Rita Allen Foundation Embraces Watershed Initiative

March 2011

The Rita Allen Foundation has provided the first wave of funding to the Stony-Brook Millstone Watershed Association to create an innovative wetland-based wastewater treatment system at the association’s Watershed Reserve in Hopewell, NJ.

The Rita Allen Foundation’s $100,000 grant is the first step in fulfilling this groundbreaking multi-year $500,000 project. With this funding, the Watershed Association will be able to address an issue that is critical to every household, commercial development and institution in New Jersey – safe, effective and reasonably priced treatment and disposal of human wastewater.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates at least one in 10 septic systems is failing – resulting in billions of gallons of inadequately treated human waste leeching into ground and surface water across the country each year.

In central New Jersey alone, the Watershed Association’s “State of the Watershed Report” shows that pollution from excess nutrients – from sources like leaking septic systems and sewer lines – is causing aquatic life in our waterways to falter. In addition, 15 of the 26 municipalities in the watershed region do not have strong enough ordinances in place to regulate septic system maintenance.

Said Elizabeth Good Christopherson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Rita Allen Foundation, “A cleaner environment and water are priorities that benefit all of us, and we are proud to partner with the Watershed Association to promote a concept that has great potential to address a significant problem.”

Under the plan supported by the Rita Allen Foundation, the Watershed Association will be building a new wetlands-based wastewater treatment system at its 860-acre Watershed Reserve to show that there is a more effective, more energy efficient and less resource-intensive alternative to the traditional wastewater treatment system.

Below is a sampling of some of the press reports appearing since the grant to the Watershed was announced: (2/28/11)–2

Planet Princeton Blog (2/28/11)

Princeton Online (3/1/11)

Environmental Design + Construction (3/1/11)

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