Tue, Oct 24|
River Resource Center
River Talk: New Jersey Highlands Primer: The Region, Act, and Council
Time & Location
Oct 24, 2023, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
River Resource Center, 10 Maple Ave, Asbury, NJ 08802, USA
About the event
Join the Musconetcong Watershed Association for our next in-person River Talk, which will take place on Tuesday, October 24, 7:00 - 8:30p.m. at our River Resource Center, located at 10 Maple Ave., Asbury, NJ 08802.
The New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act was enacted in 2004 to protect drinking water supplies. The New Jersey Highlands Region covers 859,267 acres (approximately 1,343 square miles), which is less than 15% of the state but provides drinking water to more than 300 municipalities that are home to 70% of New Jersey’s population. It is part of the four-state federal Highlands Region, which also includes Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut. The New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council is currently led by Executive Director Ben Spinelli. During this River Talk, Ben will provide an overview and update on the work of the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council, with a specific focus on the Musconetcong Watershed. Use this as an opportunity to hear about this important planning and regulatory body and learn from one of its most well-rounded representatives.
About the Speaker:
Ben Spinelli is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection & Planning Council. His career spans both the private and public sectors including 20 years as a trial attorney, three terms as the elected Mayor of Chester Township, Morris County, and several senior-level roles in government at the local, state and federal levels. Prior to joining the Highlands Council as Executive Director, Ben was leading a consulting venture he helped create, Greener By Design, which provides regulatory and policy guidance to businesses, landowners, and government entities in New Jersey, as well as multi-national corporations and energy partnerships.
Ben is a sought-after speaker on the topics of smart growth, sustainability, conservation, environmental law, and planning. He has served on numerous committees and boards including the Garden State Preservation Trust, State Agricultural Development Committee, the NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust Board, the Morris County Open Space and Farmland Preservation Trust, and the Morris County League of Municipalities. He was an original member of the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council, serving from 2004 to 2006.
Ben’s experience also includes serving as Senior Policy Adviser for the President’s Task Force on Superstorm Sandy Disaster Recovery, and as Executive Director of the New Jersey Office of Smart Growth and is currently an adjunct professor at Kean University in the School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences. He holds a B.A. in Political Science/History from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, and earned his J.D. at Seton Hall University-School of Law in Newark, NJ.
He is an active volunteer and has served on several community boards and nonprofits, including serving as a coach for local youth football and lacrosse teams. A self-proclaimed “Jersey guy,” Ben has managed to visit each of New Jersey’s 564 municipalities.
Parking for this in-person River Talk is available at our River Resource Center, located at 10 Maple Ave., Asbury, NJ 08802, as well as across the street at our historic Asbury Mill, located at 476 Old Main St., Asbury, NJ 08802. Space is limited for this event, so registration is required. Please only register one person at a time.
If you have questions, please contact Ryan Jiorle, Community Engagement Manager for the MWA, at email@example.com, or call our office at (908) 537-7060.
Ben Spinelli will provide an overview and update on the work of the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council, with a specific focus on the Musconetcong Watershed.