ATLANTIC CITY, NJ -- At this year’s New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference, TAPintoTV spoke with Captain Bill Sheehan of Hackensack Riverkeeper, about his organization and their efforts to revitalize the Hackensack River Watershed.
Among its missions, Hackensack Riverkeeper collaborates with planners to ensure that land use decisions reflect science and adhere to all applicable environmental laws and regulations. The organization also is working to remediate centuries of pollution and associated environmental damage caused by the human community.
“It’s really fulfilling on a professional level and on a personal level that people know who I am, and they know what we do,” said Sheehan, of his experience at the conference. “I’m a pragmatic environmentalist and I know this is where the decision makers come,” he said.
“They know the work that we do, and they realize that we’re part of the solution to the environmental problems here in New Jersey,” Sheehan added. “We’re not here to cause problems, we’re here to fix them.”
Sheehan also described some of the programs offered by Hackensack Riverkeeper that are open to the public, such as their popular Eco-Cruises, which travel along the river, the marshes of the Meadowlands, Newark Bay, and other nearby locations. They also host a series of river cleanups, canoe and kayaking expeditions, and custom nature walks.
According to Sheehan, over 8,000 acres of wetlands have been permanently preserved due to their intervention. And, 275 species of birds and 70 species of marine life have returned to the Hackensack River Watershed.
“Over the years we’ve been able to bring the Meadowlands to a much better place,” Sheehan said. “The river’s in recovery. It’s got a long way to go, but I’m working on it, my staff is working on it, day in and day out, and we’re making a difference.”
To learn more about Hackensack Riverkeeper and their work, visit them online at https://www.hackensackriverkeeper.org.