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New Jersey is a relatively small state with a large population, resulting in the highest population density of any state in the country. However, many of its watersheds are only now experiencing significant suburban development. Up to this time, New Jersey has depended on its state planning process and regional land use controls (such as for the Pinelands and the coastal zone) to address watershed concerns. Watershed management planning has largely been an ad hoc process. New Jersey is developing a rule proposal that will standardize its approach to the process, goals and objectives for watershed planning. The potential for conflicts among municipal, landowner, development and environmental interests is great, especially if the rules lack clearly understandable and defensible targets and thresholds for watershed health. This paper proposes a conceptual basis for watershed planning objectives and thresholds, and then describes how New Jersey's planning and regulatory system currently and prospectively addresses the issues. The actual rule proposal will be published after this article is written. The author will provide updated information at the Watershed 2000 conference.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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