Alexauken Creek Watershed Protection Plan

Alexauken Creek WPPIn  2005, the NJDEP approved West Amwell Township as the Lead Planning Agency for the creation of the Alexauken Creek Watershed Protection Plan with Princeton Hydro as the subcontractor. The project partners include: West Amwell, East Amwell and Delaware Township, Hunterdon County, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) and NJDEP. The project is funded under the Clean Water Act 319(h) program and complies with the specifications in the USEPA Watershed Plan Handbook, 2005. 

The Alexauken Creek is a Category One (C1) stream, which flows into the Lower Delaware River. The 10 square mile watershed includes approximately 32% forest, 32% agriculture, 26% residential and commercial development, and 9% wetlands, with critical wildlife habitats for grassland birds. Suburban development has hastened a variety of water quality problems, including elevated nutrient loadings, eroded streambanks, and turbid stream conditions. 

A major component of the project involved the performance of a Stream Visual Assessment coordinated with the DRN  and over 50 volunteers to identify and prioritize areas of potential water quality impacts, as well as identifying healthy stream segments. The project also included water quality sampling collected during baseline flow and storm events over a year-long period.  All stream monitoring for chemical parameters, as well as biological surveys were conducted following the strict guidelines set forth in a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) approved by NJDEP. The resulting data will be used in combination with modeled flow and pollutant loading data to formulate watershed management recommendations. Pollutant loads were computed using an ArcView Generalized Watershed Loading Functions (AVGWLF) modeling approach to estimate pollutant loads under existing land use and projected build out under current municipal zoning. This data was summarized in a Watershed Characterization and Assessment Report in May 2008.

The Alexauken Creek Watershed Protection Plan will consider recommendations for stormwater management measures and  stream bank restoration projects, as well as plans for septic management and agricultural BMPs, and trout management.