The Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council (Highlands Council) is a regional planning agency that works in partnership with municipalities and counties in the Highlands Region to encourage a comprehensive regional approach to implementing the 2004 Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act (the Highlands Act).

The Highlands Act established the Highlands Council and charged it with the creation and adoption of a regional master plan to protect and enhance the natural resources within the New Jersey Highlands. The Highlands Regional Master Plan (RMP) was adopted by the Highlands Council on July 17, 2008 and became effective on September 8, 2008.

The Highlands Council is advised in its actions by its Executive Director and a professional staff of planners, science experts, geographic information specialists and administrative personnel, based in Chester, NJ.