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231 Main St
New Jersey 07601

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Programs: ?This organization was founded on one simple premise: Human beings, in fact all living creatures, have an inherent right to clean water,? Capt. Bill explains.We operate with an Executive Director, who is the Riverkeeper and makes all executive decisions five full-time staff- A Program Director, who handles organization and execution of Eco-Cruises, Eco-walks,handles speaking engagements and represents Hackensack Riverkeeper at events, An Operations Director and Volunteer Coordinator, who manages volunteer projects and coordinates our river cleanups as well as handle office administration, our Project Manager, who coordinates our Eco Paddles and runs our Paddling Center, and a Development Director responsible for grants and fundraising. Additionally, we have an Americorp person who works out of our office full-time on community watershed education.

We manage a Watershed Watch Hotline that provides an anonymous resource for people who may see someone illegally dumping. We follow up on these sightings and sue polluters. We work with coalitions to preserve open space in our over-developed metropolitan area.

From May to October we provide recreational access to the river through our Eco-cruise and Canoe/Kayak rental projects. The objective of the Eco-Cruise program is to educate and advocate protection, enhancement and enjoyment of the Hackensack River and Estuary. During Eco-Cruises, the Hackensack River and Estuary become living classrooms. Out on the river, participants experience for themselves its abundant living resources and better understand the threats to our urban wilderness. In all, more than 30,000 people have taken Eco-Cruises since Captain Sheehan started the program in 1995.

In 1999, the Eco-Cruise program was expanded to include canoe/kayak trips from Laurel Hill County Park to the Sawmill Wildlife Management Area. The Eco-Walk program, conducted in conjunction with Eco-Cruises for students, was established in 1999 to increase outdoor environmental education opportunities for students, teachers, and others interested in learning about the watershed's natural environments.

Hackensack Riverkeeper, Inc. (HRI) was founded in 1997. The organization evolved from volunteer citizen stewardship projects developed by the present Riverkeeper, Captain Bill Sheehan. We work with teachers to provide environmental education, do community outreach, sue polluters, and provide opportunities for river-based recreation.

The organization and its programs fill a unique role and function in its role as steward to a river that was left for dead due to years of rapid over-development and industrial abuse.

Across the globe, Keeper programs are aiding in the protection of water and the quality of life of communities through Waterkeeper Alliance.


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I used to work for Hackensack Riverkeeper until 2006, but have stayed informed of their exploits through their newsletters and emails. Their tenacity and connection to the local communities they serve was and still is second to none. They provide education and advocacy practically every day of the... more »
Hackensack Riverkeeper has almost single-handedly changed the discussion about the way that the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers are treated in northern New Jersey. This organization does invaluable work in educating this densely populated area about the isses affecting their local waterway, and they ... more »
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