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!

Volunteer Spotlight: Monitoring Baby Bird Boxes & Counting Shorebirds

We’re excited to put the spotlight on Princeton Hydro Environmental Scientist Emily Bjorhus and her admirable volunteer work.

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. Outside of the office, Emily is an active volunteer with Natural Lands and the Delaware Shorebird Project, working to protect natural resources, promote biodiversity, and protect important species. Emily also volunteers at Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Brooklyn, NY teaching Environmental Science students about wetlands. We’ve put together a snapshot of Emily’s volunteer activities:

Natural Lands – Force of Nature Volunteer

Natural Lands is a nonprofit organization that saves open space, cares for nature, and connects people to the outdoors in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Founded in the early 1950s, today nearly five million people live within five miles of lands under Natural Lands’ permanent protection.

As a Force of Nature volunteer with Natural Lands, Emily has been monitoring ~20 nest boxes located in meadow and forest edge habitat at Gwynedd Preserve since 2018. From April through mid-August, Emily and another volunteer visit the sites every 5-7 days to monitor the nest boxes for the types of species using the boxes, nest condition, nest materials, number of eggs laid, number of eggs that hatch, and number of chicks that fledge. Chickadees, wrens, blue birds, and tree swallows are the primary species that nest in the boxes Emily monitors.

When asked what she loves most about this volunteer work, Emily said, “I love watching how the birds build their nest week after week, seeing the eggs multiply and tracking the chicks’ growth. I even enjoy dodging dive-bombing tree swallows.”

Delaware Shorebird Project – Data Collection Volunteer

Delaware Shorebird Project is led by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Delaware Museum of Natural History, British Trust for Ornithology and Wash Wader Ringing Group, with the help of experienced and dedicated volunteers like Emily.

The project monitors the health and status of migratory shorebird populations to collect data that can be applied to the conservation of these birds. The research has resulted in better understanding of the ecology of shorebirds migrating through Delaware Bay, management of the horseshoe crab harvest to sustain the shorebirds’ population, and protection of key shorebird habitat.

Emily participated in a 3-day shorebird monitoring initiative, which included counting the number of shorebirds on the beach, re-sighting birds previously marked with leg flags, participating in bird catches, and weighing and measuring birds from the catches. The data collected helps monitor trends in shorebird abundance, migratory routes, condition and other important biological data.

“It’s such a pleasure working with the amazing people that come from all over the world to run and participate in this ambitious study,” said Emily. “The data collected from this program will hopefully aid researchers and policy makers to develop strategies to better protect shorebird habitat in the future.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School Environmental Studies – Guest Speaker

Ms. Hannah Goldstein and her Environmental Science students at Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Brooklyn, NY welcome Emily as a volunteer guest speaker to teach all about wetlands. The instruction also includes a hands-on session where students collect soil samples to determine if hydric soils are present and identify surrounding trees using a dichotomous key.

“Science is such an important subject matter for kids to be learning for a variety of reasons. Environmental science education in particular encourages thought patterns, which get kids engaged in real-world environmental protection activities,” said Emily. “I really enjoy working with Ms. Goldstein and her students. I hope my presentation inspires the students to learn more about wetlands and become ambassadors of wetland conservation.”

 

Emily earned her M.S. in Sustainable Engineering at Villanova University and holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from University of Colorado at Boulder. As an Environmental Scientist for Princeton Hydro, she coordinates, leads and assists with state environmental permitting programs and NEPA compliance and documentation, including preparation of Federal and state permit applications, Endangered Species Act 7 consultations, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) environmental review processes. In addition, she conducts a variety of environmental field investigations such as wetland and waterbody delineations.

We’re so proud to have Emily on our team and truly value the work she does inside and outside the office.

Spring Events Spotlight: Webinars, Virtual Conferences, and Contests

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a number of events to be canceled or postponed, and many events have been switched to a digital format. Here’s a snapshot of the events Princeton Hydro is participating in while social distancing this Spring:

April 20 – May 16: Sustainable South Jersey Photo Contest

Sustainable South Jersey (SSJ) is hosting a Spring Photo Contest. Starting this week through May 16, the organization will hold weekly Facebook photo contests with a different photo contest theme – this week’s theme is Nature Appreciation. The photo with the most shares at the end of the week will be declared the winner. Shares will be tallied at 5pm each Saturday and winners will be announced on social media each following Sunday. The winner each week will receive a $50 gift card and be featured on SSJ’s social platforms and website.

Fun Fact: Our Marketing and Communications Manager Dana Patterson is the Vice President of the Sustainable South Jersey Board of Directors!

Learn more & Register

 

April 23: *Free* Green Stormwater Infrastructure Regulatory Webinar

New Jersey recently changed how stormwater is managed; green infrastructure will be the method of addressing polluted stormwater runoff going forward. Within the next year, all of New Jersey’s municipalities will have to adopt new stormwater management ordinances. And after adoption, all new projects will have to meet the green infrastructure stormwater management requirements. On April 23 from 4 – 6 PM, The Watershed Institute will host a webinar during which a panel of experts, including Princeton Hydro’s Dr. Clay Emerson, will discuss what municipalities must do and what the new requirements will mean for design and review of projects.

Learn more & Register

 

May 2 – May 9: Musconetcong Watershed Association’s Virtual Run for the River

MWA’s 20th Annual Run for the River, a fundraiser that supports education and outreach programs, will be held virtually this year. For the past 19 years, this event has taken place in Asbury, NJ along the Wild & Scenic Musconetcong River. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, folks are invited to register online to run, walk, bike, paddle, or even fish to show your support for the Musconetcong River. Set your own goal, log your times, and see how you compare with others engaging in your favorite activity! The first 125 registrants will get a free medal, and all participants will receive a free tote bag. As a proud sponsor of this event, the Princeton Hydro team is excited to participate!

Learn more & Register

 

 May 27 – 29: Virtual 2020 Joint Engineer Training Conference & Expo

Due to COVID-19, SAME has moved its 2020 Joint Engineer Training Conference & Expo (JETC) to a virtual format. The Virtual 2020 JETC will allow participants to tune-in live to all presentations and educational sessions, if their schedules allow. Alternatively, all sessions will be recorded so if you miss anything, you can access it at a later date. PDH credits will still be available for all education and training sessions!

Princeton Hydro President Geoff Goll, P.E. is giving a presentation on Friday, May 29 from 9:45 – 10:45 AM about Innovative Wetland Mitigation. The presentation will focus on a project Princeton Hydro completed at Joint Base Andrews and will provide the roadmap for military bases and other federal facilities to ease the permitting process for expansion while following Clean Water Act guidelines.

Learn more & Register

 

The Following Spring Events Have Been Rescheduled Due to COVID-19
July 19 (Postponed from April 22): Stroud “Flow of Life” Film Premiere

Join Stroud Water Research Center for the premiere of “Flow of Life,” a documentary created by The Visionaries Public Television Series that is hosted by actor Sam Waterston and highlights the Stroud Center’s work. The film premiere will also include refreshments beginning at 4 PM and a post-film Q & A session with award-winning journalist and producer Jody Santos. Princeton Hydro is proud to sponsor this exciting event! 

Learn more & RSVP

 

September 17 (Postponed from May 7): SAME NJ Post Small Business Council Event

The theme of this year’s SAME NJ Post Small Business Council Event is Cybersecurity. The event includes presentations from a variety of experts who will cover topics related to protecting your company from digital threats and meeting Government security requirements. The mission of SAME is to build leaders and lead collaboration among government and industry to develop multidisciplinary solutions to national security infrastructure challenges. Princeton Hydro joined SAME as a sustaining member in 2018.

Learn more & Register

 

September 19 (Postponed from March): WATERSHED CONGRESS ALONG THE SCHUYLKILL RIVER

Hosted by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, this conference is a highly anticipated event for people in the Schuylkill Watershed and beyond interested in understanding, protecting, and restoring their local streams and watersheds. This year’s program features a keynote on community building and engagement efforts to move inclusively, build awareness, and activate urban youth and adults in water protection, as well as information-packed breakout sessions, presenter’s roundtables, poster sessions, and much more. Michael Hartshorne, Emily Bjorhus, and Cory Speroff of Princeton Hydro, a proud sponsor of the event, are giving a presentation on Stream, Floodplain, and Multi-Functional Riparian Buffer Restoration.

Learn more & Register

 

October 7 (Postponed from April 1): NJ Invasives Strike Team Annual Conference

Presented by the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space and hosted by Duke Farms, the 12th Annual New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team Conference is considered the most comprehensive state-wide forum on invasive species. The conference encompasses insights from both academic research and field experience, and features practical demonstrations by land stewards in addition to formal presentations. Princeton Hydro, a sponsor of the conference, will be exhibiting. We look forward to seeing you there in October!

Learn more & Register
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STAY TUNED FOR MORE EVENT SPOTLIGHTS!

 

 

 

Employee Spotlight: Meet Our New Team Members

We’re excited to announce the hiring of four new team members! The addition of this group of talented individuals strengthens our commitment to delivering exceptional service.

Laura Craig, PhD, Director of Natural Resources

Dr. Laura “LC” Craig is an aquatic ecologist and restoration practitioner with more than ten years of experience working in river conservation both as the chief scientist at a national environmental nonprofit and as a restoration practitioner. 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’s specific areas of scientific expertise are aquatic ecology, river restoration theory and practice (especially dam removal), nutrient dynamics, and climate adaptation. Laura also has a keen interest in improving how we manage existing and emerging threats to rivers. Laura earned a B.S. in Biology from Susquehanna University and a PhD in Aquatic Ecology from University of Maryland-College Park.

Laura lives in Palmyra, New Jersey where she serves on Borough Council and the Land Use Board. In her free time, Laura goes to punk rock shows with her husband and relaxes on the beach in Asbury Park.

Lori Cooper, Accounting Assistant

Lori has a diverse professional background which includes acting as an animal health technician, Director of Children’s Programming for a community organization, human resource generalist, executive assistant and as an office manager. Her well-rounded experience has effectively utilized her creativity, organizational skills, attention to detail and strength at building relationships. Lori is thrilled to play a supporting role for a company that is making a positive impact on our environment.

Outside of work, Lori enjoys spending time with her family, climbing, gardening and volunteering with various charitable organizations that pull at her heartstrings.

Jerry Vogel, Aquatic Specialist

Jerry has experience in the stormwater, wastewater, and subsurface mapping. Prior to coming to Princeton Hydro, he worked as an Intern with the Economic Geology Division at the Pennsylvania Department of Energy using geophysical logs from abandoned oil and gas wells to map subsurface stratigraphy in the Western Regions of Pennsylvania. Jerry graduated in 2018 with a Bachelors in Earth and Environmental Science from Lehigh University. As an undergraduate, in addition to extensive geology and ecology related coursework, including extensive work involving the remote sensing of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, he completed a six-week geological field camp based in the Northern Rockies, Bighorn Basin, Tetons, Yellowstone, Montana and Idaho gaining a deep understanding of the natural world from basin to mountaintop.

Jerry has a passion for fishing, hiking and being outdoors with his wife and dog. He prides himself on being an environmental steward working to conserve, preserve, and restore nature so it can be enjoyed by future generations.

Tim Cutler, Aquatic Specialist

Tim is a member of Princeton Hydro’s Field Operations Practice Area. He has ten years of experience working on the water. He is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and served active duty from 2000-2005 as a Machinery Technician. For several years, Tim worked in emergency and marine spill response. He also has experience working with water quality analyzers as a Service Technician in the Power Generation field.

Outside of work, Tim enjoys being outdoors, seeing live music, going to the movies, and spending time with his wife and cats. He is also a drummer and illustrator in his spare time.

 

Learn more about our team.