Living Shoreline in Ocean County, NJ Voted “Best Green Project”

Photo by Jason Worth

The Iowa Court and South Green Living Shoreline Project in Little Egg Harbor and Tuckerton, NJ, was awarded “Best Green Project” by Engineering News-Record magazine. The project is recognized for its use of innovative techniques to install new features to restore damage from Hurricane Sandy and protect the area from future storms.

In 2012, Superstorm Sandy devastated communities throughout New Jersey and the entire eastern seaboard. Storm resilience, flood mitigation, and shoreline restoration have since become top priorities for coastal communities and low-lying areas.

The Township of Little Egg Harbor, in conjunction with local partners including the Borough of Tuckerton, was the recipient of a $2.13 million Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for a Marsh Restoration and Replenishment project. The grant was secured by New Jersey Future. The purpose of the project was to restore and replenish local marsh, wetlands, and beaches suffering extensive erosion along the shoreline.

T&M Associates, as the Municipal Engineer of Record for the project, oversaw all aspects of the design and implementation. T&M contracted Princeton Hydro to perform sediment sampling/testing and conduct hydrographic surveys, and Arthur Chew Consulting to assist with the feasibility study and design of the dredging project.

The project, which was completed in September 2019, provides long-term protection from erosion and will restore the vegetated shoreline habitats through strategic placement of plants, stone, sand fill, and other structural and organic materials. The living shoreline will help in the areas of storm protection, flood mitigation, and combatting shoreline erosion. The project was a great success for the Little Egg Harbor and Tuckerton communities.

Photo by Jason Worth

Since the restoration of Iowa Court and South Green Street, this living shoreline model has received significant attention and praise, including in the American Council of Engineering Companies of New Jersey 2020 Engineering Excellence Awards; the New Jersey Society of Municipal Engineers 2019 Project of the Year Awards; and, now, this “Best Green Project” award from Engineering News-Record.

“There is growing interest in this approach from municipalities up and down the Jersey Shore. Storm and flood damage is still a pressing threat to hundreds of towns and boroughs, and it is widely accepted that storms like Sandy will only become more frequent due to the effects of climate change,” said Jason Worth, P.E., Group Manager at T&M Associates. “Thankfully, there is hope in innovation and creativity – with new approaches to living shorelines we can breathe life back into devastated beachfront communities and the natural ecosystems that support them.”

Princeton Hydro specializes in the planning, design, permitting, implementing, and maintenance of coastal rehabilitation projects. To learn more about some of our ecosystem restoration and enhancement services, visit: bit.ly/PHcoastal.

Photo by Jason Worth

Client Spotlight: Musconetcong Watershed Association

In this photo, Princeton Hydro team member gathers data on the Hughesville Dam removal, using GPS to check the elevation of the constructed riffle on the beautiful Musconetcong River.

Welcome to the latest edition of our Client Spotlight Blog Series! Each spotlight provides an inside look at our collaboration, teamwork, and accomplishments with a specific client. We value our client relationships and pride ourselves on forming strong ties with organizations that share our values of creating a better future for people and our planet.

Meet the Musconetcong Watershed Association

The Musconetcong Watershed Association (MWA) is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and improving the quality of the Musconetcong River and its watershed, including its natural and cultural resources. Members of the organization are part of a network of individuals, families, and companies that care about the Musconetcong River and its watershed, and are dedicated to improving the watershed resources through public education and awareness programs, river water quality monitoring, promotion of sustainable land management practices, and community involvement.

Princeton Hydro has been working with MWA in the areas of river restoration, dam removal, and engineering consulting since 2003. To develop this Client Spotlight, we collaborated with MWA’s Executive Director Cindy Joerger and Communications Coordinator Karen Doerfer:

Q: What makes MWA unique?

A: As a watershed association, we focus on a specific place. This includes the Musconetcong River, a National Wild and Scenic River, as well as the area’s cultural, historical, recreational, and natural resources. We take a watershed focus, seeking to monitor the river and upstream areas to ensure it maintains good water quality.

Q: What does MWA value?

A: MWA values community. Our membership is mostly grassroots, including residents, riverfront landowners, farmers, and local businesses. We value the long-term community of people who have helped form the organization, improve the river, and protect the scenic and historic resources that make our watershed unique.

Q: How long has MWA been working with Princeton Hydro?

Dam removal project partners and community members pose with Sally Jewell at the Hughesville Dam removal event on Sept. 8, 2016. Photo Credit: USFWS.

Project partners pose with Sally Jewell at the Hughesville Dam removal event in 2016. Photo Credit: USFWS.

A: Princeton Hydro has helped MWA with dam removal projects since the very first one, the Gruendyke Mill Dam, which was an obsolete dam on the border of Hackettstown and Mount Olive. Since then, Princeton Hydro has helped with four other dam removal projects and is currently assisting in the removal and restoration of the Beatty’s Mill Dam in Hackettstown, providing engineering plans and project management support.

The dam removals in the lower Musconetcong River have created a free-flowing passage to the Delaware River, and the removal of the Hughesville Dam welcomed the return of American shad less than a year after its removal.

Q: What types of services have Princeton Hydro provided to your organization?

A: Princeton Hydro has provided MWA with dam removal services on the Musconetcong River, most notably, the removal of Hughesville Dam, which brought Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, out for its notching. Princeton Hydro has also helped us with the engineering and design for the Musconetcong Island Park Project, which involves the demolition of a building in a Historic District and the replacement of new, safer stairs.

We value Princeton Hydro’s expertise in environmental permitting, hydrology, and fisheries, as we have utilized this expertise to review development proposals and conduct fish surveys.

Q: Do you have a favorite or most memorable project we’ve worked on together?

A: The Hughesville Dam removal saw many successes and a few challenges we had to overcome as a team. After the initial removal and restoration, we worked together on another streambank restoration project to further stabilize the streambank near the dam removal site. This dam removal restored over 5 miles of free-flowing river to the Delaware River and will help lay the groundwork for the Warren Glen Dam removal, which is the largest dam on the Musconetcong River.

Hughesville Dam Removal on the Musconetcong River

Bringing fish back to native spawning grounds always makes us feel good! After Superstorm Sandy, millions of dollars were spent to remove dams from coastal waters and since then, species like American Shad, Eastern Brook Trout, and River Herring are making a comeback in our fresh water bodies. We had the pleasure of working on two of the projects mentioned: the removal of the Hughesville Dam on the Musconetcong River (video below) and Wreck Pond in Spring Lake, NJ. Full story: http://bit.ly/2SFtaEb

Posted by Princeton Hydro on Monday, December 10, 2018

 

Q: What are some exciting things your organization is working on right now?

Photo from Princeton Hydro led volunteer clean-up effort on the Musconetcong River in 2018. The team picked-up garbage along the road and riverbank, and pulled trash from the riverbed.

Photo from a Princeton Hydro-led volunteer cleanup effort on the Musconetcong River in 2018.

A: MWA is still working to restore the Asbury Mill, which we plan to use as an educational and eco-tourism hub for the community, as well as a much-needed office space for our growing staff.

We’ve also received some exciting new grants that will help us continue to involve the community in efforts to protect and improve water quality. Our “Push Back the Lawn” campaign will allow us to reach out to small landowners and educate them on the importance of riparian buffers.

This year has also brought some challenges for our organization, but we are excited to be picking up our River Cleanup again this fall. Normally, we conduct a watershed-wide cleanup in April, but due to COVID-19, we had to push it back. However, families and small groups are glad to be able to get out and give back by picking up trash that has collected with increasing staycations and small trips.

Q: What drives you to want to go to work every day?

A: Working for such a small organization, it is easier and more gratifying to see the impact it’s making. Our staff gets to see a lot of projects from start to finish, so it’s rewarding to be able to have your stamp on something you watched grow from its inception to conclusion.

Q: How can Princeton Hydro support you/your organization in the future?

A: In the upper watershed, we are hoping that Princeton Hydro, in concert with others, can continue to help guide improvements to the water quality of Lake Hopatcong. The lake acts as our headwaters and is the largest in New Jersey. Last year, it suffered a serious issue with Harmful Algal Blooms.

We are also looking forward to the Beatty’s Mill Dam removal project, where we will remove a remnant dam and reduce streambank erosion. We hope this will roll into another similar project at Newburgh, which should improve water quality and fish habitat and decrease flooding severity in the Hackettstown area.

Delaware River Watershed Forum participants tour dam removal sites along the Musconetcong River.

Delaware River Watershed Forum participants tour dam removal sites along the Musconetcong River in 2019.

Click below to read the previous edition of our Client Spotlight blog series, which features the Lake Hopatcong Foundation:

Client Spotlight: Lake Hopatcong Foundation

Employee Spotlight: Meet Our Two New Team Members

We’re excited to announce the expansion of our growing business with the addition of two new team members who have experience and qualifications in water resource management.

Meet the new team members:

Robert costello, water resource engineer

Robert is a passionately curious water resources engineer who is determined to use his knowledge and experience to provide the best possible outcomes for our clients in every one of his projects. Robert received his degree from the University of Delaware, with a major in Environmental Engineering and a Minor in Civil Engineering. While in school, he was involved heavily in the research conducted at the University’s Water Science and Policy department. After schooling was finished, he used his degree to work on various engineering projects including subsurface geotechnical investigations, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling of water conveyance systems, stormwater BMP design, as well as the complete design, modeling, and supervision of Green Infrastructure Systems.

Outside of work, Robert is an avid outdoor enthusiast. He enjoys kayaking, hiking, and skiing in the Adirondacks during the winter.

Mark Herrmann, PE, CFM, Senior Project Manager, Green Infrastructure & Stormwater Management

Mark is a Civil Engineer and Certified Floodplain Manager with extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. His areas of expertise include stormwater management, hydrologic and hydraulic studies, sustainable design, utility design, and land development. Mark has served as a lead engineer, project manager, and construction manager for a variety of large-scale and small-scale residential land development projects, transportation improvement projects, and utility infrastructure projects. He is passionate about protecting our water supply and our environment and enjoys working on complex, challenging projects that benefit our natural resources.

With four kids at home, Mark does not have much free time. If he does catch a break from the action, you can find him with his head in a book, sitting behind a chessboard, or gazing at the stars and planets through his telescope.

WATCH: NYSFOLA Hosts Free Lake Management Webinar Series

The New York State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA), in collaboration with Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center, hosted a four-part, educational webinar series on a variety of topics related to lake management. The goal of the webinar series was to bring together people involved with New York’s lake associations, as well as local government leaders to discuss management tips, understand more about their lakes and watersheds, and explore strategies around improving and protecting New York lakes.

The series concluded on July 23, 2020 with a webinar lead by Chris L. Mikolajczyk, CLM, Senior Project Manager, Aquatics of Princeton Hydro, and Jim Cunningham, NYSFOLA Board Member and the Town of Nelson, NY Supervisor.

In the webinar, titled, “Working with Local Government to Improve Lakes and Communities,” Chris presents a unique initiative lead by the Borough of Ringwood, which became the first municipality in the state of New Jersey to take a regional approach to private lake management through a public-private partnership (PPP) with four lake associations.

Chris provides an overview of The Borough of Ringwood, home to several public and private lakes, which took an active role in the management of its natural resources within multiple watersheds. He explains how the project came together and illustrates why a comprehensive, integrated approach to watershed and lake management is an incredibly important strategy to improve water quality for millions of people and reduce potential future incidents of aquatic invasive species and harmful algal blooms.

During Jim’s portion of the presentation, he discusses the role of local government in lake management and provides examples from projects and initiatives in Madison County, New York. To watch the recording of this webinar, click here.

The webinar series also included presentations about choosing the right liability insurance for a nonprofit organization; turning resource management-related conflicts into opportunities; and understanding lake science and water quality management. To access all of the webinars in the series, go here.

The New York State Federation of Lake Associations, Inc. was founded in 1983 by a coalition of lake associations concerned about water quality, invasive species, and other issues facing New York’s lakes. Today, more than 200 lake associations across the state are members of the only statewide voice for lakes and lake associations. NYSFOLA also has corporate members and individual members who support our efforts.

Princeton Hydro is the industry leader in lake restoration and watershed management. We have conducted diagnostic studies and have developed management and restoration plans for over 300 lakes and watersheds throughout the country. This has included work for public and private recreational lakes, major water supply reservoirs, and watershed management initiatives conducted as part of USEPA and/or state-funded programs. For more information about our lake management services, click here.

Dam Safety Recommendations for Tropical Storm Isaias

Tropical Storm Isaias Forecast. Source: NOAA

We, at Princeton Hydro, care for the health, safety, and well-being of our clients. We are tracking Tropical Storm Isaias closely as it heads up the East Coast, and the most recent precipitation forecast by NOAA is calling for a significant amount of rainfall in the NJ, PA, MD, NY region. Please be advised that the predicted precipitation could potentially pose a risk to your dam, pond, basin, or other structures.

For our clients who own and/or operate dams, levees, and other flood management structures, please take the following precautions, as adopted from a statement issued today by NJDEP Division of Dam Safety and Flood Engineering (see below), seriously:

  • For high/significant hazard dams, check your Emergency Action Plan to ensure that all contacts for emergency notification and emergency resources (engineers, contractors, supplies, etc.) are up to date.
  • Please refresh yourself regarding the dam owner’s responsibilities in the event of an emergency.
  • Please monitor your dam before, during, and after the storm event and report any concerns to your state Dam Safety office.
  • Prior to the storm, please take precautions to ensure that all spillways are clear of debris and that floating objects (boats, floating docks, etc.) which could block a spillway during high flow events are secured, where possible.
  • If you discover that a potential emergency condition exists at the dam, you should immediately contact your state Dam Safety office and the state emergency hotline. You must also contact your engineer, as well as implement your emergency action plan.
  • If your dam has any known vulnerabilities that you wish to discuss in advance of the storm, we recommend that you first contact your engineer. No modifications should be made to the dam without approval from your state Dam Safety office.

If you are a Princeton Hydro client and we provide inspection services to your dam, please reach President Geoffrey Goll, P.E. directly if you have any issues and/or concerns at 908-237-5660 ext. 103 or ggoll@princetonhydro.com. Even if it is after hours and you are concerned about the condition of your dam during this storm event, please do call Geoff directly. Safety is our priority and will do our best to assist you immediately.


State Dam Safety & Emergency Hotline Phone Numbers:

New Jersey:

  • NJDEP Division of Dam Safety and Flood Engineering: 609-984-0859
  • NJDEP Emergency Hotline 1-877-WARNDEP (1-877-927-6337)

New York:

  • NYSDEC, Division of Water, Bureau of Flood Protection and Dam Safety: 518-402-8185

Pennsylvania:

  • PADEP, Bureau of Waterways Engineering and Wetlands, Division of Dam Safety: 717-787-3411
  • PADEP Emergency Hotline: 1-800-541-2050

Maryland:

  • MDE, Water and Science Administration, Dam Safety Division: 410-537-3538
  • MDE’s Emergency Response Division: (866) 633-4686

Connecticut:

  • CT DEEP, Dam Safety Regulatory Program: 860-424-3706
  • DEEP’s Emergency Response Unit: 866-DEP-SPIL (866-337-7745) or 860-424-3338

***IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM NJDEP***

DAM SAFETY PRECAUTIONS DURING TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS
POSTED: AUGUST 3,  2020 at 9:30 AM

 

This message is from the NJDEP, Division of Dam Safety & Flood Engineering. Based on weather forecasts, it has been determined that the potential for a significant rainfall event exists in the area of your dam. At this time, we are reminding high/significant hazard dam owners to check your Emergency Action Plan to ensure that all contacts for emergency notification and emergency resources (engineers, contractors, supplies, etc.) are up to date. Please also take a moment to refresh yourself regarding the dam owner’s responsibilities in the event of an emergency.

 

Please monitor your dam before, during, and after the storm event and report any concerns to this office. Prior to the storm, please take precautions to ensure that all spillways are clear of debris and that floating objects (boats, floating docks, etc.) which could block a spillway during high flow events are secured, where possible. If you discover that a potential emergency condition exists at the dam, you should immediately contact this office and our 24-Hour DEP Hotline at 1-877-WARNDEP (1-877-927-6337). You must also contact your engineer, as well as implement your emergency action plan.

 

If your dam has any known vulnerabilities that you wish to discuss in advance of the storm, we recommend that you first contact your engineer. You may also contact our office at the number below. No modifications should be made to the dam without approval from this office.

 

Please also be advised that the Division of Dam Safety and Flood Engineering does NOT recommend or require the lowering of impoundments prior to, during, or immediately following a storm event unless the integrity of the dam is in question. If a dam owner chooses to lower an impoundment for any reason, we encourage them to coordinate with local and county emergency management officials to ensure that any increased flow as a result of the lowering does not create flooding conditions downstream of the dam. The dam owner must also coordinate with the Division of Freshwater Fisheries (908-236-2118). A lake lowering permit (issued by Division of Freshwater Fisheries) is usually required prior to lowering.

 

Division of Dam Safety & Flood Engineering
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
609-984-0859

 

Click here for more information about Tropical Storm Isaias, visit NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Employee Spotlight: 4 Team Members Earn New Professional Certifications

Here at Princeton Hydro, we are dedicated to protecting our natural resources and changing our ecosystems, quality of life and communities for the better. As part of that, our team members are committed to continuing to learn new technologies, staying ahead of regulatory changes, and expanding their knowledge.

Today, we are proud to put the spotlight on four team members who recently achieved new professional certifications.

Senior Ecologist Michael Rehman PWS and Fluvial Geomorphologist Paul Woodworth are now Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioners (CERP) through the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER).

SER’s CERP program encourages a high professional standard for those who are designing, implementing, overseeing, and monitoring restoration projects. Only senior level practitioners who have achieved the knowledge requirements and have greater than five years of full-time experience with restoration can be certified. Michael is one of 15 people to hold a CERP certification in New Jersey, and  Paul is one of two people to be CERP certified in Connecticut.

Since he began working with Princeton Hydro in 2008, Paul has supported over 50 river restoration projects involving the removal of over 35 dams and barriers along the east coast. As a fluvial geomorphologist, he assesses streams to determine channel evolution processes and predict geomorphic responses to restoration actions.

This certification is a culmination of 25 years of hard work from undergrad, early professional jobs, grad school, and over 10 years of restoration work at Princeton Hydro. I had little idea that the course work I chose in undergrad was steering me toward a career in restoration that I didn’t even know existed at the time. SER has emerged as a top-notch organization with a global perspective on the proactive restoration of ecosystems and the sustenance of human communities. I’m excited about applying SER measures to our projects.

Michael has worked with Princeton Hydro since 2006. He is an expert in wetland permitting and delineations for USACE, NJDEP, and PADEP projects; wetland mitigation projects; habitat assessments; threatened and endangered species investigations; analysis of terrestrial/wetland ecosystems; municipal EIS/reviews and water quality/land use issues.

“Earning the CERP is a big achievement, and I’m proud to join the international network of credentialed professionals. I’m passionate about the restoration and enhancement of natural resources, and I have seen the transformation of brownfields to greenfields firsthand. Through the design and implementation of creative, nature-based solutions, my work will help advance the mission of SER and the field of ecological restoration.”

CERP is designed to ensure that certified practitioners are up to date on the new and important developments in the field of ecological restoration – both from the scientific and the practical perspectives. The certification is valid for 5 years after approval, and recertification requires that CERPs earn a minimum of 50 continuing education credits within the five-year period since they were last certified.


Both Emily Bjorhus and Robert George earned the Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) certification through the Society of Wetland Scientists program.

The certification program was developed to meet the needs of professional ecologists, hydrologists, soil scientists, educators, agency professionals, consultants, and others who practice wetland science. This program is aimed at serving the public’s need to identify qualified individuals to assess and manage wetland resources around the world.

The PWS certification is awarded to those meeting specific educational and experience requirements: Minimum degree requirements are BA/BS, with course distribution of 15 semester hours each in biological and physical sciences and 6 hours in quantitative areas plus an additional 15 semester hours in wetland-related courses. In addition to comprehensive training in wetland science, a PWS is expected to have professional experience of at least five years as a wetland scientist, demonstrating the application of current technical knowledge dealing with wetland resources and activities.

As an Environmental Scientist, Emily Bjorhus works on a wide range of projects from flood risk management to wetland mitigation to stream restoration. She specializes in wetland and stream ecology and environmental permitting and compliance. Emily joined the Princeton Hydro team in 2016.

“I’m very proud of my Professional Wetland Scientist certification. I’ve been working in wetlands for the past six years and have a deep love of botany that makes my job a joy. I know this certificate will allow me to better serve the public’s need to have qualified individuals assess and manage wetland resources.”

Robert is a Project Manager in the Natural Resources Practice Area who provides technical expertise in environmental toxicology, wetland ecology, wildlife surveys, permitting and compliance for a variety of federal, state, and municipal ecological restoration projects. Robert has over twelve years of experience as a natural scientist.

“Certification as a Professional Wetland Scientist was important for me because this credential demonstrates to clients and local, state, and federal regulatory agencies that I am an experienced practitioner of wetland science with an educational and professional background that satisfied the rigorous standards of the Society of Wetland Scientists.”

Congratulations to Emily, Michael, Paul and Robert! 

For more information about SER and the CERP program, visit ser.org. To learn more about the Society of Wetland Scientists’ PWS program, visit sws.org. If you’re interested in learning more about the wide variety of engineering and environmental services Princeton Hydro offers, go here: princetonhydro.com/services.

Princeton Hydro’s Chris Mikolajczyk Featured in LakeLine Magazine

The latest issue of LakeLine Magazine, a quarterly e-magazine published by the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS), features an article written by Chris L. Mikolajczyk, CLM, Senior Project Manager and Senior Aquatic Ecologist with Princeton Hydro. Chris also contributed the beautiful photo that appears on the magazine’s cover.

In his article, titled, “A Regional Approach to Land Use Planning,” Chris discusses a unique project in Ringwood, New Jersey. The Borough of Ringwood is home to several public and private lakes. In order to take an active role in the management of these natural resources within multiple watersheds, the Borough of Ringwood was the first municipality in the state of New Jersey to take a regional approach to private lake management through a public-private partnership (PPP) with four lake associations.

Chris’ article provides an in-depth look at how the project came together; details the ongoing assessment and planning activities taking place; and displays why a comprehensive, integrated approach to watershed and lake management is an incredibly important strategy to improve water quality for millions of people and reduce potential future incidents of aquatic invasive species and harmful algal blooms.

“A regional approach to lake and watershed management is a normal approach from a scientific, technical, and community point of view,” writes Chris. “However, historically, state and municipal governments and private lake associations have rarely partnered to take such an approach in New Jersey.”

As the article states, funding for the Watershed-based Assessment for the Lakes of the Borough of Ringwood is being provided by the New Jersey Highlands Council through a grant reimbursement to the Borough of Ringwood. The Borough of Ringwood will review and, where feasible, implement any suggested actions surrounding the lakes, while the lake communities themselves will be responsible for any recommended in-lake actions, such as aeration, mixing, nutrient inactivation, etc., should they choose to implement them.

At the conclusion of the study, the final report provided to the Borough will identify and prioritize watershed management techniques and measures that are best suited for immediate and long-term implementation, as well as provide cost projections for implementation and maintenance in both the short-term and long-term.

To learn more, click here for the complete article and check out our recent blog:

BOROUGH OF RINGWOOD INITIATES FIRST-IN-STATE REGIONAL APPROACH TO LAKE MANAGEMENT THROUGH PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP

The Summer 2020 issue of LakeLine, which was published as “open source” and is available as a free download on the NALMS website, is intended to serve as a general primer on lakes and empower environmental stewards in their efforts to safeguard the integrity of our surface waters.

NALMS was founded in 1980 as an organization with membership open to both professionals and citizens interested in applied lake management, while other organizations focused on either one or the other. From the beginning, NALMS has published LakeLine.

Princeton Hydro is the industry leader in lake restoration and watershed management. We have conducted diagnostic studies and have developed management and restoration plans for over 300 lakes and watersheds throughout the country. This has included work for public and private recreational lakes, major water supply reservoirs, and watershed management initiatives conducted as part of USEPA and/or state funded programs. For more information about our lake management services, click here.

Meet the Princeton Hydro Leadership Team

The members of our Leadership Team provide a depth of industry and operating experience that is fundamental to the success of Princeton Hydro. They are a group of passionate individuals who help to drive our people, culture, and strategy, and are committed to the firm’s mission of “changing our ecosystems, quality of life, and communities for the better.”

Today, we’re putting the spotlight our each member of our Leadership Team and asking them to share with us, in one sentence, what they enjoy most about their work.

Let’s meet them!


Scott Churm

As our Director of Field Operations and Field Office Manager, Scott and his team are responsible for providing pond and lake management and invasive species control services. Scott is an expert in species identification and determination of appropriate treatment response and adaptive management techniques. He is a licensed pesticide applicator in five states and has managed the treatment of nuisance aquatic and terrestrial plants at hundreds of sites totaling more than 1,000 acres. His experience also includes the design, installation and maintenance of aeration systems, the implementation of water quality and biological sampling programs, erosion control plans, and shoreline aquascaping projects.

“What I enjoy the most about working at Princeton Hydro is the ability to work outside the box to find new and better ways of doing what we do.”

 


Laura Craig, PhD

Laura, our Director of Natural Resources, is an aquatic ecologist and restoration practitioner with specific expertise in aquatic ecology, river restoration theory and practice (especially dam removal), nutrient dynamics, and climate adaptation. She is a big picture thinker with extensive experience in science communication, strategic planning, metrics and evaluation, project and budget management, policy, fundraising, and public engagement. Laura is passionate about identifying and improving how we manage existing and emerging threats to rivers.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to work on many different types of projects, especially those that improve ecosystem function and help us adapt to a changing climate.”

 


John Eichholz

As our Chief Financial Officer, John leads our financial operations and provides overall strategic direction across the firm. John has more than 25 years of experience in financial analysis, strategic planning, business operations, and marketing strategy. He has worked at an array of globally-recognized companies, including Dun & Bradstreet, American Express, MasterCard, and Barclays. He specializes in financial forecasting, enhancing marketing performance through analysis and competitive intelligence, and developing strategic frameworks on how to lead corporate-wide initiatives.

“I enjoy helping the firm improve its overall profitability and financial stability by analyzing trends, identifying financial opportunities, and providing all colleagues with the tools they need to move Princeton Hydro forward… by making the firm stronger financially, we can serve our customers better and improve the lives of our employees and their families.”


Clay Emerson, PhD, PE, CFM

Clay is our Director of Stormwater Management & Green Infrastructure. His expertise includes a substantial amount of critical overlap between engineering and environmental science. Hydrologic and hydraulic analysis, stormwater management and infiltration, nonpoint source pollution, watershed modeling, groundwater hydrology/modeling, and water quality and quantity monitoring are a few of the areas Clay specializes in. Additionally, Clay is an adjunct professor at Rowan University and he regularly teaches continuing education seminars and presents at events throughout the country.

“Problem solving has always been a passion of mine, and what I love most about my work is applying problem solving skills to help our clients resolve an issue or accomplish a goal.”

 


Karen Johnson

Karen, our Business Administrator, brings to the team over 35 years of experience in office and finance administration. Her background includes accounting systems, contracts, and reconciliations to file management and telephone system maintenance. Karen is also an active volunteer: she is the President of the Hillsborough High School Band Parents Association, where she fundraises and assists with coordination of over 100 band students and their families.

“What I enjoy most about my work is that there is something new every day … never a dull moment and always something new to learn!”

 


Fred Lubnow, PhD

As our Director of Aquatic Resources, Fred manages a variety of lake and watershed restoration projects. Fred has extensive experience in lake and watershed management, restoration ecology, community and ecosystem ecology, cyanobacteria biology, and the use of benthic macroinvertebrate and fish in-stream bioassessment protocols. He is a committed speaker and educator and has given countless presentations over the years for organizations throughout the country, including the New York State Federation of Lake Associations, North American Lake Management Society, the Cary Institute, and as an adjunct professor at DelVal University’s Environmental Studies program. Fred was recently featured in a Washington Post story about climate change and the impacts it’s had on Lake Hopatcong, specifically.

“I love how the entire staff of the company is absolutely committed to improving and protecting our natural resources.”

 


Samara McAuliffe

Samara brings over ten years of human resources and management experience to her position as our Employee Relations Manager. She has worked as a business partner and advisor in various sectors, from finance to retail. Her hands-on experience includes researching and resolution of complex human resources related issues, recruitment process management, HRIS implementation, representation at unemployment hearings, creation of EEOC position statements, leading and administering open enrollment initiatives, as well as management coaching and training.

“What I enjoy most about working in human resources at Princeton Hydro is supporting such a talented and dynamic group of creative minds.”

 


Dana Patterson

Dana is a passionate environmental communicator who brings to her position as our Marketing and Communications Manager a strong mix of diverse stakeholder engagement experience, coupled with values-based communication strategy. She specializes in branding, marketing, and digital media strategy, and strives to enhance the mission and values of Princeton Hydro. She earned her Master of Environmental Management from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies where she focused on strategies for climate change and wildlife conservation communication. Dana is an active volunteer for a variety of organizations, including Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) New Jersey Post, which recently presented her with an award for her efforts.

“Storytelling! Princeton Hydro has designed some of the most innovative, resilient ecosystem restoration projects in the Northeast that no one knows about. I’m passionate about sharing our story and building our brand so we can continue to enhance urban, suburban, and rural spaces where both wildlife and people can thrive.”


Laura Wildman, PE

Laura is the Director of River Restoration and the Manager of our New England office. Considered one of the foremost experts in the U.S. on dam/barrier removal and alternative fish passage, Laura has been involved in 200+ dam removal projects throughout the country (primarily in the Northeast) and is also involved in river restoration efforts in Europe. Laura is passionate about reconnecting communities to rivers and restoring the balance between natural resource management and healthy river systems.

“My favorite part about my work are the people I work with, their passion, their laughter, their stories, their successes, their hobbies, their kids, their dogs, and their focus on restoring healthy, self-sustaining ecosystems for future generations.”


Kevin Yezdimer, PE

Kevin is a multidisciplinary professional civil engineer with degrees in both Geology and Civil Engineering. As our Chief Operating Officer and Director of Geosciences, Kevin combines his 15 years of experience as a design consultant and project manager with his proven ability to lead others. He works hand-in-hand with each of our practice areas, the administration, and the principals to propel our firm forward. He also works to ensure that the company culture remains driven towards excellence in innovative and integrated science and engineering.

“Princeton Hydro provides me with the opportunity to work closely with talented and passionate folks to provide unique, comprehensive, and value-added solutions to our diverse clientele’s ecosystem and environmental challenges in order to positively impact these communities who entrust us with this great responsibility.”


 

Click here to learn more about all of the passionate and talented individuals who make up the Princeton Hydro team!

A Statement of Solidarity from Princeton Hydro

 

We stand with you. Black Lives Matter.

George Floyd’s murder by police officers has shaken us, like the rest of the world. This week, as we try to keep working to improve our ecosystems, quality of life, and communities, what’s been forefront in our minds has been the river of blood from a history of injustice to the Black community. 

For far too long, the Black community has been wrongfully targeted by the institutions that are supposed to protect them. And for far too long, a segment of society that is privileged enough to look away, has turned a blind eye to systemic racism. This cannot continue. We are proud to see people of all backgrounds coming together to display their anger and frustration. We support demands for greater institutional and societal changes that are essential to ending extradjudicial murder like what happened with Mr. Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others. However, we must not only look to others to enact change. Each of us must look internally.

At Princeton Hydro, our deep-seated, shared motivator, which we call our “why” statement (right), drives us to make the world a better place everyday. We stand with our clients and allies, like American Rivers, who believes that “fighting for rivers means fighting for justice” and National Audubon Society who understands that “the outdoors – and the joy of birds – should be safe and welcoming for all people.” We believe in positive change, both for our environment and for our people. 

It is important that we reflect internally to understand how we can improve our small business and live up to our core value of a “positive working environment” for all. Princeton Hydro’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Steering Committee, an internal team of scientists, engineers, and administrators, suggested that we deem Martin Luther King, Jr. Day an official Day of Service for staff, and we listened. 

So, Princeton Hydro is changing our company policy to observe MLK Day as a “Day of Service,” which will allow for employees to choose to spend the day volunteering instead of coming into work. We believe this small change is important to celebrate the civil rights leader’s legacy and to continue to give back to our local communities. Since Princeton Hydro’s inception, we have been committed to serving our communities each and every day. We remain devoted to this goal, as it is an integral part of our day-to-day operations.

The JEDI Steering Committee was founded to promote diversity and inclusion within Princeton Hydro. We recognize that our offices and our industry are underrepresented with people of color, creating an inaccurate representation of our society as a whole. Prejudice goes far beyond our government institutions, and the first step to solving any problem is acknowledging it exists. We acknowledge that we are all guilty of unconscious bias in our homes, our schools, and our workplaces. That is why we, as professionals who have the privilege of working in the fields of science and engineering, are continually educating ourselves on how to honor our responsibilities in making our profession welcoming and obtainable for people of all backgrounds. 

We cannot afford to cover our ears and close our minds. We believe that each and every one of us has work to do to fight racism and promote justice.  People from all backgrounds have now taken to the streets to demand reform within policy agencies around the country. That is why our small business has committed to donating to organizations that are on the ground fighting for justice and equality, as well as planning sustainable and resilient communities for the most vulnerable people. 

During the month of June, we will be matching employee donations, up to a total of $1,000, for the following nonprofits, and we hope you will consider donating as well:

We recognize that this is only a first step toward actively working to dismantle these very deep rooted, unjust systems. We urge you to take a first step too, whether that be donating, volunteering, voting, signing petitions, etc. It is always the time to act, but this time, we have no choice. We cannot successfully do good for our planet, our shared home, without valuing and protecting its people. All people. 

We look forward to building a better future for our people and for our planet, together.

Yours in the movement,

Princeton Hydro

Our 2020 Earth Day Photo Contest Winner!

In honor of Earth Day, Princeton Hydro held its annual Photo Contest with the theme “Human Impact” for its employees. We’d like to thank everyone who submitted photos this year. Overall, we received 27 gorgeous submissions from our staff.

All photos were rated on the following criteria by three volunteer judges: Danielle Odom, Lucy Aquilino, and Amanda Brooks (see bios below).

  • Technical Quality (30%)
  • Originality (30%)
  • Artistic Merit (40%)
THE WINNER OF THE PRINCETON HYDRO 2020 EARTH DAY PHOTO CONTEST IS…

“Welcome Home” – Although its a local and small impact, I intentionally leave dead wood in sunny places on my property. This ensures that I always have an Eastern Fence Lizard like this big female to greet me when I come home. Southern New Jersey. By Clay Emerson.

Scroll to the bottom to see a gallery of runner-up photos.

ABOUT THE JUDGES:
DANIELLE ODOM

Danielle is a Staff Scientist II at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Her career is dedicated to watershed monitoring research and her responsibilities include both field and laboratory work. She has specialized in studying biological indicators as a parameter to track stream health via macroinvertebrate taxonomy; in particular identifying members of the non-biting midge family Chironomidae. Once an experiential outdoor educator, she taught nature photography to middle school students as a pathway to understanding different perspectives and the impact of humans on the environment, a la Ansel Adams.

Lucy Aquilino

Lucy is a retired Parole officer and amateur photographer. A mom of 2, she loves taking nature photos and going on adventures with her kids.

Amanda Brooks

Amanda is a nature enthusiast who loves taking long walks in the woods with her camera and notepad. With her degree in Environmental Studies and English and her background in the arts, she is always looking for creative ways to capture the beauty of nature to inspire its protection. She currently resides in Burlington, Vermont and works as a tree-monger at Gardener’s Supply Company. You can check out more of her work on her Facebook page. 

Check out the photos from last year’s Earth Day photo contest here:

Our 2019 Earth Day Photo Contest Winner!