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Third Annual Raritan River Week Coming to the Area

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BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Sustainability and marking firm SummitSMT announces the third annual Raritan River Week April 22 through April 30.

The week-long event was established to show a unity in the efforts of organizations and towns, while also focusing attention on the river.

Through the events, residents will have the chance to volunteer to help organizations clean up the river, beginning with the 17th annual Stream Clean Up April 22, organized by the Raritan Headwaters Association. In addition, on that day will be the annual Beach Sweeps.

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There will also be other clean ups throughout the area during the week.

A new initiative this year, according to a release, is a program co-sponsored by the Americorp Watershed Ambassadors and the Bridgewater Environmental Commission, called "Slow the Flow." It is a series of tree-planting events in the three watersheds around Raritan.

The Ambassadors, the release said, are partnering with Bridgewater, Somerville, Readington, Clinton, Montgomery and West Windsor, and about 1,400 trees were given by the NJ Tree Foundation to carry out the planting.

The program is hosted through the NJ Department of Environmental Protections.

In addition, through www.raritanriverweek.com, residents can connect to many organizations, find information on the calendar of events and donate to the efforts of the groups. There will also be an opportunity to increase awareness through topics available on the website's resources page.

"I wanted to give people a chance to see all of the aspects of this great river, as well as have a means to participate even if they could not make one of the events," Jim Rokosny, president of Summit SMT and architect of the project, said in the release.

Raritan River Week won a sustainable Raritan River Award for Public Education in 2015, and Rokosny was awarded a NJ Senate Citation by Sen. Kip Bateman for his work.

"I wanted to find a way to unite all of these great organizations, and give focus to this vital resource in NJ," Rokosny said in the release. "The Raritan is a treasure and many people don't know a lot about it, and what it offers. This is our second year at this, and everyone is very excited, all of our partners support the idea of cross-promoting each other."

Partners in the event include RVCC, Raritan Headwaters, Clean Ocean Action, Somerset County Parks Commission, Central Jersey Stream Team, Duke Farms, Hunterdon County Division of Parks, Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership, Somerset County Library System and the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association.

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