New Jersey American Water recognizes Water and Environment grantees

Paris agreement concept in the ecology and environment

American Water Charitable Foundation recently awarded Water and Environment grants to seven organizations totaling $108,277, supporting communities served by Camden-based New Jersey American Water.

“This year, New Jersey American Water is proud to announce grants to seven community organizations that share our commitment to protecting the environment and are making a real difference across New Jersey,” Mark McDonough, president, New Jersey American Water, said. “The foundation’s Water and Environment grant program recognizes and supports local organizations that are working to improve, restore or protect watersheds, surface water and groundwater supplies in our local communities. The environmental projects supported through this year’s grants will help preserve our state’s natural resources and protect our water supplies for years to come.”

The Water and Environment grant is part of the American Water Charitable Foundation’s Keep Communities Flowing Grant Program, focusing on three pillars of giving: water, people and communities. Below is a list of 2024 grantees in New Jersey:

  • The Watershed Institute: The Watershed Institute was awarded $33,500 to expand StreamWatch Schools, a water quality monitoring program that works to protect streams and rivers in central New Jersey. The project allows students to see and share water quality data via an online platform. Grant funding will support the expansion of this program to more school to educate students across New Jersey about the importance of preserving the quality of our water.
  • National Wildlife Federation: The National Wildlife Federation was awarded $30,523 to create an online community resource hub for nonprofits and communities to educate utility users on where their water comes from, how its treated and how nonprofits can foster trust between companies and local residents. The goal of the hub is to equip nonprofits with the tools and information needed to educate residents about how utilities work in order to build trust and confidence in utilities.
  • Raritan Baykeeper: The Raritan Baykeeper was awarded $20,000 to engage more students and community members in water quality monitoring at waterfront access sites in Red Bank, Keyport and Hazlet, supporting the organization’s efforts to protect and preserve the health of the NY/NJ Bay watershed. The grant will support efforts to identify and train more volunteers to conduct bimonthly assessments of key public waterfront locations. Funds will also go towards attracting more students to participate in organized educational visits to these sites to foster a sense of stewardship and responsibility towards the local environment.
  • Raritan Headwaters Association: The Raritan Headwaters Association was awarded $10,000 to support the management, analysis, visualization, reporting and communication of surface water quality data in a 2024 Water Quality Report on the health of the Upper Raritan watershed. The report, which is part of the Stream Monitoring Program, impacts state regulatory decision-making across the Raritan Basin and will be used by state and local leaders, government agencies, conservation partners and the public to inform critical climate adaptation and mitigation work.
  • Whale Pond Brook-Takanasee Lake Watershed Association: The Whale Pond Brook-Takanasee Lake Watershed Association was awarded $6,754 for projects to restore eroded banks and water quality in the Whale Pond Brook watershed. The Whale Pond Brook watershed is a 3,870-acre coastal watershed, where 72% of the land is urban with 28% impervious cover. The project includes the construction of rain gardens to redirect runoff from impervious surfaces — preventing flooding and making the water more fishable by storing, filtering and saving about 700,000 gallons of water from flowing directly into the lake.
  • Zoological Society of New Jersey: The Zoological Society of New Jersey was awarded $5,000 to support its Zoo Team Go volunteer conservation fieldwork program. Established in 2019, the Zoo Team Go program works with people and organizations from all communities, including individuals with disabilities and volunteers from overburdened communities, to host in-person and virtual cleanup events. For those who are unable to participate in cleanups, Zoo Team Go offers alternative activities such as creating bird boxes and pollinator gardens.
  • Agraj Seva Kendra: Agraj Seva Kendra was awarded $2,500 to support environmental protection and education initiatives. Agraj Seva Kendra will partner with the Division of Environmental Protection in Monroe Township to educate students about the importance of maintaining and protecting air, water, land and energy resources through a volunteer program. The program will involve student volunteers and adult mentors throughout the community in cleanup initiatives for 15 weeks to clean roads, parks and waterways.