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                    [post_content] => We’re proud to be sponsoring and participating in a variety of conferences, webinars, and community gatherings this season. Our blog is the go-to hub for detailed information and ways to get involved. Let's dive in!




May 28: Pikes Peak Chapter of Trout Unlimited Membership Meeting

Pikes Peak Chapter of Trout Unlimited (PPCTU) strives to conserve, protect, and restore cold-water fisheries resources and their watersheds throughout the state of Colorado. On May 28, PPCTU will host its May Membership Meeting at the Colorado Parks & Wildlife - Wild Classroom. Princeton Hydro Senior Project Manager in Aquatics Chris Mikolajczyk, CLM is the Special Guest Speaker for the event. His presentation will highlight aquatic resource restoration and management, aquatic ecosystem investigations, and watershed modeling and overall management. Chris is a PPCTU board member and a board member of the Colorado Lake and Reservoir Management Association.

Get more info.


June 2-6: Society for Freshwater Science 2024 Annual Meeting

Join us for the Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) 2024 Annual Meeting, taking place in Philadelphia, PA, at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown. This gathering marks the first SFS Annual Meeting since the pandemic, offering both in-person and virtual access options. The theme, "Connecting to Enhance Freshwater Science," underscores the importance of collaboration in addressing pressing environmental challenges specifically in the Delaware River Watershed. Participants will enjoy a variety of plenary sessions, including one about the ways in which climate change is impacting the monitoring and management of cyanobacteria (harmful algal blooms) in lakes, which will be led by Princeton Hydro's Senior Technical Director, Ecological Services Dr. Fred Lubnow. Participants can also engage in pre-conference field trips, evening social events, and a diverse educational program as well as connect with experts from a wide array backgrounds and disciplines to gain a deeper understanding of freshwater ecosystems.

Get more info and register.

June 5 & 6: Dam Removal - Design, Planning, and Implementation Rutgers OCEP Online Course

With the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act allocating $800 million for dam removal, there's an increasing demand for professionals equipped to handle these complex projects. This comprehensive Rutgers OCPE online course will enhance your knowledge of dam safety compliance and ecosystem restoration, addressing both U.S. and global perspectives. Featured topics include dam demolition techniques, hydraulic and sediment transport modeling, fish passage, project development, and stakeholder engagement. Participants will learn from the best in the field, including experts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, The Nature Conservancy, and Princeton Hydro - leading the course will be Geoffrey Goll, P.E. who brings over 30 years of experience and expertise in dam removal, having overseen more than 100 dam projects. The course is approved for 0.7 Rutgers CEUs (7 contact hours) as well as credits from a variety of professional organizations. Don't miss this opportunity to advance your expertise and stay at the forefront of dam removal and ecological restoration.

Get more info and register.

June 13: Pinelands Science Forum

We are a proud sponsor of the 2024 Pinelands Science Forum, titled "Forest and Climate Change." Hosted by the Pinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA), the one-day forum will explore the intricate relationship between forests and climate change, focusing on carbon absorption and forestry practices. Participants will hear presentations on the current and future impacts of climate change, strategies for mitigation and adaptation, and how the unique characteristics of the Pinelands region shape conservation strategies. Attendees will gather together in the PPA's historic diary barn, which was built in 1932 and recently renovated, to enjoy a light breakfast and lunch. The day also includes a brief tour of PPA's 72-acre Rancocas Creek Farm, where carbon sequestration techniques and chemical-free practices are implemented.

Get more info and register.

June 14: NYSFOLA Lower Hudson Regional Conference 2024

The New York State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA) invites you to join them for its Lower Hudson Regional Conference held on the shores of scenic China Pond in Putnam County. This year’s conference features lunch, networking opportunities, and educational presentations. Participants are invited to come share their ideas and experiences, speak with lake management experts, and connect with local community members. Get more info and register.


June 24-26: National Stream Restoration Conference

The Resource Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing America’s natural resources by restoring streams, rivers and wetlands, is hosting its National Stream Restoration Conference. The 3-day event, themed “Stream Restoration: Shaping Tomorrow's Legacy Today,” will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. More than 700 stream restoration professionals are expected to attend the conference, which includes an exhibitor hall and a wide variety of education sessions. Click here to read the full agenda.

Get more info and register.

Stay tuned to our blog for more events!

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Did you know that New York State is home to a rich tapestry of natural waterbodies, including over 7,600 freshwater lakes, ponds, and reservoirs? Our team recently journeyed to Lake George, New York, to participate in the 41st annual conference of the New York State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA).

This year’s conference, themed “It Takes a Community to Protect a Watershed,” brought together environmental experts, lake management professionals, students, recreation enthusiasts, watershed advocates, and lake community members to advance the best available information and techniques for protecting and restoring New York’s watersheds. The two-day program featured a diverse exhibitor hall, networking events, a silent auction, a student poster session and a variety of presentations and workshops that combined science, policy, practical applications, and tangible resources.

Princeton Hydro, a proud sponsor of the conference led two presentations during the “Climate Resilience and Your Lake" segment of the educational program:

Michael Hartshorne, Director of Aquatics, delivered an insightful presentation titled "Impacts of Climate Change on Lake Ecology," which delved into the significant role of climate change in shaping lake ecosystems. During the session, Michael highlighted key factors such as rising water temperatures, heightened frequency and severity of rainfall, depletion of dissolved oxygen, fluctuating patterns of algal blooms, and the migration of invasive species due to changing latitudinal conditions. His presentation underscored the necessity for evolving approaches to lake management in response to these profound ecological shifts.

[gallery link="none" size="medium" columns="2" ids="14984,14982"] Download the complete presentation now!

Dr. Fred Lubnow, Senior Technical Director of Ecological Services, presented "A Survey of the Ecology of Select Lakes and Ponds in Central Park, NYC," which provided an insightful overview of Princeton Hydro's water quality and ecological monitoring efforts conducted across lakes and ponds of Central Park from 2020 to 2023 for the Central Park Conservancy. These assessments revealed elevated nutrient levels driving planktonic algae, filamentous mat algae and in some cases high densities of aquatic plants, prompting the Central Park Conservancy and Princeton Hydro to collaborate on a tailored Management Plan. Fred’s presentation spotlighted the distinct ecological profiles of key sites, addressed the impact of cyanobacteria on both ecological dynamics and recreational usage, and provided practical management methods and techniques.

[gallery link="none" size="medium" columns="2" ids="14961,14983"] Download the complete presentation now!

Additional educational session topics included, Environmental Justice and New York Lakes, Community Leadership for Healthy Lakes in New York State, and iMap Invasive Species Workshop. Click here to view the complete agenda.

Founded in 1983, NYSFOLA is a not-for-profit coalition of lake associations, individuals, and corporate members dedicated to the protection and restoration of New York lakes. 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. Our long-standing partnership with NYSFOLA as a corporate member, annual conference sponsor, and active participant highlights our unwavering commitment to collaborative initiatives aimed at safeguarding our water resources. To learn more about our lake and natural resource management services and how we're contributing to a healthier environment, click here. 

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We are thrilled to announce that Geoffrey Goll, PE, President of Princeton Hydro, was honored with the "Catalyst for Sustainable Change Award" from Hold High The Torch, a remarkable nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education and promoting health and wellness among youth, adults, and families. This award recognizes Princeton Hydro's exceptional contributions to advancing environmental education and inspiring future generations through active participation in Hold High the Torch’s innovative programs.

[gallery columns="2" link="none" size="medium" ids="14995,14992"]  

Hold High the Torch is a 501(c)3 organization that aims to increase minority participation in STEAM careers. The organization's vision is to eliminate disparities in educational outcomes by exposing learners to the vast opportunities within STEAM fields. Through their mission to inspire, engage, and empower, Hold High the Torch creates a nurturing environment where every young mind can explore and thrive in these critical disciplines.

Geoffrey received this award on behalf of Princeton Hydro for the firm's active involvement in Hold High the Torch’s programs, specifically our engagement with the Eco Innovators for Youth STEAM Leaders Program. Last year, we had the privilege of hosting a group of bright students from Hold High the Torch at our Trenton Headquarters office. During their visit, our team at Princeton Hydro provided an engaging, hands-on, educational experience providing students with a deeper understanding of environmental stewardship and the importance of protecting water resources.

[gallery link="none" size="medium" ids="15002,15001,15000"]

"It was a pleasure share our passion for sustainability and to witness the students' enthusiasm and curiosity," said Geoffrey M. Goll, President, Princeton Hydro. "Receiving this award is an extraordinary honor. I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the incredible staff at Princeton Hydro who organized and executed our participation in the Eco Innovators for Youth STEAM Leaders Program. Their dedication and passion are the driving force behind our firm's efforts to make a lasting impact and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards. This award belongs to each of them, and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together."

Geoffrey was presented the award at Hold High the Torch’s recent Cocktail Reception Fundraiser, held at the Princeton Country Club on May 15. The event brought together trailblazing businesses and entrepreneurs, all united in their commitment to supporting STEAM education and creating opportunities for future innovators. It was a night of celebration, collaboration, and shared vision for a brighter, more inclusive future.

STEAM education plays a crucial role in preparing students for the future, especially within overburdened communities where access to these resources can be limited. By promoting STEAM education, organizations like Hold High the Torch are breaking down barriers and providing students with the tools they need to succeed in an increasingly complex and technological world. This not only helps in closing the educational gap, but also ensures that a diverse range of voices and perspectives are represented in STEAM fields.

By supporting STEAM education, we are not only investing in the future workforce, but also in the future of our communities. To learn more about how to support Hold High the Torch and their mission, visit their website. An early introduction to STEAM  can significantly impact young lives, creating a nurturing pathway toward education and innovation. It fosters critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills, which are essential in today’s rapidly evolving job market. Together, we can eliminate barriers and cultivate an environment where every young mind has the opportunity to excel.

To read about another STEAM education youth inclusion initiative that Princeton Hydro is involved with, click here. [post_title] => Hold High The Torch Recognizes Princeton Hydro for STEAM Education Contributions [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => hold-high-the-torch-recognizes-princeton-hydro-for-steam-education-contributions [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2024-05-17 20:47:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2024-05-17 20:47:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=15007 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14932 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2024-05-14 15:22:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2024-05-14 15:22:01 [post_content] =>

With great enthusiasm, we introduce the newest member of the Princeton Hydro team: Michael McGraw, CSE, QAWB, ACE. He is a Senior Project Manager and Senior Wildlife Biologist in our Regulatory Compliance & Wildlife Surveys team who has with over 20 years’ experience designing and performing custom ecological assessments and wildlife surveys. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Mike for a Q&A session to delve into his new role, explore his aspirations for the future, and learn about what drives and inspires him.

Q: What aspect of your new position at Princeton Hydro excites you the most?

A: What really motivates me is the amazing work culture and supportive team environment. I’m also excited about the types of projects that Princeton Hydro engages in which prioritize conservation ethics in their project selection process.


Q: Can you describe a new strategy or idea that you're eager to implement at Princeton Hydro?

A: I am very proud to have contributed to the advancement and development of non-compliance-based wildlife studies over the past 15 years. This involves understanding the natural history of a particular site to guide ecological restoration and master planning. I hope to provide value-added services to ensure that decisions made on the landscape are beneficial to the wildlife. With this approach, we can ensure that the ecosystems we work on will benefit the wildlife.


Q: Prior to joining Princeton Hydro, what are some highlights from your career path?

A: In my professional work over the past decade, two aspects have brought me the most joy. First, working on extensive master plans, such as county-level park systems, large greenways, and vast conservancy lands, enables me to contribute my expertise in non-compliance-based ecological studies. These studies inform decisions that will shape the landscape for the next century.

Second, I find immense satisfaction in exploring the connection between humans and wildlife through research in working lands. My focus on adaptive multi-paddock grazing and farmlands aims to comprehend the significance of these practices in restoring soil health, water holding capacity, and water sequestration. This research holds the potential solution to saving grassland birds, which the U.S. is losing at an alarming rate. Being part of the research team that seeks to identify ways to save birds without compromising our food systems or the culture of family farming in America is truly a privilege.


Q: How did your passion for wildlife biology develop?

A: I’ll never forget the first time I found a Northern Red Salamander; it was like a spark animal for me. It was at a pocket park in Delaware County, PA. We all got babysat by the neighborhood babysitter. 30 kids would come check in afterschool and disappear, and I would just go to the park to catch little stream-side salamanders. The first time I found a Northern Red Salamander blew my mind, and I’ve been seeking that joy and wonder of discovery ever since.


Q: What's the most captivating wildlife phenomenon you've witnessed?

A: I’ve seen a lot of amazing things in the wild, but sometimes it’s as simple as witnessing the subtle communications between socially monogamous house finches. Just watching how they interact and feed their young is just astounding to me. It’s something that’s happening all around us, and we take it for granted.


Q: Outside of work, what activities or hobbies do you enjoy in your free time?

A: I have three incredible daughters who are exceptionally talented naturalists. The challenge lies in picking the right excursions that match their intellectual interests and physical capabilities. Figuring it out presents a unique joy in navigating outdoor activities with my kids.


Q: What’s your favorite native plant?

A: I absolutely love native plants. I have a 0.2 acre lot, where I immediately put 2,900 plugs that represent 75 native species. Honestly, it’s hard to say. Just like when people ask me what my favorite bird is, I tell them, “The one in front of me.”


Big thanks to Mike for generously sharing his insights and enthusiasm with us. His passion for wildlife biology and commitment to ecological restoration are truly inspiring. His expertise and dedication to conservation will undoubtedly make a significant impact here at Princeton Hydro! We eagerly anticipate the innovative strategies and valuable contributions he will bring to our projects. 

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The Watershed Institute and Princeton Hydro proudly present the inaugural Watershed Restoration Academy - Healthy Streams 101.

This two-day, entry level educational course is designed for water resources professionals (i.e., engineers, scientists, landscape architects, planners, restoration practitioners) seeking to obtain the foundational knowledge essential for advancing in the field of stream restoration.

Led by a licensed professional engineer, fluvial geomorphologist, regulatory experts, and watershed scientists, the course will delve into watershed analysis, stream processes, and site assessments through a balanced blend of classroom lectures and hands-on fieldwork.


What to Expect:

  • Day 1 - Classroom Instruction: Gain invaluable insights and knowledge in a conducive learning environment at The Watershed Center in Pennington NJ. Our expert instructors will cover essential topics, providing you with a solid understanding of stream dynamics and restoration principles.
  • Day 2 - Field Day: Venture into the field for a firsthand experience of stream assessments. Explore both degraded and healthy stream environments under the guidance of our experienced team. Engage in visual and hands-on assessments, collecting data that will be reviewed and analyzed at the close of the course.

Why Attend:

  • Expert Instruction: Learn from licensed professionals who are leaders in their respective fields, ensuring a rich learning experience.
  • Hands-On Experience: Translate theoretical knowledge into practical skills through field activities, setting you apart in your profession.
  • Contribute to Restoration Efforts: Play a vital role in safeguarding our water ecosystems by applying your newfound expertise to real-world scenarios.
  • Continuing Education Credits: Earn up to 13 continuing education credits, applicable for Professional Engineers, Floodplain Managers, and Professional Planners.

Event Details:

  • Location: The Watershed Center at 31 Titus Mill Road, Pennington NJ, 08534
  • Dates: Classroom Instruction: May 9 | Field Day: May 10 (Rain date: May 13)
  • Cost: $598 (Includes breakfast, lunch, field day transportation, and materials)
  • Limited Capacity: Sign-up today! Space is limited.

Don't miss this opportunity to expand your knowledge and make a meaningful impact on stream restoration efforts. Register now to secure your spot. 

Click here to read about the largest stream restoration project in Maryland. We worked with GV-Petro, a partnership between GreenVest and Petro Design Build Group, to restore over 7 miles (41,000 linear feet) of Tinkers Creek and its tributaries.

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Happy Earth Day! It's important that we all do our part today and every day to honor our precious planet, promote climate action, and support sustainability. We've put together a quick list of fun ideas and helpful tips to celebrate Earth Day 2024:


Build a Rain Garden in Your Yard

Rain gardens are a cost effective, attractive, and sustainable way to minimize stormwater runoff and filter out pollutants. This aesthetic, low-maintenance addition to any outdoor landscape creates a functioning habitat that attracts pollinators, beneficial insects, and birds. It can also help reduce erosion, promote groundwater recharge, and minimize flooding.

Princeton Hydro President Geoff Goll, P.E. and his family recently installed a rain garden at their home. They documented the process with photos and step-by-step instructions.

Go here for 10 steps to building your own rain garden.

Install a Rain Barrel

You can help conserve water usage by incorporating water-wise practices into your daily life. Installing a rain barrel is a great place to start! Using a rain barrel to collect fresh, free rainwater helps save money, conserve water AND protects the environment. Collecting water in rain barrels is a fun, affordable and effective way to reduce the amount of run-off flowing into storm drains and waterways. We’ve put together four simple steps to help you install a rain barrel in your yard.

Get 4 steps for installing a rain barrel.

Get Your Garden Spring-Ready

Tulips are starting to emerge, buds are blossoming on trees and, unfortunately, invasive plant species are also beginning their annual growing cycle. Invasive species create major impacts on ecosystems near and far, but we can all do our part to reduce the spread.

Princeton Hydro Landscape Architects and Expert Green Thumbs Jamie Feinstein, RLA and Cory Speroff, PLA, ASLA, CBLP led a live “Ask Me Anything” Spring Gardening conversation via Facebook. They provided gardening tips and tricks, including:

  • Choosing native plants that complement each other;
  • Removing and reducing invasive plants;
  • Starting seedlings;
  • Preparing your outdoor beds;
  • Native edible plants to consider; and
  • Transplanting from pot to garden.
Check out our blog, roll up your sleeves, and get ready for gardening! [gallery link="none" ids="14838,14837,14836"]

Implement a Community Clean-up Routine

You can play a major role in maintaining the health and safety of your community. By committing to a regular litter pick-up schedule, you can help keep your neighborhood cleaner and decrease the amount of debris and pollution entering your community waterways. Consider choosing a nearby park, lake, pond or stream for your trash clean-up activities. Whatever spot you choose, pick the place that's best for you, invite friends or family to join you, determine a regular clean-up schedule, and stick to it!

Click here for more community clean-up ideas.

As biologists, ecologists, environmentalists, and outdoor enthusiasts, all of us at Princeton Hydro take our responsibility to care for and respect our natural surroundings very seriously. We play hard and work hard to protect our natural resources for generations to come. Happy Earth Day!

  The featured image is a ruby-crowned kinglet (Corthylio calendula) taken in New Hope, PA by Mark Gallagher.  [post_title] => Earth Day 2024: 4 Ways to Celebrate [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 4-tips-to-celebrate-earth-day [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2024-04-22 19:33:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2024-04-22 19:33:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=12586 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14755 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2024-04-21 19:37:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2024-04-21 19:37:04 [post_content] =>

Within the intricate network of aquatic ecosystems, the American shad stands as a captivating enigma. This intrigue was recently explored in a webinar hosted by The Watershed Institute titled “The Mysterious World of the American Shad and Work to Bring Them Back to Our Waterways.” Led by The Watershed Institute’s Executive Director Jim Waltman and Princeton Hydro’s Senior Technical Director in Engineering and American shad expert Dr. Clay Emerson PE, CFM, the webinar explored the complex dynamics surrounding this iconic species, including its historical significance, unique migration patterns, and conservation efforts.

As the American shad embark on their annual upstream journey for spawning, the timing is especially poignant for a closer examination of this vital species and an exploration of strategies to safeguard and revive their populations. We invite you to enjoy our blog, which encapsulates the webinar's key insights, and to watch the full recorded session made available by The Watershed Institute.


Fascinating Facts about American Shad

[caption id="attachment_14758" align="alignright" width="317"] The American shad spawning cycle and migration patterns illustrated by Delaware River Basin Commission[/caption]

American shad (Alosa sapidissima) are the largest members of the herring family. Their closest relatives are herring, sardines, and menhadens. They are an anadromous fish species, like salmon and steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), that live most of their life in the ocean and migrate to freshwater rivers and streams to spawn. The American shad migration routes span vast distances, from the St. Johns River in Florida to the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, showcasing their tenacity and adaptability.

Not only do American shad undertake astonishingly long journeys to spawn, they also showcase distinctive migratory behaviors. Unlike many other anadromous species, these resilient shad can complete multiple round trips from freshwater to the ocean over their lifespan, challenging the conventional notion of 'one and done' spawning observed in Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus) and sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus).

Young shad will remain in the rivers where they hatched for several months. Migration out to the ocean typically occurs in late summer in the south, and early fall in the north, typically when the shad are 3-4 inches in size. Then, after 3-6 years of growth at sea, the shad migrate back to fresh water to spawn. Some shad make the journey to their spawning grounds 5-6 times over the course of their lifetime. Shad’s affinity for their birthplace adds a fascinating layer to their story. Approximately 95% of shad return to the rivers where they were hatched, with only 5% straying to unfamiliar waters to spawn.

American shad's unique hearing abilities are another noteworthy aspect. Endowed with specific biological features, shad exhibit exceptional sensitivity to water movements and noise, particularly attuned to sounds like clicks and echolocation. This acute sense plays a vital role in navigating their environment and evading predators such as dolphins.

Such intriguing characteristics make the American shad not only a vital component of aquatic ecosystems but also a subject of admiration and study among enthusiasts and conservationists alike.


Historical Significance

Throughout history, American shad have held a vital place in the cultural heritage and economic prosperity of the United States, earning them the esteemed title of "America's Founding Fish.” Within the Delaware River region, these fish were not merely sustenance but also integral to the fabric of indigenous Lenape culture. During the annual shad migration, rivers and streams overflowing with these prized fish provided essential nourishment and served as valuable fertilizer. Interestingly, in various Native American tribes, folklore depicts the shad as originating from the porcupine, likely owing to the fish's notably bony structure.

In later American history, the significance of shad persisted. Renowned painter Thomas Eakins immortalized the tradition of shad fishing in his iconic 1881 masterpiece "Shad Fishing at Gloucester on the Delaware River," while the state of Connecticut elevated the shad to the status of state fish, further cementing its place in American heritage.

[caption id="attachment_14771" align="aligncenter" width="1162"] This 1871 illustration from Granger Historical Archive depicts fishermen hauling nets of shad at Gloucester on the Delaware River.[/caption]  

Fishing for American shad was among the earliest established industries on the coast of North America, once providing abundant and affordable nutrition to the populace. However, the shad population peaked in the 1940s before experiencing a dramatic decline to its current depleted state.

Despite these challenges, the American shad perseveres as a symbol of resilience. Festivals along the Atlantic Coast, such as the Annual ShadFest in Lambertville, New Jersey, celebrate these fish while also advocating for their protection. Recognizing the historical importance of shad underscores the pressing responsibility to safeguard and preserve our natural heritage for future generations.


Challenges in American Shad Restoration

[caption id="attachment_14759" align="alignright" width="347"] An American shad swimming and feeding in the Delaware River[/caption]

The construction of dams, historic overfishing, and pollution have all played significant roles in the decline of American shad populations.

Dams along the East Coast block access to vital spawning grounds. Currently, a staggering 40% of American shad habitat is obstructed by these barriers, resulting in the loss of more than a third of the population. By removing outdated dams that have outlived their usefulness, we not only improve water quality and natural habitat for myriad species but also reconnect shad to their historic spawning grounds.

Additionally, shad fall victim to inadvertent bycatch in various ocean fisheries. Pollution in our rivers and water quality issues emerge as another critical concern along with fluctuating water temperatures and dissolved oxygen levels that disrupt shad behavior and crucial life cycle events such as migration and spawning. Compounding these issues are the menacing presence of invasive species, which outpace shad in numbers and deplete food resources, posing a significant obstacle to their recovery efforts.

Amidst these challenges, there is hope. River restoration efforts, dam removals, and fish passage projects throughout the East Coast stand as beacons of progress.


Conservation Efforts

Removing obsolete dams, culverts, and other man-made barriers; the implementation of fish passage projects; and river habitat restoration initiatives have shown promising results in directly aiding shad and other migratory aquatic species populations. Highlighted below are a few examples of dam removal initiatives that immediately yielded positive results:

Paulins Kill River

[caption id="attachment_14773" align="aligncenter" width="1720"] Columbia dam pre-removal (June 2018) vs one year after the dam removal (June 2019). Today, the river is healthy and free flowing.(Photo Credit: Columbia Dam Then and Now, Jeff Burian/The Nature Conservancy)[/caption]  

The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey and Princeton Hydro are leading the removal of three outdated dams on the Paulins Kill River: the Columbia Lake Main and Remnant Dams (completed 2019), the County Line Dam (completed 2021), and Paulina Dam (slated for completion 2024). This collaborative effort will reconnect 45 miles of mainstream and tributaries for migratory fish species like American shad. The Columbia Lake Dam removal, New Jersey's largest to date, began in July 2018 and showed promising results even before 100% completion. By April 2019, American shad were spotted 10 miles upstream from the former dam site for the first time in over a century, showcasing the resilience of this incredible species and the success of conservation initiatives.


Musconetcong River

[caption id="attachment_11894" align="aligncenter" width="1720"] Photos by MWA[/caption]  

In November 2016, the Musconetcong Watershed Association (MWA) and Princeton Hydro completed the Hughesville Dam Removal, opening up six miles of the Musconetcong to migratory fish. In the Spring of 2017, schools of American shad were observed above the dam, five miles from the river's confluence with the Delaware River. After an absence of over 250 years, American shad made a triumphant return to the Musconetcong River sparking hope for the future.


Shad serve as a crucial benchmark species, offering valuable insights into the ecological health and diversity of our waterways. Conservation endeavors that facilitate the resurgence of the American shad not only represent a thrilling triumph but also stand as proof-positive of our capacity to assist migratory fish in reclaiming their natural habitats. In doing so, we safeguard their future and preserve the places they call home.

By understanding the biology, historical significance, and primary challenges of the American shad, we can work towards sustainable solutions that benefit both shad populations and the broader ecosystem. We invite you to delve deeper into the fascinating world of American shad by watching the full webinar:  

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Today, we're excited to showcase the achievements of four team members whose recent successes highlight their dedication and excellence in their respective fields, embodying the innovative spirit and expertise of Princeton Hydro.


Erin Bennett became a Notary Public in New Jersey.

As a Notary Public, Erin is now equipped to provide invaluable services, including witnessing signatures, administering oaths, and certifying documents. This new capability enhances her role as Proposal and Marketing Manager at Princeton Hydro, where she regularly manages multiple grant and proposal applications and coordinates the implementation process from project identification through to completion. Erin's ability to certify documents and ensure their legal authenticity streamlines the proposal process and adds an extra layer of trust and credibility to the projects she oversees. With this achievement, Erin not only showcases her dedication to upholding the highest standards of integrity and professionalism but also enhances her effectiveness in managing the intricate details of project documentation.

Erin has a wealth of experience working in the nonprofit sector, including roles at the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, Blue Water Baltimore, and Sassafras River Association. Erin received her Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management with a minor in Political Science and Resource Economics, and her Master of Arts in Urban Affairs and Public Policy with an Urban and Regional Planning concentration, both from the University of Delaware. Learn more about Erin.


Thomas Hopper achieved a Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP®) certification.

The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) is a nonprofit organization that promotes the advancement of proficient GIS professionals through its international GISP® certification program. GISCI fosters rigorous professional and ethical standards, community engagement, and professional mentoring within the GIS industry. To achieved certification, Thomas was required to pass a comprehensive exam, have four years equivalent full-time geospatial experience, and meet the GISCI Portfolio Requirements in education, experience, and contributions. 

In his role as Environmental Scientist and Project Manager of Restoration & Resilience at Princeton Hydro, Thomas specializes in providing comprehensive GIS support and analysis. His expertise encompasses spatial analysis, data management, and the creation of cartographic products. As a GISP®, Thomas demonstrates his commitment to ethical standards and professional excellence, further enhancing his contributions to the GIS field and fostering ongoing professional development. Learn more about Thomas.


Matt Kreines became a licensed FAA-Certified Commercial Drone Pilot.

A commercial drone pilot license, issued by the FAA, grants permission to conduct commercial drone operations in the United States. To become a licensed commercial drone operator, Matt was required to pass the Aeronautical Knowledge Test and apply for and obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate. To maintain his license, Matt must update his drone registration every 36 months as well as retake and pass the Aeronautical Knowledge Test every 24 months.

Drones are a helpful tool for environmental restoration initiatives because they can efficiently monitor project progress by collecting aerial data, including GIS information, that tracks information like vegetation growth, erosion rates, and site topography. Because drones can access remote and challenging terrain with minimal environmental impact they are a valuable tool for planning, managing, monitoring and assessing habitat restoration efforts.

As a Project Manager for the Princeton Hydro Field Services Team, Matt specializes in invasive species management, aeration installation and maintenance, lake and pond management, and operating and servicing Princeton Hydro's fleet of boats, vehicles, and speciality equipment, including our newest addition: The Marsh Master® 2MX-KC-FH. Learn more about Matt.


Cole Pragides is now a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM®).

The responsibilities of the nation's floodplain managers are evolving in response to rising disaster losses, a growing focus on mitigation strategies to break the cycle of damage-rebuild-damage, and a recognized demand for skilled professionals to address these pressing issues. In 1998, the Association of State Floodplain Managers introduced the national CFM® program to establish a standardized assessment of professional competence in floodplain management.

To become a CFM®, Cole was required to pass a rigorous exam that assesses knowledge and competency in various aspects of floodplain management, including floodplain regulations, mapping, flood insurance, flood hazard mitigation, and emergency management. To maintain certification, ASFPN requires CFMs to earn 16 Continuing Education Credits (CECs) during a two-year cycle.

Within his capacity as a Princeton Hydro Staff Engineer, Cole's attainment of this certification underscores his commitment to fostering synergies between engineering, environmental science, and ecology to promote a more sustainable ecosystem.


Congratulations to Thomas, Cole, Erin and Matt! To learn more about the Princeton Hydro team, click here. [post_title] => Employee Spotlight: Four Team Members Earn New Professional Certifications [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => employee-spotlight-new-professional-certifications-2024 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2024-04-22 19:36:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2024-04-22 19:36:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=14784 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14684 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2024-04-10 15:23:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2024-04-10 15:23:17 [post_content] =>

Nestled within the New Jersey townships of Hamilton, Robbinsville, and West Windsor lies Miry Run Dam Site 21—an expansive 279-acre parcel with a rich history dating back to its acquisition by Mercer County in the late 1970s. Originally earmarked for flood mitigation and recreation, this hidden gem is on the cusp of a remarkable transformation, poised to unveil its true potential as a thriving public park.

Central to the revitalization efforts is a comprehensive Master Plan, meticulously crafted by Mercer County Park Commission in partnership with Simone Collins Landscape Architecture and Princeton Hydro. This visionary roadmap encompasses a spectrum of engineering and ecological uplift initiatives, including:

  • Several types of trails and boardwalks that total approximately 7 miles, including a tree canopy walk-through over an area of vernal pools;
  • A nature-based playground and an ADA inclusive playground;
  • Kayak launch and water trail;
  • Protected swimming area for a limited number of swimmers each day;
  • A native plant arboretum and horticultural garden;
  • Fishing access areas;
  • Parking lots, driveways, small restrooms and pavilions; and
  • A group camping area that would accommodate about 30-40 campers.

The Master Plan serves as a long-term vision for improvements to the property and will be implemented over multiple phases. In 2021, it was recognized with the Landscape Architectural Chapter Award from the New Jersey Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects, which underscores its innovative and impactful approach to landscape design.


Phase One is Underway

Now, Dam Site 21’s revitalization has begun with a crucial endeavor: the dredging of its 50-acre lake. This process, spearheaded by Mercer County Park Commission in collaboration with Princeton Hydro, aims to rejuvenate the water body by removing accumulated debris, sediment, and invasive vegetation—a vital step towards restoring its ecological balance. Beyond the aesthetic and ecological improvements, dredging enhances accessibility for recreational activities that provide an opportunity to create a deeper connection between the park’s visitors and its beautiful natural landscape.

Based on the bathymetric assessment, which the Princeton Hydro team completed as part of the Master Plan, the dredging efforts are focused on three primary areas: Area 1 is located in the main body of the lake just downstream of Line Road and will generate approximately 34,000 cubic yards of dredged material; Area 2, which has approximately 4,900 cubic yards of accumulated sediment is located in the northeast cove, just north of Area 1; and Area 3, the northwestern cove, entails the removal of approximately 7,300 cubic yards of accumulated sediment.

This video, taken on February 27, provides an aerial view of the project site and the dredging in progress: [embed]https://youtu.be/F7t39mD1Rq8?si=6pnAarnT2RomS0s6[/embed]

Before the dredging work could begin, the Princeton Hydro team was responsible for providing a sediment sampling plan, sample collection and laboratory analysis, engineering design plan, preparation and submission of all NJDEP regulatory permitting materials, preparation of the technical specifications, and bid administration. Currently, our team is providing construction administration and oversight for the project.

[gallery columns="2" link="none" size="medium" ids="14730,14726"] [caption id="attachment_14729" align="aligncenter" width="1227"] March 19 2024 - The dredging work begins[/caption]

From Planning to Implementation and Beyond

The journey towards Dam Site 21's revival has been marked by meticulous planning, design, and community engagement spanning several years. With the commencement of dredging operations, the project's vision is gradually materializing—a testament to the dedication of all stakeholders involved. As the first phase unfolds, anticipation mounts for the realization of a vibrant, inclusive public space that honors both nature and community.

[caption id="attachment_14713" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Drone image of the Miry Run Dam Site 21 Project (Feb 27 2024)[/caption] [gallery link="none" size="medium" ids="14735,14734,14736"]

As Dam Site 21 undergoes its metamorphosis, it symbolizes not just a physical restoration, but a renewal of collective vision and commitment. Ultimately, Dam Site 21 isn't just a park—it's a testament to the enduring legacy of conservation, community, and the transformative power of restoration.

The significance of Dam Site 21's transformation extends far beyond its recreational appeal. It embodies a commitment to environmental stewardship, with measures aimed at bolstering flood resilience, improving water quality, and nurturing diverse wildlife habitats. By blending conservation with recreation, the project strikes an important balance between creating access for community members to enjoy the space and ecological preservation that puts native plants,  critical habitat, and wildlife at the forefront.


To learn more about the restoration initiative and view the Final Master Plan, visit the Mercer County Park Commission’s website. Click here to learn about another one of Princeton Hydro’s recent restoration efforts. And, stay tuned here for more Mercer County Park Commission project updates!

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The Brooklyn Bridge, a symbol of architectural excellence, spans the East River, connecting the vibrant boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Beyond its iconic presence, the construction of this masterpiece has a surprising connection to our firm. The roots of the Princeton Hydro headquarters building stretch back to the late 1800s; the first occupants of the building played a pivotal role in manufacturing and supplying the sturdy steel cables that formed the bridge's suspension system, an integral part of its enduring strength. Exploring the building's rich past, we discover a remarkable link to a legendary figure, bridging our current aspirations with the legacy of a woman who left an enduring mark on history.

[caption id="attachment_13546" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Panorama of Brooklyn Bridge, with the Manhattan Bridge behind it, and the Williamsburg Bridge father back.[/caption]

The Roebling Complex

The John A. Roebling's Sons Company was a wire rope manufacturing facility in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania founded in 1841. In 1848, the company relocated to Trenton, NJ along the Delaware & Raritan Canal and built a 25-acre complex of industrial buildings and facilities for wire rope manufacturing. This included the Carpenter's Shop (Building 110), the building that is now home to the Princeton Hydro's headquarters office, which manufactured specialty wooden products for the operation. The company quickly established itself as a notable employer in the city.

[gallery link="none" columns="2" ids="7920,14703"]

The company gained international recognition for its expertise in wire, wire rope manufacturing, and bridge building. Additionally, their products were extensively utilized in various industries, commercial sectors, and consumer goods. Over 112 years, four generations of the Roebling family successfully managed the business, a remarkable and uncommon accomplishment in the corporate world.

John A. Roebling, the company's founder, was renowned for inventing the wire rope, which revolutionized the way we build bridges. The wire rope (or steel cable) was innovative as it replaced the bulkier and weaker hemp fiber rope that was used to haul canal boats. He also developed a technique for spinning cables in place rather than constructing pre-fabricated cables that required maintenance before actually being used. This enabled him to become the world's foremost builder of suspension bridges in the 19th century, and his bridges spanned major rivers despite skeptics who believed such feats were impossible.


Building the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge construction started with an accident when the chief designer, John A. Roebling, had his foot injured by a ferry. He died of tetanus, and his son, Washington A. Roebling, who worked with his father on the Roebling Suspension Bridge over the Ohio River at Cincinnati and on the design of the Brooklyn Bridge, took over the project. Three years into construction of the longest suspension bridge in the world (at that time), Washington was incapacitated by "caisson disease." His wife, Emily Warren Roebling, took over and guided the completion of the bridge, which was one of the 19th century's most impressive architectural achievements. In honor of Women's History Month, we are spotlighting Emily Warren Roebling, whose groundbreaking contributions serve as an inspiring testament to the capabilities and achievements of women in history.

While Washington is widely credited for completing the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883, it's essential to equally acknowledge Emily's significant contributions. Her remarkable leadership, engineering acumen, and tireless dedication were pivotal in navigating the complexities of the Brooklyn Bridge's construction, ensuring its successful completion and solidifying her legacy as an engineering pioneer.

In his book "The Great Bridge," historian David McCullough describes Emily's multifaceted role as both a nurse and private secretary to her husband, taking over his correspondence and record-keeping. Additionally, she actively engaged in the bridge's construction, reviewing plans, visiting the site, and interacting with contractors and bridge officials. McCullough aptly summarized her contributions, stating that she served as "his eyes, his legs, his good right arm."

However, Emily's dedicated support also led to false rumors that her husband, Washington, had lost his mental faculties. Despite these challenges, Emily successfully fought to prevent Washington's removal as chief engineer nearing the bridge's completion. Washington, in turn, acknowledged his wife's invaluable contributions to the project. He later expressed his gratitude, acknowledging her as a "strong tower" and a wise counselor who supported him during difficult times.


Beyond the Brooklyn Bridge

Emily Warren Roebling's advocacy extended beyond her work on the Brooklyn Bridge with her husband.  A pioneering figure of the early 20th century, Emily championed women's equality in education, ownership rights, legal matters, and philanthropic endeavors. She actively participated in women's clubs, contributed to the World's Columbian Exposition, and was nominated for the presidency of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Her written papers addressed crucial topics such as philanthropy, settlement houses, and the importance of legal education for women. Her legacy continues to inspire, as a new generation of professional women, including lawyers and engineers, joined the suffrage movement after her demise in 1903. It is speculated that had she lived longer, she would have been a prominent leader in the women's suffrage movement. While her direct contributions remain unknown, the sight of female engineers proudly asserting their rights during rallies in academic attire would likely have brought a smile to her face. Emily's advocacy serves as a testament to the enduring power of equality, as subsequent generations of professional women carried her vision forward.


In our dynamic business landscape, we find inspiration in the tale of an extraordinary woman whose vision and tenacity shaped history. Her legacy reminds us that genuine success goes beyond material gains. It lies in the positive influence we leave on the world. Let us all strive to leave a lasting mark that echoes the timeless principles of integrity, resilience, and inclusivity.

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In recognition of World Water Day on March 22, it's important to acknowledge and explore the challenges affecting our freshwater ecosystems. In this blog post, we explore one of those said challenges: Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).

HABs, characterized by rapid overgrowths of cyanobacteria, have increasingly drawn attention due to their detrimental effects on water quality and aquatic ecosystems. With the onset of spring, rising temperatures create favorable conditions for cyanobacteria growth, setting the stage for potential bloom occurrences in the months ahead. Over recent summers, lakes and freshwater bodies across the nation have faced closures and health advisories due to HAB outbreaks, underscoring the urgent need to address this issue.

Cyanobacteria, often referred to as blue-green algae, are naturally occurring microorganisms in aquatic environments. However, under specific conditions—such as warm temperatures and nutrient-rich waters—these organisms can proliferate rapidly, forming blooms that pose risks to the health of humans, wildlife and aquatic species, local economies and overall ecological balance.

[gallery link="none" ids="11577,11570,11565"]

The interplay between climate change and HABs is undeniable: Rising temperatures and altered precipitation patterns create favorable conditions for cyanobacteria growth, exacerbating bloom occurrences. The absence of snow cover and early ice melt further accelerates this process, allowing cyanobacteria to flourish earlier in the year. Over the past few summers, lakes and fresh-waterbodies across the nation experienced closures and health advisories as a result of HAB outbreaks, emphasizing the urgency of addressing this issue.

In light of these challenges, proactive measures are crucial for mitigating the impacts of HABs. Early sampling efforts, initiated as early as March or April, enable the detection of cyanobacteria and akinetes, dormant spores that contribute to bloom formation. Additionally, reducing nutrient inputs, particularly phosphorus, into waterways is essential for preventing HABs.

As we reflect on the significance of water resources on World Water Day, it’s imperative to recognize the importance of addressing threats such as HABs. By raising awareness, fostering collaboration, and implementing effective strategies, we can work towards safeguarding the health and sustainability of our freshwater ecosystems.

In this spirit, we invite you to join the conversation at the Harmful Algal Bloom Summit 2024, hosted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. This virtual seminar, taking place on March 27, is free to attend and offers a platform for stakeholders to exchange insights, discuss best practices, and explore innovative solutions for managing HABs.

This year's Summit, which is titled “Unlocking the Puzzle of Harmful Algal Blooms," includes a keynote address and three educational sessions - "Growth Through Reflection: Lessons Learned," "Innovative Tools and Applications," and "Beyond the Numbers" - each featuring a variety of expert presentations. Princeton Hydro Senior Technical Director of Ecological Services Dr. Fred Lubnow is presenting on "Quantifying Overwintering Cyanobacteria and How They May Impact the Monitoring and Management of HABs."

Get more information and register here.


As we commemorate World Water Day 2024, let us reflect on the interconnectedness of water and life. Small actions taken today can have a profound impact on preserving water quality for future generations. Join us in making a commitment to promote and do our part to support a sustainable future for our freshwater ecosystems.

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May 28: Pikes Peak Chapter of Trout Unlimited Membership Meeting

Pikes Peak Chapter of Trout Unlimited (PPCTU) strives to conserve, protect, and restore cold-water fisheries resources and their watersheds throughout the state of Colorado. On May 28, PPCTU will host its May Membership Meeting at the Colorado Parks & Wildlife - Wild Classroom. Princeton Hydro Senior Project Manager in Aquatics Chris Mikolajczyk, CLM is the Special Guest Speaker for the event. His presentation will highlight aquatic resource restoration and management, aquatic ecosystem investigations, and watershed modeling and overall management. Chris is a PPCTU board member and a board member of the Colorado Lake and Reservoir Management Association.

Get more info.


June 2-6: Society for Freshwater Science 2024 Annual Meeting

Join us for the Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) 2024 Annual Meeting, taking place in Philadelphia, PA, at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown. This gathering marks the first SFS Annual Meeting since the pandemic, offering both in-person and virtual access options. The theme, "Connecting to Enhance Freshwater Science," underscores the importance of collaboration in addressing pressing environmental challenges specifically in the Delaware River Watershed. Participants will enjoy a variety of plenary sessions, including one about the ways in which climate change is impacting the monitoring and management of cyanobacteria (harmful algal blooms) in lakes, which will be led by Princeton Hydro's Senior Technical Director, Ecological Services Dr. Fred Lubnow. Participants can also engage in pre-conference field trips, evening social events, and a diverse educational program as well as connect with experts from a wide array backgrounds and disciplines to gain a deeper understanding of freshwater ecosystems.

Get more info and register.

June 5 & 6: Dam Removal - Design, Planning, and Implementation Rutgers OCEP Online Course

With the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act allocating $800 million for dam removal, there's an increasing demand for professionals equipped to handle these complex projects. This comprehensive Rutgers OCPE online course will enhance your knowledge of dam safety compliance and ecosystem restoration, addressing both U.S. and global perspectives. Featured topics include dam demolition techniques, hydraulic and sediment transport modeling, fish passage, project development, and stakeholder engagement. Participants will learn from the best in the field, including experts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, The Nature Conservancy, and Princeton Hydro - leading the course will be Geoffrey Goll, P.E. who brings over 30 years of experience and expertise in dam removal, having overseen more than 100 dam projects. The course is approved for 0.7 Rutgers CEUs (7 contact hours) as well as credits from a variety of professional organizations. Don't miss this opportunity to advance your expertise and stay at the forefront of dam removal and ecological restoration.

Get more info and register.

June 13: Pinelands Science Forum

We are a proud sponsor of the 2024 Pinelands Science Forum, titled "Forest and Climate Change." Hosted by the Pinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA), the one-day forum will explore the intricate relationship between forests and climate change, focusing on carbon absorption and forestry practices. Participants will hear presentations on the current and future impacts of climate change, strategies for mitigation and adaptation, and how the unique characteristics of the Pinelands region shape conservation strategies. Attendees will gather together in the PPA's historic diary barn, which was built in 1932 and recently renovated, to enjoy a light breakfast and lunch. The day also includes a brief tour of PPA's 72-acre Rancocas Creek Farm, where carbon sequestration techniques and chemical-free practices are implemented.

Get more info and register.

June 14: NYSFOLA Lower Hudson Regional Conference 2024

The New York State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA) invites you to join them for its Lower Hudson Regional Conference held on the shores of scenic China Pond in Putnam County. This year’s conference features lunch, networking opportunities, and educational presentations. Participants are invited to come share their ideas and experiences, speak with lake management experts, and connect with local community members. Get more info and register.


June 24-26: National Stream Restoration Conference

The Resource Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing America’s natural resources by restoring streams, rivers and wetlands, is hosting its National Stream Restoration Conference. The 3-day event, themed “Stream Restoration: Shaping Tomorrow's Legacy Today,” will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. More than 700 stream restoration professionals are expected to attend the conference, which includes an exhibitor hall and a wide variety of education sessions. Click here to read the full agenda.

Get more info and register.

Stay tuned to our blog for more events!

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