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Hackensack Riverkeeper Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Environment, Environmental Education, Water, Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management, Wildlife Sanctuaries

Mission: The mission of hackensack riverkeeper is to protect, preserve and restore the hackensack river watershed and its living resources. Hackensack riverkeeper fights for clean water, open space preservation and public access to the river for both active and passive recreation. It accomplishes its mission by prosecuting polluters, participating in the administration of local and regional open space trust funds, educating the public through school and community based programs, and organizing a variety of eco-programs including cleanups, pontoon boat cruises, birding walks and canoe and kayak rentals in the meadowlands.

Programs: Eco-cruises:hackensack riverkeeper takes over 3,000 people out on the river every year on our eco-cruises, our primary outreach program. For 2 1/2 hours, passengers are treated to a different view of our area along with a narration that describes the wildlife, pollution, politics and recovery of the river and meadowlands estuary.

paddling centers:another 1,000 plus people experience first-hand the beauty and wildlife of the river and meadowlands by paddling around in a canoe or kayak by themselves or on one of our guided paddles. This is another effort to get people involved in the movement to protect, preserve and restore the hackensack river and watershed.

urban fishing:to educate inner city students about the area's waterways, stormwater pollution, how to protect waterways, and whether or not it is safe to eat fish and crabs caught in their local waterways. We take them out for a boat trip and fishing - often the first time they have been out on the water.

river cleanups: an important outreach tool that gives volunteers and supporters a hands-on experience protecting this important natural resource,the river. By removing trash from the waterways, we reduce hazardsto wildlife, improve water quality and beautify the surroundings,thereby encouraging people to care more about it themselves. Speaking and consulting:we speak and do power point presentations for schools, civic groups,libraries, etc. That educate people about the river, wildlife, pollution,cleanup efforts and recovery of the environment. The hope is that people will become engaged in the stewardship of the river and watershed. Birding walks: to introduce people to the natural world right in our own backyard,to teach them that nj is an important stop on the migration routes of many wonderful birds, and that this is yet another reason we need to protect our local environment. Litigation & enforcement:to ensure the remediation of contaminated properties on or near the river, particularly when government agencies charged with this responsibility fail to do so. Similarly, to prosecute active polluters when the state neglects its duty to do so.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is golden. They are bringing much needed awareness to the crisis in the local waterway to the local citizens. Thank you!



Rating: 5

Keeping waterways clean is essential. It impacts drinking water, farmland and wildlife. I donate yearly to the hackensack river keepers as they do great work keeping this river clean. They educate and advocate for the river. I have also gone on a guided kayak tour with the riverkeepers - spectacular! I appreciate how they keep me informed on the legislative issues that affect the river. The staff are dedicated and friendly.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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 year at all levels, from elementary schools all the way up to the upper levels of government. They have brought back recreational opportunities that hadn't existed for 50 years, including paddling and guided boat tours. Through their outreach, diverse stakeholders now speak collegially to protect and restore degraded systems. And they have saved or provided the impetus to save endangered tracts and species throughout the New Jersey Meadowlands and entire watershed. The water is now clean enough (most of the time) that certain species have re-entered the estuary, and some are even safe to eat.

Kathy U.


Rating: 5

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 back up education with action! You should take a river trip through their eco-cruise program. Get out there in the Meadowlands and see what a rich resource we have just minutes from New York City.