementing the Whippany River Watershed Management Plan, developed over several years of study and work between stakeholders and the Department of Environmental Protection, to the Action Committee.
The Action Committee has worked with its members and hundreds of volunteers over thousands of hours to:
• Provide wildlife management workshops to reduce fecal contamination in our water;
• Conduct clean-ups to remove trash, downed trees and branches, shopping carts, tires and
other objects that contaminate our water and block the river's flow to cause flooding;
• Restore lake shores, stream corridors and river banks with plantings;
• Engineer retention and detention of storm water to reduce pollution to our waterways and
to encourage recharge of our groundwater;
• Monitor the quality of our streams, river, lakes and ponds and identify trends and sources
• Design model ordinances for storm water management and headwaters protection;
With its partners, the Action Committee has been recognized for its accomplishments. The 2001 Environmental Quality Award for Region 2 was presented to the Action Committee by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection presented the committee with its 2002 Environmental Excellence Award.
The Action Committee was recently presented with another NJDEP Environmental Excellence Award in November 2013. The award was in the Water Resources Category for implementation of clean water best management practices funded by a 319(h) grant. Partnering with Morris County, WRWAC retrofitted detention basins on West Hanover Avenue at both Morris View Healthcare Center in Morristown and Morris County Public Safety Training Facility, across the street in Parsippany.
The greatest threat to the Whippany River is stormwater. The speed and amount of water leaving our developed properties is straining the capacity of our streams and river. The erosion of soils and scouring of stream banks cause a build up of sedimentation. Flooding has increased, and pollutants travel from our lawns, recreational fields, roads and parking lots straight into our waterways. The Action Committee offers ways in which you can make a difference. Click here to download copies of research reports and model storm water ordinances for your community. Visit our Rain Garden pages to see how a rain garden can be in your future. In addition, Your Stormwater Pollution Prevention Guide can be downloaded to share with your landscaper, neighbors and community leaders.