The Great Egg Harbor Watershed Association (GEHWA) was formed in 1989 to promote the protection of the Great Egg Harbor River and the Great Egg Harbor Watershed through its designation by Congress into the federal Wild & Scenic Rivers Program.
GEHWA became incorporated as a 501-C3, Federal tax exempt not for profit organization in 1990, and Congress passed Public Law 102-536 in 1992, which designated segments of the Great Egg Harbor River and its tributaries as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
Today, much of the river is a Partnership Unit of the National Park System, and GEHWA is the host organization for the National Park Service to manage the implementation of the Great Egg Harbor River Comprehensive Management Plan. GEHWA currently has over 75 members, 9 active Trustees, and 2 full time staff employees.
In order to implement the protection of the entire watershed, GEHWA actively seeks out partnerships with state and local agencies in addition to its closely knit relationship with the National Park Service. The Great Egg Harbor Watershed is part of Watershed Management Area 15, which is one of 20 Watershed Management Area Divisions in New Jersey established by the NJDEP and the EPA. GEHWA works actively with these agencies to address non-point source pollution and other Clean Water Act water quality issues and concerns.
90% of the Great Egg Harbor River is within the boundary of the Pinelands National Reserve, and GEHWA supports and works with the Pinelands Commission to promote the implementation of the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan. Since local municipalities are the front line of protection for many important river issues and concerns such as zoning enforcement, stormwater management, and non-point source pollution source prevention, GEHWA maintains partnerships with municipalities to promote river quality protection goals.
The Great Egg Harbor River and Watershed represent a very special and unique river system resource here on the east coast, and the Great Egg Harbor Watershed Association is bound and determined to maintain its long term protection from degradation for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.