Allow Municipalities to Clean Up their Waterways


Target: Stephen M. Sweeney, President of New Jersey Senate

Goal: Reduce red tape so that municipalities are able to take control of their own stream cleaning projects

Municipalities from a county in New Jersey are trying to create a plan for flood control. In the face of multiple floods in the area, they are looking to take control of the situation. Many municipalities are looking to clean up the rivers and rid the waters of any blockages, like debris, trees and garbage. Doing so would allow the rainwater to move through the rivers and streams as opposed to flooding and getting into people’s  homes, as well as destroying the ecosystem.

However, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) makes it difficult for localities to deeply clean their own waterways. Additionally, the NJDEP is failing to clean the waterways itself. Therefore, the towns are coming together and pushing forth a bill that would decrease this red tape. They want the ability to clean the rivers themselves. Right now, they can clean small stretches of the river at a time. After that, they need the approval of NJDEP. This process takes a long time, and the NJDEP is ineffective and often the rivers never end up getting clean. While there is some action they can take themselves, they are not able to create a long-term cleaning system to help protect the environment and alleviate flooding.

Today, we are joining these municipalities to encourage the New Jersey State Senate to pass this legislation.


Dear Senator Sweeney,

Municipality governments are generally better at handling municipality problems. They see first-hand what the problems are in a town or city, and they can figure out a way to fix it. Therefore, we are encouraging you and the rest of the New Jersey State Senate to give towns the power to clean up streams themselves.

While the towns are able to make some immediate changes and clean up some damage, they need the ability to create a long-term sustained plan for river cleanliness and for flood control. They  need to be able to clean hundreds of feet of river, not just a fraction, as it stands now.

We are calling on you to push forth this legislation and allow towns to deal with their environmental and flood issues themselves.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Heather Holdridge via Geograph

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