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Fourth annual Northwest New Jersey Rivers Conference returns in-person at Centenary University’s Lackland Center

This year’s theme: Tourism & Recreation in Northwest New Jersey

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – After virtual conferences in 2020 and 2021, this year marks the return to in-person.

The fourth annual Northwest New Jersey Rivers Conference will be held on Saturday, September 17 from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the David and Carol Lackland Center at Centenary University, located at 715 Grand Ave, in Hackettstown.

The theme of this years conference is tourism and recreation: Promoting a compatible tourism economy in northwest New Jersey that leverages the region’s incomparable scenic beauty and natural and cultural resource values.

The conference will explore how the region’s resource values can contribute to a more vibrant tourism economy by strategies such as expanding recreational opportunities and promoting the region’s scenic values.

New Jersey’s 34th Secretary of State, the Honorable Tahesha Way, will provide the keynote address. Way oversees the state government offices supporting New Jersey’s vibrant arts, culture, history, and business communities, all of which are plentiful in Northwest New Jersey.

The conference opens at 9:00 a.m. with a plenary session moderated by Warren County Commissioner James Kern and featuring Jeffrey Vasser, Executive Director of the New Jersey State Division of Travel & Tourism; Dorothy Guzzo, Executive Director of the New Jersey State Historic Trust; and, Tom Drake, publisher of Skylands Visitor Magazine.

Throughout the day, concurrent workshops on a variety of topics explore the destinations, recreational options, economic opportunities and other related subjects presented by noted experts, professionals and officials. Local organizations also will set up tables for sharing information about the region’s resources.

Visit the Conference website at for detailed information on the workshops, presenter bios and registration options. Tickets are $30. The Lackland Café offers a wide selection of lunch options, buffet style for $10, purchased at the registration table.

“This year’s conference offers an unusual chance to learn more about what makes northwest New Jersey a truly great tourism destination. It’s a beautiful place to live, but an extraordinary place to visit—for recreation, for history, for scenic beauty—and so many opportunities to grow businesses that highlight these places and service their visitors. Come to the conference to learn and be inspired by our workshop presenters. We hope everyone will take advantage of what’s available on the day at the conference,” Julia Somers, Executive Director of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition, which coordinates the  event said.

As a bonus for registering, we will provide a 65-mile self-guided automobile tour of the Delaware River watershed section of the New Jersey Highlands. Starting in Lopatcong Township in Warren County and ending at the Valley Shepherd Creamery in Long Valley, Morris County, we guide you through the history and natural features of a resource rich, scenic area, to many locations that you’ll be amazed you are still in New Jersey!

The Northwest New Jersey Rivers Conference is part of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, a collaboration of over fifty organizations working to improve water quality in the four states of the watershed.

Eleven organizations are working together on a variety of projects in northwestern New Jersey: New Jersey Highlands Coalition, Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC), New Jersey Conservation Foundation, The Land Conservancy of New Jersey, North Jersey Resource, Conservation & Development, Lopatcong Creek Initiative, New Jersey Audubon, Hunterdon Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, Musconetcong Watershed Association, Wallkill River Watershed Management Group.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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