Raritan Headwaters honors volunteer from Hillsborough

Ray Croot of Hillsborough received an outstanding volunteer award for his work with science and stream monitoring programs through Raritan Headwaters Association.

A volunteer from Hillsborough has been awarded for his work with science and stream monitoring programs.

Raritan Headwaters honored five volunteers at its annual Member Meeting, held remotely on Zoom on Feb. 23. They are Kerry Haselton of Bernardsville, Tracy Gordon of Denville, Ray Croot of Hillsborough, Ronald Redling of Bernardsville and George Schaberg of Montague.

“We owe our volunteers a huge debt of gratitude,” RHA Executive Director Cindy Ehrenclou said in a prepared statement. “They put in extraordinary efforts and we’re so lucky to have their dedication and support.”

Ray Croot of Hillsborough received an outstanding volunteer award for his work with science and stream monitoring programs.

“Ray is a rock star among volunteers,” Dr. Kristi MacDonald, RHA’s science director, said in the statement, noting his dedication to the organization’s mission, his skill at collecting high quality stream data, and his enthusiasm and interest in new conservation projects.

Croot began as a volunteer in RHA’s stream cleanup and monitoring programs over seven years ago and also became involved in an intensive chemical monitoring program that takes place on a bi-weekly basis, according to the statement.

This past fall, Croot helped RHA assess the connectivity of 150 stream sites as part of the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity (NAACC) and Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ) programs.

“Because of Ray’s commitment to this project, RHA was able to assess stream crossings in critical wildlife corridors so we can learn where bridges and culverts need to be retrofitted to allow for streams to stay connected and terrestrial wildlife to have safe passage under roadways,” MacDonald said in the statement.

“I like volunteering because it allows me to be out in the woods and rivers and to help protect the natural environment I love so much,” Croot, who is retired, said in the statement. “I have a hard time saying no to anything.”

He also enjoys spending time outdoors camping, canoeing, and hiking.

Raritan Headwaters has been working since 1959 to protect, preserve and improve water quality and other natural resources of the Raritan River headwaters region through science, education, advocacy, land preservation and stewardship. RHA’s 470-square-mile region provides clean drinking water to 300,000 residents of 38 municipalities in Somerset, Hunterdon and Morris counties and beyond to some 1.5 million homes and businesses in New Jersey’s densely populated urban areas.

To learn more about Raritan Headwaters and its programs, visit www.raritanheadwaters.org or call 908-234-1852.