Delaware River Watershed Forum Participants Tour Musconetcong River Dam Removals

The 7th Annual Delaware River Watershed Forum, a two-day conference hosted by The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, brought together organizations, consultants, and individuals spanning the four watershed states of PA, NY, NJ, and DE. This year’s Forum included presentations, interactive discussions, capacity-building workshops, and site visits that highlighted local conservation projects.

One of the site visits, led by Musconetcong Watershed Association (MWA) Executive Director Alan Hunt, toured dam removal sites along the Musconetcong River. The field trip visited the Finesville Historic District, where a dam was removed in 2012, and the village of Warren Glen, where the Hughesville dam was removed in 2016. Trip participants heard from project partners including Princeton Hydro President Geoff Goll, P.E., Beth Styler Barry of New Jersey Nature Conservancy,  Dale Bentz of RiverLogic Solutions, Beth Frieday of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacob Helminiak of U.S Army Corps of Engineers, and Christine Hall of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

“We really appreciate everyone who, despite the rainy weather, participated in the Musconetcong River Restoration field trip to learn about how dam removals are helping to restore the river back to it’s natural free-flowing state and the numerous resulting environmental benefits,” said Geoff. “This river restoration work exemplifies how a diverse group of public and private entities can work together to overcome challenges and achieve tremendous success.”

Princeton Hydro President Geoff Goll, P.E. provides field trip participants with information about the Hughesville Dam removal project and the adaptive management work currently happening at the site.Princeton Hydro has been working with MWA in the areas of river restoration, dam removal, and engineering consulting since 2003, when the efforts to remove the Gruendyke Mill Dam in Hackettstown, NJ began. To date, Princeton Hydro has investigated, designed, and permitted five dam removals along the Musconetcong River, the most recent being the Hughesville Dam. This 16’ dam was removed in 2016 and, one year later in 2017, American Shad returned to the site for the first time in at least 100 years, and the removal was credited by the State as a contributing factor for the increase in Delaware River shad population. There is an ongoing project to monitor fishery and aquatic habitat recovery at the site. The next Musconetcong dam targeted for removal is the 32-foot high Warren Glen Dam. It is the largest dam in the river; by comparison, the Hughesville Dam was 15-feet tall.

The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed was formed in 2012, the Coalition works to raise awareness of the river and its surrounding landscape by bringing together groups already working to restore degraded resources, safeguard vulnerable assets, and educate their communities. The Coalition is committed to protecting and restoring the Delaware River, its tributaries, and more than 13,500 square miles of forests, wetlands, communities, and other distinctive landscapes in the watershed so that clean water and valued resources are secured for generations to come.

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 designed, permitted, and overseen the reconstruction, repair, and removal of dozens of small and large dams in the Northeast. To learn more about our fish passage and dam removal engineering services, visit: bit.ly/DamBarrier. To learn more about our Musconetcong River restoration work, go here:

The Return of the American Shad to the Musconetcong River

 

 

Fall Events Spotlight: Conferences, Symposiums, & Fundraisers

This fall, Princeton Hydro is participating in a variety of events, including presenting at conferences that explore topics ranging from floodplain management to stream restoration to stormwater management. Here’s a snapshot of what’s to come:

OCTOBER 3: GREAT SWAMP GALA & SILENT AUCTION

The Great Swamp Watershed Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and improving the water resources of the Passaic River region, is hosting its 2019 Gala & Silent Auction. This year’s event is being held in honor of Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill for her commitment to protecting our planet and growing the clean energy economy in New Jersey. The evening will include a cocktail hour, dinner banquet, and expansive silent auction.

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OCTOBER 4: 46th ANNUAL ANJEC ENVIRONMENTAL CONGRESS

The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) is a nonprofit organization that’s been supporting efforts to protect the environment and preserve natural resources in communities throughout New Jersey for 50 years. The Environmental Congress is an annual statewide gathering of environmental commissions, local officials, agencies, citizen groups and environmental organizations, which includes an exhibitors hall, farmer’s market, and workshops on a variety of current environmental topics. Princeton Hydro, a business member of the ANJEC, will be exhibiting during the event. Come say “hello” to our staff at the booth: Vice President Mark Gallagher, Senior Project Manager Kelly Klein, Communications Strategist Dana Patterson, and Marketing Coordinator Kelsey Mattison.

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OCTOBER 9: SOCIETY FOR AMERICAN MILITARY ENGINEERS (SAME) MEGA MARYLAND SMALL BUSINESS CONFERENCE

The conference, being held in Baltimore, gives small and minority businesses in the architecture, engineering and construction industries the opportunity to come together with federal agencies in order to showcase best practices and highlight future opportunities to work in the federal market. Nearly 500 professionals throughout the Mid-Atlantic region are expected to attend this year’s MEGA Maryland, which includes 25+ speakers and 50+ exhibits. Be sure to stop by the Princeton Hydro booth!

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OCTOBER 15 – 17: NEW JERSEY ASSOCIATION FOR FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT (NJAFM) 15TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

NJAFM is hosting its 15th Annual Conference and Exhibition in Atlantic City, NJ. Participants will attend meetings and seminars covering topics, including hazard mitigation, flood insurance, flood modeling, stormwater management, construction standards and more. Princeton Hydro’s Christiana Pollack, GISP, CFM is giving a presentation about the Blue Acres ecological restoration project, which increases storm resiliency by reducing flooding and stormwater runoff by improving the ecological and floodplain function within the former residential properties acquired by the NJDEP Blue Acres Program. This presentation will highlight the green infrastructure techniques employed including restoration of native coastal forest and meadow.

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OCTOBER 16 – 17: 7TH ANNUAL DELAWARE RIVER WATERSHED FORUM

The 7th Annual Delaware River Watershed Forum, taking place in Allentown, PA, brings together organizations and individuals spanning the four watershed states of PA, NY, NJ, and DE. The Forum allows for collaboration among those working on environmental conservation and policy; and provides professional and personal development opportunities. Workshops will focus on topics such as water quality, community engagement, equity, and environmental policy. Princeton Hydro President Geoff Goll, P.E., Senior Project Manager Kelly Klein, and Communications Strategist Dana Patterson are participating in this year’s event. Geoff and Kelly, along with Alan Hunt of the Musconetcong Watershed Association, are leading a “Musconetcong River Restoration Tour” on Oct 16.

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OCTOBER 16 – 17: VILLANOVA STORMWATER MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIUM

The theme of this year’s Villanova University College of Engineering Stormwater Management Symposium is “Building Resilience into Stormwater.” Participants will attend technical sessions, hear a variety of presentations, and have an opportunity to take part in field trips and networking events. Topics covered during the symposium include Water Reuse and Harvesting, Stormwater Regulations and Design, Vegetated Infiltration Systems and more. Princeton Hydro is thrilled to be attending!

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OCTOBER 17: Deal Lake Commission Environmental Education Public Meeting

The Deal Lake Commission (DLC) is hosting an informational gathering for which members of the public are invited to learn about environmental topics related to the lake and surrounding watershed.  At 6:30pm, Princeton Hydro founder Dr. Stephen Souza along with Jeannie Toher, DLC Commissioner, are giving a presentation on stormwater management and green infrastructure. The goal of this workshop session is to demonstrate the types of things that we can all do on a local scale to better control stormwater runoff and reduce nutrient loading, the primary causes of the lake’s water quality challenges.  Following the workshop, stay for the DLC’s monthly meeting and learn what else is going on with the management, restoration and maintenance of Deal Lake.

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OCTOBER 26: THE NATURE CONSERVANCY IN NJ’S OAK LEAF AUCTION

We are a proud sponsor of the Nature Conservancy’s Oak Leaf Auction being held at The Ridge in Basking Ridge, NJ. Participants of this fun fundraising event will enjoy live and silent auctions for items like artwork, weekend getaways, one-of-a-kind experiences, and much more. The evening also includes cocktails, appetizers and networking opportunities.

Learn More About The Nature Conservancy

 

NOVEMBER 1: NEW JERSEY WATERSHED CONFERENCE

New Jersey Watershed Conference, which is an educational event that aims to advance knowledge and communications on issues related to water quality and quantity across the state. The agenda features a variety of presentations from local experts on watershed management, stormwater, green infrastructure, and the problems and solutions related to the health of our watersheds. Princeton Hydro, a proud sponsor of the event, is exhibiting and giving two presentations: Director of Aquatic Programs Dr. Fred Lubnow is presenting on “An Overview of the Causes and Impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms.” Marketing Coordinator Kelsey Mattison is leading a workshop on “Flipping the Script on American Environmental Thought.”

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NOVEMBER 1: NY-NJ HARBOR ESTUARY PROGRAM’S 2019 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Are you a natural resource manager, scientist, conservation advocate, or policy leader? Join the NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program and the Hudson River Foundation for the 2019 Restoration Conference. The conference, titled “Explore Lessons Learned for a Changing Future at HEP,” will explore how habitat restoration can shape our community’s response to a changing climate. The day will feature a series of plenary presentations and interactive workshops that will help participants better understand these challenges, current initiatives, and the state of practice and scientific understanding.

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NOVEMBER 7 – 9: ENGINEERS WITHOUT BORDERS NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Engineers Without Borders (EWB), a nonprofit organization that works to build a better world through engineering projects that aid communities in meeting their basic needs, is hosting its National Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Staff Engineer Natalie Rodrigues, EIT, CPESC-IT is an active volunteer with EWB. Natalie began volunteering for the organization seven years ago while attending college at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Resources Engineering with a focus in water resources. The conference includes dynamic discussions with industry leaders, educational opportunities about complex global challenges that engineers can solve, and networking with the people driving the engineering sector’s socially minded future.

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NOVEMBER 14: SOCIETY FOR AMERICAN MILITARY ENGINEERS (SAME) PHILADELPHIA RESILIENCY SYMPOSIUM

SAME Philadelphia is hosting a one-day symposium featuring experts on infrastructure resiliency in the face of extreme storms, flooding and other natural disasters. Presentation topics include, Coastal Resiliency, Public/Private Partnerships for Resiliency, and Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation/Flood Risk.  Stop by the Princeton Hydro exhibitor booth to say hello to Princeton Hydro President Geoffrey Goll, P.E. and Marketing Coordinator Kelsey Mattison. We hope to see you there!

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NOVEMBER 11 – 15: NORTH AMERICAN LAKE MANAGEMENT SOCIETY (NALMS) CONFERENCE

NALMS‘ 39th International Symposium, being held in Burlington, VT, is themed “Watershed Moments: Harnessing Data, Science, and Local Knowledge to Protect Lakes.” This year’s symposium includes a robust exhibit hall, a variety of field trips, and a wide array of presentations on topics ranging from water level management to combating invasive species to nutrient pollution and more. Dr. Fred Lubnow will be presenting a poster on Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Hopatcong, and Dr. Stephen Souza, a founding principal of Princeton Hydro, is leading a workshop on Stormwater Management for Lake Managers, which is designed to demonstrate the importance of implementing ecologically appropriate, cost-effective green infrastructure stormwater management techniques as part of comprehensive lake restoration plan. In addition to conference activities, visitors will enjoy Vermont’s scenic beauty and a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.

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NOVEMBER 18 – 20: MID-ATLANTIC STREAM RESTORATION CONFERENCE

Mid-Atlantic Stream Restoration Conference, hosted by the Resource Institute, invites resource professionals, researchers and practitioners to participate in discussions and workshops focused on Building Resilient Streams in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Princeton Hydro is giving two presentations during the conference:

  • Columbia Lake Dam Removal; Using Drones for Quantitative Evaluation of River Restoration by Geoffrey Goll, P.E., Princeton Hydro President; Casey Schrading, EIT, Staff Engineer; and Beth Styler-Barry of The Nature Conservancy.
  • Innovative Design and Funding Approaches for Dam Removal Projects Where an Unfunded Mandate Exists by Geoffrey Goll, P.E.; Princeton Hydro President; Kirk Mantay, PWS, GreenTrust Alliance; John Roche, Maryland Department of Environment; and Brett Berkley, GreenVest.
Learn more & Register

 

NOVEMBER 20 – 22: SOCIETY FOR AMERICAN MILITARY ENGINEERS (SAME) SMALL BUSINESS CONFERENCE (SBC)

SAME gives leaders from the A/E/C, environmental, and facility management industries the opportunity to come together with federal agencies in order to showcase best practices and highlight future opportunities for small businesses to work in the federal market. Princeton Hydro’s Chief Operating Officer Kevin M. Yezdimer, PE and Communication Strategist Dana Patterson are attending the 2019 SAME SBC Conference, which is being held in Dallas, Texas. The program consists of networking events, small business exhibits, a variety of speakers and much more.

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STAY TUNED FOR MORE EVENT SPOTLIGHTS!

Restoring the Northernmost Freshwater Tidal Marsh on the Delaware River

By Kelsey Mattison, Marketing Coordinator

Located in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, Mercer County’s John A. Roebling Memorial Park offers residents in the surrounding area a freshwater marsh with river fishing, kayaking, hiking, and wildlife-watching. The park contains the northernmost freshwater tidal marsh on the Delaware River, Abbott Marshland. Since the mid-1990s, many public and private partnerships have developed to help support the preservation of this important and significant marsh.

Tidal marshes, like the 3,000-acre Abbott Marshlands, contain valuable habitat for many rare species like River Otter, American eel, Bald Eagle, and many species of wading birds. Unfortunately, the Abbott Marshland has experienced a significant amount of loss and degradation, partially due to the introduction of the invasive Phragmites australis, or, Common Reed.

Phragmites australis

Phragmites australis is a species of grass that has a non-native invasive form that creates extensive strands in shallow water or on damp ground. The reed tends to colonize disturbed wetlands and then spreads very rapidly, outcompeting desirable native plant species. Once it is established, it forms a monoculture with a dense mat and does not allow any opportunity for native plants to compete. This impairs the natural functioning of the marsh ecosystem by altering its elevations and tidal reach which impacts plant and animal communities. Over the last century, there has been a dramatic increase in the spread of Phragmites australis, partly due to development impacts that resulted in disturbances to wetlands.

For the Mercer County, Princeton Hydro put together a plan to reduce and control the Phragmites australis, in order to increase biodiversity, to improve recreational opportunities, and to improve visitor experience at the park. This stewardship project will replace the Phragmites australis with native species with a goal to reduce its ability to recolonize the marsh. In September, our Vice President Mark Gallagher and Senior Project Manager Kelly Klein presented our plan to the public at the Tulpehaking Nature Center.

Vice President Mark Gallagher presenting on the project at the Tulpehaking Nature Center.

Princeton Hydro conducted a Floristic Quality Assessment to identify invasive areas and performed hydrologic monitoring to understand tidal stage elevations. Phase 1 of the restoration process occurred this fall and included herbicide applications to eradicate the Phragmites australis. The herbicide used, Imazapyr, is USEPA and NJDEP approved and our field operation crew applied it using our amphibious vehicle called a Marsh Master. For harder to reach areas, we used our airboat.

According to a USDA report, Imazapyr has been extensively studied, and when properly applied, it has no impact to water quality, aquatic animal life, birds, or mammals, including humans. It works by preventing plants from producing a necessary enzyme called acetolactate synthase.

The goal of this wetland restoration project is to enhance plant diversity, wildlife habitat, and water quality in John A. Roebling Memorial Park. In late spring of 2019, we will revisit the site to continue spraying the Phragmites australis. By Spring of 2020, we expect to see native species dominating the landscape from the newly exposed native seed bank with minimal Phragmites australis. Stay tuned for more photos from the field when our Field Crew returns to the site for Phase II in early Spring!   

View of John A. Roebling Memorial Park from the access road.

For more information about Princeton Hydro’s invasive species removal and wetland restoration services, visit: bit.ly/InvasivesRemoval 

Kelsey Mattison is a recent graduate of St. Lawrence University with a degree in English and environmental studies and a passion for environmental communication. Through her extracurricular work with various nonprofit organizations, Kelsey has developed expertise in content writing, storytelling, verbal communication, social media management, and interdisciplinary thinking. Her responsibilities at Princeton Hydro include social media management, proposal coordination, editorial overview, and other marketing tasks. As a member of the Princeton Hydro team, she aims to further its mission by taking creative approaches to communicating about our shared home: Planet Earth.

Volunteers Pitch In at New Jersey’s Thompson Park

A volunteer effort, lead by the Middlesex County, New Jersey Parks and Recreation Department and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, recently took place at Thompson Park.

Despite the rainy weather, 78 volunteers and members of the Youth Conservation Corps removed litter from the shoreline of Manalapan Lake, repaired fencing, made improvements to the park’s walking trails, weeded and mulched the park’s rain garden and native plant garden, and installed new plants in the rain garden.

The park’s rain garden was originally designed by Princeton Hydro Senior Water Resource Engineer Dr. Clay Emerson, PE, CFM. Rain gardens are cost effective, attractive and sustainable means to minimize stormwater runoff. They also help to reduce erosion, promote groundwater recharge, minimize flooding and remove pollutants from runoff.

By definition, a rain garden is a shallow depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses, and positioned near a runoff source to capture rainwater. Planting native plants also helps to attract pollinators and birds and naturally reduces mosquitos by removing standing water thus reducing mosquito breeding areas.

Rain gardens temporarily store rainwater and runoff, and filter the water of hydrocarbons, oil, heavy metals, phosphorous, fertilizers and other pollutants that would normally find their way to the sewer and even our rivers and waterways.

On the day of the volunteer event, Central New Jersey received 0.44 inches of rain.  “We got to see the rain garden in action, which was really exciting,” said Princeton Hydro Senior Project Manager Kelly Klein, who volunteered at the event.

Volunteers from the following organizations participated:

  • Edison Metro Lions Club
  • Hioki USA Corporation
  • Girl Scout Troop 70306
  • East Brunswick Youth Council
  • Monroe Middle School
  • South Plainfield High School
  • Rutgers University
  • Master Gardeners of Middlesex County
  • Foresters Financial
  • Princeton Hydro

The Middlesex County Parks and Recreation Department’s next public volunteer event is tomorrow (June 2) in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park.

The Princeton Hydro team has designed and constructed countless stormwater management systems, including rain gardens in locations throughout the Eastern U.S. Click here for more information about our stormwater management services.