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On the banks of the old Raritan, environmental expert Judy Shaw gives readers a tour of the remarkable river, a major waterway 90 miles long, with 2,000 miles of tributary streams and brooks that twists and turns from its source in Morris County, down to the Raritan Bay. It is the longest river that is completely within New Jersey, includes the state's largest contiguous stretch of wildlife habitat, and runs through one of the most populated areas of the United States. The Raritan River shows New Jersey for what it is – home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
This lavishly illustrated book tells the story of an amazing region where protected environments coexist with land left in ruins by rampant industrialization and where the reckless pursuit of commerce scarred the lands along its banks. Shaw argues that as we work to protect this historically wooded and agricultural land from further development, we need to replace our outmoded infrastructure and rethink outdated design and management practices that currently limit our progress toward a clean and beautiful environment. With over 350 photographs and 20 paintings, Shaw captures scenes of the river, the wildlife on the shores, and the human activities along its banks. The illustrations show what is possible when we rescue the land, restore the habitat, and create harmony with nature.
The Raritan River reminds us that people are the solution – we need to engage locally, to educate ourselves, and to work with those who manage our parks and open spaces to adopt new practices that enrich our natural resources instead of neglecting them for another generation.
Judy Auer Shaw is a researcher at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, where she also leads the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative. This initiative earned the Somerset County Regional Planning Award in 2010. In addition, Shaw has received the Elwood Jarmer Award for Environmental Leadership.