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Watershed Wins One Water Award

by MercerMe Staff

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association was recently recognized for innovative water practices at the inaugural New Jersey One Water Awards during a Newark ceremony.

The award is sponsored by a new partnership of three organizations: the Association of Environmental Authorities, American Water Works Association, and Jersey Water Works. Winners were selected in three categories based on the ownership of the project: Public, Private, and Nonprofit/ Academic.

The Watershed won the nonprofit/academic category for its Natural Wetlands Wastewater Treatment System, which serves the organization’s Watershed Center for Environmental Advocacy, Science and Education. This approach, designed and constructed by Natural Systems Utilities of Hillsborough, NJ, is an innovative way of treating wastewater with wetlands in a natural, low-energy system that produces high-quality effluent and recharges groundwater. The site features educational signage and is part of an audio tour to enlighten the public on sustainable water treatment.

Jim Waltman, the Watershed’s executive director, accepted the One Water Award. The wetlands system helped the Watershed Center secure a LEED-Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, denoting the highest level of recognition by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“We’re thrilled and honored to be chosen for this recognition,” Waltman said. “Through scientific investigation, educational programs, and environmental advocacy, the Watershed aims to advance its mission of protecting clean water and promoting environmental stewardship.”

One Water Award recognizes initiatives and innovations that address water issues comprehensively. The award honors programs or projects that reflect collaboration, employ innovation and education and advance long-term sustainability. The award recognizes an approach that all water – stormwater, drinking water, wastewater – has value that can be unlocked by implementing sustainable, inclusive and integrated water resource management practices.

This award is the latest of many prestigious awards given to the Watershed, following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Champion Award, the New Jersey Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award, the New Jersey Green Building Council’s Emerald Award, the Forest Stewardship Council’s Leadership Award, and the Sustainable Raritan Award.

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association is dedicated to keeping Central New Jersey’s water clean, safe and healthy. Founded in 1949, the Watershed Association protects and restores water and the environment through conservation, advocacy, science and education. For more information about the Watershed, www.thewatershed.org.

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