New Jersey’s streams and rivers are the source of our drinking water, scenic beauty, recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat. Stream systems, generally referred to as stream corridors, extend beyond the water flowing in the channel to include the stream banks (or riparian area), adjacent wetlands, the floodplain and ecosystems of important biological diversity. Protecting the entire stream corridor is the best way to protect the health of the stream.
Regulatory programs have focused on solving specific problems like flood control and wastewater discharge, but generally don’t address the stream system as a whole. Effective stream corridor management requires addressing the entire system – the stream’s hydrology and ecology – to solve problems of surface water pollution, loss of groundwater recharge and decline in animal and plant habitats.