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The Metedeconk River flows through over 40 miles of New Jersey's woodlands, freshwater wetlands, forested wetlands, tidal wetlands, and densely developed areas before emptying into the Barnegat Bay. The river and its watershed provide drinking water from ground and surface water sources to about 100,000 homes in Ocean and Monmouth Counties.

A tributary to the North Branch of the Metedeconk River that flows directly through Ocean County Park in Lakewood, NJ. This tributary was deemed to have water quality impairments, including fecal coliform due to the Canada Goose population and high temperature due to the exposed stream channels, which lack a significant tree-canopy. The increasing amounts of impervious land cover associated with the continued urbanization of the Metedeconk River’s Watershed was also a primary cause of water quality impairments.

American Littoral Society (ALS) partnered with Princeton Hydro and local stakeholders to implement green infrastructure projects with the goal of remedying the fecal coliform and water temperature impairments in the Park's tributary as well as improving the overall health and water quality of the Metedeconk River, its surrounding watershed, and, ultimately, the greater Barnegat Bay.

 

Green Infrastructure Design & Implementation Project

The project team designed and implemented a stormwater treatment train, which combined multiple green infrastructure stormwater management best management practices (BMPs) that work in unison to decrease NPS pollutant loading to the Metedeconk River and increase ecological diversity in Ocean County Park.

The project, which was funded by a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection 2014 319(h) Implementation Grant, included four primary BMPs in Ocean County Park: 1. Installation of two Filterra curb-side tree boxes; 2. Construction of a vegetated bioretention/biofiltration swale; 3. Creation of a section of living shoreline along the banks of Duck Pond; and 4. Installation of two floating wetland islands in Duck Pond.

 
 

Filterra curb-side tree boxes

 

Built at street level, the Filterra™ tree box is a pre-manufactured, in-ground concrete box filled with soil media and planted with a native, noninvasive tree or shrub. It is designed to collect stormwater, absorb nutrients, and treat water before it discharges into surrounding waterbodies.

For this project, two Filterra™ tree box units were installed in the parking lot to the north of Ocean County Park's swimming beach and each planted with serviceberry shrubs. The boxes serve to catch and treat stormwater runoff flowing from the parking lot.


Vegetated Bioswale

 

Unlike a traditional drainage basin that simply collects water, a vegetated bioswale uses native plants to reduce the volume of stormwater runoff, decrease total phosphorus loading, and prevent debris, sediment, and pollutants from flowing into the Metedeconk River and other surrounding waterbodies.

For this project, the team designed and implemented a .07-acre bioswale adjacent to the park's main parking lot. Installation of the vegetated bioswale began by removing existing vegetation, excavating the ground north of the parking lot, and then regrading it per the specifications on the plans. Once proper grading was established, the basin was planted with native species including Joe Pye Weed, Blue Mistflower, Jacob Cline Bee Balm, Orange Coneflower, and Wrinkleleaf Goldenrod.


Living Shoreline Along Duck Pond

[caption id="attachment_11850" align="aligncenter" width="767"] Photo by American Littoral Society[/caption]  

Living shorelines use a variety of native plants to filter runoff, create and improve habitat for aquatic animals, increase water quality, and protect the shoreline from erosion. Two sections of bulkhead along the North and South edges of Ocean County Park's Duck Pond were removed so that the bank could be sloped naturally into the pond and populated with vegetation. The design serves as an additional point of stormwater collection and filtration, significantly reducing the amount of water flowing into nearby paved parking areas.

The northern portion of the living shoreline encompasses 0.06 acres and spans 100 feet along the shore. The southern portion  encompasses 0.18 acres and spans 40 feet along the shore. The living shorelines were seeded and then planted with Green Bulrush, Helen’s Flower, Switchgrass, Blue Mistflower, New England Aster, Upright Sedge, and Little BlueStem.


Floating Wetland Islands in Duck Pond

A floating wetland island is made up of a plastic matrix that is planted with water-loving native vegetation. The matrix promotes the growth of a healthy microbial community. The biofilm that develops on the plants' roots and within the island matrix, contribute toward the uptake of nutrients within the waterbody thus improving water quality. Floating wetland islands are anticipated to remove an estimated 17.33 lbs of phosphorus and 566.67 lbs of nitrogen each year, as well as promote a balanced ecosystem through the promotion of “healthy” bacteria and plankton.

Two 250-square-foot floating wetland islands made of polyethylene terephthalate layers were populated with native wetland plants and installed in Duck Pond. The plant pockets were then filled with a biomix of soil and peat, and a variety of native plant species were planted on both islands, including: Swamp Milkweed, Upright Sedge, Common Boneset, Crimson Eyed Rosemallow, and Blue Flag Iris.


Volunteer Involvement & Community Education

Given the magnitude of the project and the high-profile nature of Barnegat Bay, community education and outreach was an essential element of the project and its long-term success. Throughout the course of the project, efforts were made to increase public understanding of the project and to encourage public input in the design of the green infrastructure BMPs and the living shoreline.

The education and outreach was a collaborative effort led by ALS, with support provided by the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation, Georgian Court University, Brick Municipal utilities Authority, NJDEP, and Princeton Hydro.

The team conducted public presentations and meetings, installed educational signs to accompany the water quality improvement techniques that were implemented, created a website dedicated to providing project details and updates, and invited local residents to participate in shoreline restoration and floating wetland island planting efforts.


Successful Outcome

Following the project, in-situ and discrete water quality monitoring was conducted in stream in order to assess the effectiveness of the above BMPs. The combined green infrastructure and living shoreline elements of this project set the stage for a much needed effort to reduce nonpoint source pollution loading and address waterfowl-related pathogen impacts to Ocean County Park’s lakes and the Metedeconk River. It also heightened public awareness of nonpoint source pollution and the benefits of green infrastructure measures in the abatement of water quality problems.

The project serves as a model for proper stormwater management and living shoreline creation throughout both the Metedeconk River and Barnegat Bay Watersheds.


To learn more about Princeton Hydro’s robust natural resource management and restoration services, click here. Click here to read about another stormwater management green infrastructure project recently completed in Thompson Park, the largest developed park in the New Jersey's Middlesex County park system.  

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The Lake Champlain Basin encompasses 8,000 square miles of mountains, forests, farmlands, and communities with 11 major tributaries that drain into Lake Champlain, ranging from 20 miles to 102 miles in stream length. The Vermont and New York portions of the Lake Champlain basin are home to about 500,000 people, with another 100,000 people in the Canadian portions of the watershed. At least 35% of the population relies on Lake Champlain for drinking water.

The Threat of Aquatic Invasive Species

The Lake Champlain basin is threatened by a large number of non-native aquatic invasive plant and animal species and pathogens. The Champlain Canal, a 60-mile canal in New York that connects the Hudson River to the south end of Lake Champlain has been identified by natural resources scientists and managers as a major pathway by which non-native and invasive species can invade Lake Champlain.

Aquatic invasive species that are present in the surrounding Great Lakes, Erie Canal, and Hudson River (e.g. hydrilla, round goby, Asian clam, quagga mussel, Asian carp, and snakehead) are a threat to Lake Champlain.

Once these harmful aquatic invasive species enter the lake and become established, they compete with and displace native species, severely impacting water quality, the lake ecosystem and the local economy. Infestations of these non-native invasive organisms cost citizens and governments in New York, Vermont, and Quebec millions of dollars each year to control and manage.

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) infestations reduce the recreational and economic health of communities in the Basin by choking waterways, blocking water intake pipes, outcompeting native species, lowering property values, encrusting historic shipwrecks, and ruining beaches. Additionally, they are known to decrease biodiversity and change the structure and function of ecosystems by displacing native species, transporting pathogens, and threatening fisheries, public health, and local or even regional economies.

Studying Viable Alternatives to Prevent the Transfer of Invasive Species

A study of the Champlain Canal was completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), and New York State Canal Corporation (NYSCC),  the non-Federal sponsor, New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), HDR Inc, and Princeton Hydro. The main purpose of the "Champlain Canal Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Barrier Phase 1 Study" was to compare the costs, benefits, and effectiveness of different management alternatives that could best prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species between the Hudson and Champlain drainages via the Champlain Canal.

The primary focus of this study was located at the summit canal between locks C-8 and C-9, as this location is the natural point of separation for the watersheds. This is where (the summit) the Glens Falls Feeder Canal supplies Hudson River water to the height of the Champlain Canal to maintain water levels for navigability that flows south back to the Hudson, but also north and into the Champlain drainage.

The scope of the study included analyzing alternatives for a dispersal barrier on the Champlain Canal and evaluating options to prevent the spread of AIS, including fish, plants, plankton, invertebrates, and pathogens. The study examined potential physical and mechanical modifications to separate the two basins to prevent movement of aquatic nonnative and invasive species between the Hudson River and Lake Champlain. Physically and mechanically modifying the canal was evaluated to be the most effective at reducing the inter-basin transfer of invasives that might swim, float, or be entrained through the system, and it was found to be the most effective protection against all taxa of aquatic nonnative and invasive species.

Princeton Hydro’s main role was the initial administration of the project and development of a species inventory. This species inventory of the Champlain Canal included native and non-native aquatic species and potential aquatic invasive species that are threatening to become invasive to the Canal. Dispersal methods of the species were also evaluated to inform an Alternative Analysis. The overall study includes a Cost Benefit Analysis and Final Recommendations report of the Alternatives.

Plan Formulation and Evaluation of the Prevention Alternatives

The project team utilized a standard, three-step approach for developing alternatives: 1) gather general information about measures that may contribute to a solution to the problem, 2) narrow the list of measures through application of project-specific constraints, and 3) develop alternatives by combining measures that reduce or eliminate the cross-basin transfer of invasive species.

The alternative to construct a physical barrier across the canal was identified as the most effective approach to limiting the transfer of non-native AIS, and would address all taxa – plants, animals, plankton, viruses and pathogens. This alternative would include the installation and management of a large boat lift, a boat access ramp, a boat cleaning station, and repairs to the existing lock seals.

  [caption id="attachment_11496" align="aligncenter" width="801"] Truss Bridge over Glen Falls Feeder Canal at Lock 8 Way[/caption]  

At the Glens Falls Feeder Canal cleaning station and boat lift area, small and large boats would be cleaned prior to being placed back in the water on the other side, and the wash water would be captured and stored to be sent to a treatment plant. This alternative provides the most effective protection from AIS crossing between the Hudson River and Lake Champlain Watersheds, but it does remove the possibility of large commercial barges traveling the full length of the canal. A larger loading/offloading and cleaning facility would be required for commercial shipping vessels to be granted continued access along the canal.

The Champlain Canal Barrier Study (Phase I) Final Report and Appendices can be viewed in full on the New York District webpage.

Moving Forward Towards a Healthier Ecosystem

In a press release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announcing the completion of the Phase I Study, Colonel Matthew Luzzatto, Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District was quoted as saying, “This is an important milestone in moving forward towards a more healthy ecosystem for the Lake Champlain and Hudson River Watersheds. These two watersheds are vital to the lives and wellbeing of millions of residents of New York and Vermont. This study will have a positive impact on the overall economic and ecological health of the Lake Champlain Region, this is a win-win-win for all interested parties."

Following the completion of the Phase I portion of the study, the Phase II portion of the study will consist of detailed analyses of alternatives including engineering studies such as hydrologic evaluation for stream capacities / canal makeup water, geotechnical investigations at the location of the proposed concrete berm, topographic / utility survey as well as boundary / easement survey, vessel traffic studies through the canal, detailed cost estimates, and NEPA compliance. Once Phase II is complete and funding is appropriated, the Canal Barrier Project will be closer to construction.

[gallery link="none" columns="2" ids="10447,11497"]  

Stay tuned for updates!

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Client Spotlight series, which provides an inside look at our collaboration and accomplishments with a specific client.

For this Client Spotlight, we spoke with Tim Fenchel, Deputy Director of Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area (SRG). The mission of SRG is to connect residents, visitors, and communities to the Schuylkill River and the Schuylkill River Trail by serving as a catalyst for civic engagement and economic development in order to foster stewardship of the watershed and its heritage. The boundaries of the Heritage Area cover the Schuylkill River watershed in Schuylkill, Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.

Let's dive in!

1. Tell us a little about SRG and what makes it unique?

[embed]https://youtu.be/vhdJlEUKyOg[/embed]

2. What does SRG value?

We value our heritage and the deeply-rooted culture of this region. We also look ahead to how we can continue to engage our communities with that heritage and create future generations of stewards for the Schuylkill River and Schuylkill River Trail.

We value vibrant and revitalized communities, and it’s rewarding to see how SRG has contributed to sustainable revitalization of river-town communities, including Phoenixville, Manayunk, and Pottstown. We really value helping to maintain a strong connection between the river and its surrounding neighborhoods. By enabling and encouraging communities to enjoy the river and trail, we create lifelong stewards of these important resources.

Another core value is making outdoor recreation accessible for everyone. The trail is a public recreational resource that anyone can enjoy, and we really try to promote it as a means for health and wellness, all kinds of recreation experiences, family-friendly outings, arts and culture, and much more.

Collaboration is also very valuable to SRG. Every single project and program that we do, we do it in partnership with at least one other organization if not multiple other organizations. The Schuylkill River Water Quality project, which we’ll talk more about today, is a great example of that.


3. What is your primary role within SRG?

As Deputy Director, I get to be involved in just about everything that we do here. I assist with the day-to-day operations of the organization; I pitch in with trail issues when they arise; I’m involved, in some way shape or form, with our various community events throughout the year; and I also have several projects and programs that I personally oversee. The Schuylkill River Water Quality project is one, which we'll discuss in more detail shortly.

Another unique project I oversee is the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund. Essentially, SRG receives funding from both private and public entities, and we then regrant those funds to local government agencies, nonprofits, and community organizations to implement on-the-ground projects for the improvement of water quality throughout the Schuylkill River Watershed. The grants focus on three major sources of pollution: stormwater run-off, agricultural pollution, and abandoned mine drainage.

There is a lot of variety in my role here, which I really enjoy.


4. What excites you about going to work every day?

[embed]https://youtu.be/LAcyIU4HvYQ[/embed]

5. Can you talk a little bit about the partnership between SRG and Princeton Hydro, and the Schuylkill River Water Quality project?

An important aspect of our mission is to connect communities to the Schuylkill River through recreational and educational activities. To fully achieve the Schuylkill River’s potential, we must help the public understand the current health status and what they can do to continue to improve its quality for this generation and generations to come. In 2019, we received a grant from the William Penn Foundation to fund the Schuylkill River Water Quality project, which aimed to document the current ecological status and health of the river, and engage and educate a diverse set of river users and residents.

Through an RFP process, we selected Princeton Hydro as one of the main project advisors. From the start, we hit it off with Michael Hartshorne, Director of Aquatics, and Dana Patterson, Director of Marketing & Communications. The strength of what they brought as a team and their scientific water quality and engagement expertise impressed us from the start and it really carried on throughout the entirety of the project. We had a truly tremendous team of partners, including Berks Nature, Bartram’s Garden, The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, and Stroud Water Research Center.

The project, which focused on the main stem of the river from Reading to Southwest Philadelphia, included four key components:

  1. User Opinion and Perceptions Survey
  2. Community Science Visual Assessment Trash Survey
  3. Water Quality Monitoring
  4. Educational Outreach

The yearlong data collection and community science initiative culminated with the launch of  an interactive ArcGIS StoryMap webpage that reveals the local perceptions of the Schuylkill River and aims to connect residents with and encourage engagement with this special resource.

[embed]https://youtu.be/5QHMQwGvU38[/embed] Click here to explore the interactive ArcGIS StoryMap:

6. Do you have a favorite or most memorable moment from the project?

[embed]https://youtu.be/l6PzseNpdNI[/embed]

7. The Schuylkill River StoryMap is part of a larger project to foster positive perceptions of the Schuylkill River. Can you talk a little more about your goals moving forward and how you plan to use the StoryMap?

[embed]https://youtu.be/eCKyofuKCcE[/embed]

8. What are some of SRG’s initiatives and upcoming activities that you’d like to share?

We have so many wonderful events throughout the year that provide an opportunity for community members to learn about and engage with the Schuylkill River and the Trail.

We just held the Ride for the River outing, which is a one-day bike ride and fundraising event. The ride began at the Pottstown River Front Park and followed about 20-miles of the Schuylkill River Trail to Reading. It’s always a ton of fun.

Every June we have our Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn, which consists of a 7-day, 112-mile guided canoe/kayak trip on the Schuylkill River that begins in rural Schuylkill Haven and ends in Philadelphia. The event combines kayaking/canoeing, camping, education, and games into one exciting adventure.

In November, we're hosting our 18th annual “Scenes of the Schuylkill” Art Show. Throughout the year, we host several free educational programs, do guided tours at locations within the Heritage Area, and so much more.

Click here to learn more about SRG’s Programs and Events.

 

A big thanks to Tim and SRG for taking part in our Client Spotlight Series!

Schuylkill River Greenways relies on help from volunteers, who provide valued assistance with trail maintenance, special events, environmental education, water quality monitoring and more. To learn more about how to get involved, visit SRG's volunteer portal for a full rundown of opportunities.

  Click below to read the previous edition of our Client Spotlight Series featuring Seatuck Environmental Association Conservation Policy Advocate Emily Hall: [visual-link-preview encoded="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"] [post_title] => Client Spotlight: Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => client-spotlight-schuylkill-river-greenways [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-10-31 17:16:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-10-31 17:16:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=11552 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11554 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-10-29 16:06:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-10-29 16:06:00 [post_content] =>

Ecological restoration work is underway in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which is celebrated as America's First Urban Refuge. Friends of Heinz Refuge hired Princeton Hydro and teammates Enviroscapes and Merestone Consultants to provide engineering design, environmental compliance, engineering oversight, and construction implementation to enhance and restore aquatic, wetland, and riparian habitats and adjacent uplands within the Turkey Foot area of the Refuge.

About the Refuge

The Turkey Foot project area is an approximately 7.5-acre site within the greater 1,200-acre John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, which is located within the City of Philadelphia and neighboring Tinicum Township in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties, about one-half mile north of Philadelphia International Airport.

The Refuge protects approximately 200 acres of the last remaining freshwater tidal marsh in Pennsylvania and represents an important migratory stopover along the Atlantic Flyway, a major north-south flyway for migratory birds in North America. It also provides protected breeding habitat for State-listed threatened and endangered species, as well as many neotropical migrants, such as the American Bittern, Least Bittern, Black-crowned Night-heron, King Rail, Great Egret, Yellow-crowned Night-heron, and Sedge Wren.

[caption id="attachment_11775" align="aligncenter" width="732"] Photo of a Least Bittern taken in the Refuge by Princeton Hydro Vice President Mark Gallagher[/caption]  

The Refuge was established for the purposes of preserving, restoring, and developing the natural area known as Tinicum Marsh, as well as to provide an environmental education center for its visitors. The Refuge contains a variety of ecosystems unique in Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia metropolitan area, including tidal and non-tidal freshwater marshes, freshwater tidal creeks, open impoundment waters, coastal plain forests, and early successional grasslands. Although many of the Refuge’s ecosystems have been degraded, damaged, or, in some cases, destroyed as a result of numerous historic impacts dating back to the mid-17th century, many of these impacted ecosystems have the potential to be restored or enhanced through various management and restoration efforts.

 

Turkey Foot Ecological Restoration Project

The Turkey Foot project area is an example of one of the historically impacted ecosystems at the Refuge with tremendous opportunity for ecological restoration. The Friends of Heinz Refuge and the project team are working to restore and enhance the aquatic habitats, wetlands, riparian buffers, and adjacent uplands within the project area.

The approach for the restoration project focuses on creating approximately four acres of contiguous wetland habitat bordered by a functional riparian buffer. The design includes the creation of three habitat zones: intertidal marsh, high marsh, and upland grassland.

[caption id="attachment_11774" align="aligncenter" width="1072"] Illustration of the Turkey Foot Conceptual Design identifying the three proposed habitat areas and the project area.
Conceptual Design created by Princeton Hydro.[/caption]  

Incorporating the three elements into the landscape will help to establish foraging, breeding, and nesting habitat for critical wildlife species, including Eastern Black Rail, a threatened species listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

The project work also includes a robust invasive species management plan, aimed at removing close to 100% of the invasive species, supported by an adaptive management monitoring program that will guide the development of the restored site towards the ultimate goal of establishing a diverse and productive coastal ecosystem within the Turkey Foot project area.

The upland slopes of the high marsh were seeded earlier this year, which will help to establish a grassland dominated by native warm season grasses. Native shrubs and flowering plants were also installed, including little bluestem, switchgrass, Virginia wild rye, asters, goldenrods, and bergamot. And, coastal panic grass was seeded, which is another Pennsylvania-listed endangered species, and, once grown-in, will provide suitable stopover foraging and cover for migratory land birds and pollinators.

The team also completed site grading to increase tidal flushing within the Turkey Foot’s two ponds, create intertidal and high marsh wetlands, prevent stagnant water and nutrient accumulation in bottom sediments, and reduce the reestablishment of invasive species. The bottom of the existing ponds were raised to elevations that support the establishment of intertidal marsh. The pond banks were then regraded to create the appropriate elevations for freshwater intertidal marsh and high marsh. Additionally, the tidally influenced connection points between the two ponds and the linear channel were enlarged.

Refuge Manager Lamar Gore recently visited the Turkey Foot project site and interviewed Deputy Refuge Manager, Mariana Bergerson, and Princeton Hydro Director of Restoration and Resilience, Christiana Pollack, about the progress made thus far and what's to come. Watch now:

 

Upcoming Restoration Activities

In Spring of 2023, the team will install a wide variety of native wetland plant species plugs and continue its work to restore the riparian buffer habitats within the Turkey Foot project area. The high marsh will be planted with a mix of native coastal plain wetland species, including fine-stemmed emergent plants, primarily rushes and grasses, with high stem densities and dense canopy cover, using species such as chairmaker's bulrush, river bulrush, blue flag, and rice cutgrass. The installation of river bulrush, a Pennsylvania-listed rare species, will provide beneficial wildlife habitat and serve to expand the range of this species in Pennsylvania. Additionally, restoring the high marsh will create the foundation for establishing Black Rail habitat and giving the threatened species protection from predators and opportunities to glean insects and other invertebrates from the ground and water.

The restoration and enhancement of riparian buffer habitats will reduce sedimentation and lower pond temperatures, improving water quality for native fish and invertebrates. Riparian buffers also filter nutrients in runoff and deter eutrophication of the ponds, and provide high quality food sources for native and migratory species, unlike the invasive species which provide low nutrient value foods.

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Please stay tuned to our blog for more project updates once the plantings have been completed in the Spring, as well as before and after photos once the plants are established. To read more about Princeton Hydro's robust natural resource management and restoration services, click here.

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For episode three of Stroud Water Research Center's 2022 Science Seminar Series, Michael Hartshorne, Director of Aquatics at Princeton Hydro (and former Stroud Center intern), gave a presentation about the ecological status of the Schuylkill River and shared the story of a yearlong community science project that included a volunteer survey and scientific water quality assessment. Stroud Center's Science Seminar lecture series, which provides an opportunity for the public to learn more about the issues that matter to them, has been running for over a decade. It also gives the public access to some of the world’s leading freshwater scientists and educators and the chance to learn how watershed science and education are tackling water-related challenges.

As described in Michael's presentation, the project, which included four phases, was implemented through a partnership between the Schuylkill River Greenways, Berks Nature, Bartram’s Garden, The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Stroud Center, and Princeton Hydro.

First, to understand local perceptions of the river, investigators conducted a community survey of more than 300 residents from Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. Despite a majority of respondents reporting that they care about the river, many also reported concerns about trash and litter and whether the river is clean and safe enough for activities like swimming and fishing. This insight was used to drive the priorities for the in-depth water quality monitoring assessment and inspired the launch of a new Community Science trash monitoring program.

In June, the group launched an interactive ArcGIS StoryMap webpage that reveals the local perceptions of the Schuylkill River and aims to connect residents and communities with the Schuylkill River and encourage engagement with this special resource.

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The Lion’s Gate Park and Urban Wetland Floodplain Creation Project has been chosen as a winner of the New Jersey Future “Smart Growth Awards” for 2022. The project transformed a densely developed, flood-prone, industrial site into a thriving public active recreation park with 4.2 acres of wetlands.

As stated in the New Jersey Future award announcement, “The park is representative of smart growth values, with walkable trails in the middle of a residential area, a regenerated protected wetland which helps to mitigate flooding from storms like Hurricane Ida, and mixed-use opportunities for recreation. The dual roles of Lion Gate Park as both a source of resilience and recreation demonstrate a model of land use and planning that values the accessibility of public spaces while acknowledging and addressing the urgent need to adapt to the growing impacts of climate change in New Jersey.”

The restoration project site is located in Bloomfield Township and includes 1,360 feet along the east bank of the Third River and 3,040 feet along the banks of the Spring Brook. These waterways are freshwater tributaries of the Passaic River and share a history of flooding above the site’s 100-year floodplain. The Third River, like many urban streams, tends to be the victim of excessive volume and is subjected to erosion and chronic, uncontrolled flooding.

By removing a little over four acres of upland historic fill in this density developed area and restoring the natural floodplain connection, we significantly improved the land’s ecological value; enhanced the aquatic and wildlife habitat; increased flood storage capacity for urban stormwater runoff; replaced invasive plant species with thriving native wetland and riparian plant communities; and provided outdoor recreation accessibility to Bloomfield Township.

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The Lion Gate Park project is the culmination of nearly two decades of collaborative work. The primary project team includes the Township of Bloomfield, NY/NJ Baykeeper, Bloomfield Third River Association, CME Associates, PPD Design, GK+A Architects, Enviroscapes, Strauss and Associates/Planners, and Princeton Hydro. The project recieved $1.76 million in funding from the New Jersey Freshwater Wetlands Mitigation Council and another several million dollars from NJDEP’s Office of Natural Resource Restoration.

Princeton Hydro served as the ecological engineer to Bloomfield Township. Our scientists and engineers assisted in obtaining grants, collected background ecological data through field sampling and surveying, created a water budget, completed all necessary permitting, designed both the conceptual and final restoration plans, and conducted construction oversight throughout the project. Enviroscapes and Princeton Hydro are currently monitoring the site on behalf of the Township.

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“Local residents are already benefiting from this floodplain creation project. During Tropical Storm Ida, the area held significant flood waters,” said Mark Gallagher, Vice President of Princeton Hydro. “This restoration project really exemplifies how a diverse group of public and private entities can work together to prioritize urban and underserved areas to mitigate flooding and create new open space. We’re honored to be recognized by NJ Future and selected as a winner of this important award.”

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Since 2002, New Jersey Future has honored smart planning and redevelopment in New Jersey through its "Smart Growth Awards." The projects and plans chosen each year represent some of the best examples of sustainable growth and redevelopment in the state. For a complete list of 2022 Award Winners, click here. For more info on New Jersey Future, click here.

To learn more about the Bloomfield restoration project and see drone images of it all coming together, click below: [visual-link-preview encoded="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"] [post_title] => Bloomfield's Lion’s Gate Park Restoration Wins 2022 Smart Growth Award [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => lion-gate-park-wins-smart-growth-award [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-11-07 16:41:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-11-07 16:41:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=11506 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11220 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-08-30 10:25:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-08-30 10:25:05 [post_content] =>

The Highlands Region of Northern New Jersey is an 800,000-acre area covering approximately 1,200 square miles and made up of 88 municipalities in seven counties. The Region is an essential source of drinking water for over 5.4 million New Jersey residents.

The New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council (Highlands Council) is a regional planning agency that works in partnership with municipalities and counties in the Highlands Region to help those communities take a proactive and regional approach to watershed protection.

Historically, private lake associations and municipalities have worked autonomously to address water quality issues and develop improvement plans. Working together, however, and taking a regional approach to lake and watershed management has much farther-reaching benefits. Taking an integrated approach helps improve water quality and reduce incidents of aquatic invasive species and harmful algal blooms (HABs) not just in one waterbody, but throughout an entire region of lakes and streams.

The Highlands Council was created as part of the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act (the Highlands Act), which was signed into law in 2004. It has funded numerous water-quality-related planning grants throughout the region.

Today, we’re excited to announce that the Township of Byram in Sussex County, New Jersey, is the latest municipality to receive Highlands Council grant approval for a Lake and Watershed Management Program for ten of the Township's waterbodies. The Township chose to engage the services of Princeton Hydro to support the project work. Princeton Hydro also assisted the Township in pursuing the Highlands Council grant opportunity and securing the grant funding.

“Byram Township, the Township of Lakes, is excited to have received the grant funding from the Highlands Council providing the opportunity to develop a Lake and Watershed Management Plan with the goal of improving water quality within the Township’s watersheds," said Joseph Sabatini, Township Manager. "Having an adopted plan will open the door to opportunities to grant funding to implement the recommend improvements.”

 

The Township of Byram

Located 55 miles from New York City, the Township of Byram has a population of about 8,000. It is locally known as “The Township of Lakes” because the community has two dozen or more lakes and ponds within its borders, an area of about 22.7 square miles.

The Township chose to engage the services of Princeton Hydro to assist in designing a scope of work for a municipal-wide holistic watershed management plan that identifies and prioritizes watershed management techniques and measures that are best suited for immediate and long-term implementation.

Given the large number of waterbodies in the area, and in an effort to keep the first phase of the Highlands Council funded Lake and Watershed Management Program to a reasonable scope, a selection process occurred with input from the Township offices, the Township Environmental Commission, Princeton Hydro and ultimately, the Highlands Council.

Specifically, the grant guidelines are “to establish tiers of lake management appropriate to management strategies that help protect lake water quality and community value from the impacts of present and future development,” and lake management programs are instructed to focus efforts on lakes that are greater than ten acres in size.

The ten waterbodies included in the Township of Byram's Lake and Watershed Management Program are: Cranberry Lake, Lake Lackawanna, Johnson Lake, Forest Lake, Panther Lake, Wolf Lake, Wright Pond, Jefferson Lake, Stag Pond, and Kofferls Pond.

For the first phase of the Lake and Watershed Management Program, Princeton Hydro will conduct a number of analyses, including watershed modeling; hydrologic and pollutant loading analysis; watershed-based and in-lake water quality assessments; and tropic state assessments.

The assessment aims to:
  • Identify, quantify and prioritize the watershed-based factors which may cause eutrophication,
  • Identify the watershed management measures needed to address general causes of water quality impairments,
  • Identify the relative cost of the recommended general watershed management measures,
  • Identify and quantify the lake-based factors which may cause eutrophication, and
  • Prioritize and schedule the implementation of recommended watershed management measures.

Once all the lab data is processed, the watershed modeling is complete, and historical data reviewed, Princeton Hydro will create a General Assessment Report that will summarize the data/observations and identify which watershed management techniques and measures are best suited for immediate or long-term implementation.

"We're thrilled to be partnered with Bryam on this important initiative to bring together under one holistic management plan in one form or another ten private and public lakes throughout the township," said Princeton Hydro’s Senior Manager, Christopher Mikolajczyk, a Certified Lake Manager and lead designer for this initiative. "Byram is the fourth Highlands based Township I have worked with to take this regional approach, which will continue to make a significant impact in managing stormwater, improving water quality, and mitigating HABs throughout the Highlands region of New Jersey."

 

Regional Approach to Lake Management 

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This regional approach to lake management has been implemented by Princeton Hydro in other New Jersey Highland communities. In 2019, the Borough of Ringwood became the first municipality in the state of New Jersey to take a regional approach to private lake management through a public-private partnership with four lake associations within six lakes.

Ringwood ultimately became a model for similar Highlands Council grants within the region, including West Milford Township, for which the Highlands Council approved funding in 2020 to support a watershed assessment of 22 private and public lakes. Rockaway Township in Morris County also received Highlands Council grant approval in 2021 to complete a Lake Management Planning Study for 11 lakes. Princeton Hydro authored the scopes of work for these projects.

To learn more about Princeton Hydro’s natural resource management services, click here. And, click here to learn more about Highlands Council and available grant funding.

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The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) launched a Youth Inclusion Initiative to help the State of New Jersey develop the next generation of environmental protection, conservation and stewardship leaders while also providing an avenue for young adults from open space-constrained communities to engage with nature as they provide valuable stewardship services to the public through jobs at NJDEP. 

This year, the youth inclusion program is partnering with Groundwork Elizabeth, Rutgers University Camden, and Newark’s Ironbound Community Corporation to create a workforce development curriculum for people ages 17 to 24. Groundwork Elizabeth sent 12 participants to this year’s program, and Rutgers Camden and the Ironbound Community Corporation each sent 10.

[caption id="attachment_11299" align="aligncenter" width="771"] Photo by NJDEP[/caption]

The curriculum provides career education in the environmental protection field and helps the young participants develop the skills necessary to pursue those career paths in New Jersey. Participants learn through classroom instruction and by working across sectors regulated by the NJDEP, including water resources, air quality, energy and sustainability, public lands management, and wildlife. 

Susan Lockwood of NJDEP’s Division of Land Resource Protection’s Mitigation Unit reached out to Princeton Hydro to showcase ecosystem restoration and mitigation efforts across the state as well as discuss the variety of career roles that make these projects possible. Our portion of the curriculum entailed each group of students visiting two sites to learn about the benefits of restoring a landscape with native vegetation. Our discussion explored different fields of work related to urban environmental restoration and water resource protection and the job responsibilities of environmental scientists, water resource engineers, geologists, ecologists, pesticide applicators, and regulatory compliance specialists. 

The Abbott Marshlands in Trenton, New Jersey

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After a quick stop at NJDEP’s office in Trenton to learn about NJ invasive species, all three groups popped over to the Tulpehaking Nature Center in Mercer County’s John A. Roebling Park to see the restoration site in the Abbott Marshlands. The 3,000-acre Abbott Marshlands is the northernmost freshwater tidal marsh on the Delaware River and contains valuable habitat for many rare species like River Otter, American Eel, Bald Eagle, and various species of wading birds. Unfortunately, the area has experienced a significant amount of loss and degradation, partially due to the introduction of the invasive Common Reed (Phragmites australis). For Mercer County Park Commission, Princeton Hydro implemented a restoration plan to remove Common Reed and expose the native seed bank in 40-acres of the marsh to increase biodiversity, improve recreational opportunities, and enhance visitor experience. Students learned how to tell the difference between the invasive Common Reed vs. native Wild Rice (Zizania palustris L.). They utilized tools of the trade like field guides and binoculars to identify flora and fauna in the marsh. Learn more about this project.


Mullica River Wetland Mitigation Site in Evesham, New Jersey

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After visiting the Roebling site, students from Camden traveled down to Evesham Township in Burlington County to visit the Mullica River Wetland Mitigation Site. For this project, Princeton Hydro worked with GreenVest, LLC to restore a highly degraded 34-acre parcel of land which was previously used for cranberry cultivation. Through the implementation of restoration activities focused on removing the site’s agricultural infrastructure, Princeton Hydro and GreenVest were able to restore a natural wetland system on the site and over 1,600 linear feet of stream, providing forested, scrub-shrub, and emergent wetlands, forested uplands, headwater stream and riparian buffer, and critical wildlife habitat. The project also significantly uplifted threatened and endangered species habitats including Timber Rattlesnake.

Susan Lockwood of NJDEP, Owen McEnroe of GreenVest, and Dana Patterson of Princeton Hydro, lead the group of 10 students. They learned the difference between restoration and mitigation and got to experience the remoteness of Pinelands habitat. Walking through the site, we shared how the dam and dike removal helped to restore the river back to its natural free-flowing state and the numerous resulting environmental benefits.The site was chosen for the Camden students in order to demonstrate that successful mitigation and restoration projects happen throughout the State and not far from urban centers like Camden. Learn more about this project.


3. Third River Floodplain Wetland Enhancement Project in Bloomfield, New Jersey

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After visiting the Roebling site, students from Newark and Elizabeth trekked up to Essex County to visit an urban wetland creation project now known as Lion Gate Park. The once densely developed, abandoned Scientific Glass Factory in Bloomfield Township was transformed into a thriving public park with 4.2 acres of wetlands. Students heard the story of how this project came to be; decades of advocacy and litigation by community members and environmental nonprofits to stop redevelopment of the site into 148 townhomes. Bloomfield Township eventually secured the property to preserve as open space through a range of grants from NJDEP. Serving as the ecological engineer to Bloomfield Township, Princeton Hydro designed, permitted, and oversaw construction for the restoration project and is currently monitoring the site. The restoration work brought back to the land valuable ecological functions and natural floodplain connection, enhanced aquatic and wildlife habitat, and increased flood storage capacity for urban stormwater runoff. Learn more about this project.


 

The NJDEP Youth Inclusion Initiative began on July 5 with a week of orientation classes, and continued through August with classroom and in-field learning. The initiative culminates on August 26 with a graduation and NJDEP Career Day, during which students will have the opportunity to meet with and discuss career options with various organizations tabling at the event, including Princeton Hydro.

Click here to learn more about the NJDEP education program. If you’re interested in learning more about Princeton Hydro’s ecological restoration services, click here.

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A green roof is a roof fully or partially covered in plants and waterproof media that helps reduce the volume and velocity of stormwater runoff from roofs by temporarily storing stormwater, slowing excess stormwater release, and promoting evaporation.

Green roofs offer many benefits. They can help regulate a building’s internal temperature, which leads to heating and cooling energy savings; reduce stormwater runoff; mitigate the urban heat island effect; and increase biodiversity. 

From the planted rooftop of a building in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, we spoke with Philadelphia Green Roofs Principal and Owner Jeanne Weber, BSLA, GRP about the basics and benefits of green roofs for stormwater management. Click below to watch:

[embed]https://youtu.be/aD-c7rFTci8[/embed]

To learn more about green infrastructure and stormwater management, check out our blog:

[post_title] => Green Roofs for Stormwater Management: Learning the Basics & Benefits from Philadelphia Green Roofs [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => green-roofs-for-stormwater-management-learning-the-basics-benefits-from-philadelphia-green-roofs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-07-13 13:03:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-07-13 13:03:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=11118 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11034 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-07-01 06:24:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-07-01 06:24:42 [post_content] => July is Lakes Appreciation Month! This national initiative was started in 1998 by the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) as a way to draw attention to the value and importance of lakes and reservoirs, and encourage people to take action in appreciating and protecting our precious water resources. We’ve put together four tips to help you celebrate:

1. Love Your Lake.

Whether you enjoy birding, photography, boating, paddle boarding or simply taking a leisurely stroll in nature, one of the best ways to celebrate your local lake is getting outside to enjoy your favorite lake-related outdoor activities. Check your local lake association calendar for upcoming community events. Invite a friend or family member out for a day of environmentally-friendly fishing. If you're in Pennsylvania, consider joining PALMS at Blue Marsh Lake for a community full moon paddle-out. If you photograph your adventures, share them on social media using the hashtag: #LakesAppreciation, and hopefully you’ll inspire others to show their lake appreciation too.


2. Join the Secchi Dip-In.

The “Secchi Dip-In” is an annual citizen science event where lake-goers and associations across North America use a simple Secchi disk to monitor the transparency or turbidity of their local waterway. Created and managed by NALMS, volunteers have been submitting information during the annual Dip-In since 1994. NALMS invites you to join this international effort to track changes in water quality! Get all the Dip-In details here. And, for detailed instructions for how to use a Secchi disk, check out this NALMS student video.


3. Enter the NALMS Short Clips Video Contest.

NALMS is hosting a Lakes Appreciation Short Clips Video Contest. Create a 140-second video that best illustrates your love for lakes and inspires others to appreciate lakes too! Submit your clip to the NALMS Twitter feed (@NALMStweets) using the hashtag: #LakesAppreciation. A Twitter poll of the general public will be used to determine the winner. First place gets a $50 Visa gift card. The submission deadline is July 31, polling will run through the month of August, and the winner will be announced August 31, 2022. Click here for more details. And, to see the winning entries from a previous Lakes Appreciation photo contest, go here.


4. Learn About Lakes.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsJBSNZ26no[/embed]

You can support your favorite lake by educating yourself about how to monitor the condition of the lake, identify harmful algal blooms (HABs) and invasive species, and engage in activities that protect water quality and improve fish and wildlife habitat. Consider becoming a member of or volunteering for your lake or watershed association. Learn how to track and report HABs. And, take part in educational opportunities to learn about lake management, like our recent live Q&A session with Princeton Hydro's resident lake experts Dr. Fred Lubnow and Chris L. Mikolajczyk, CLM.


To learn about NALMS and get more ideas on how to celebrate your local lakes, click here.

If you’re interested in learning more about Princeton Hydro’s broad range of award-winning lake management services, click here. And, if you're interested in reading about our work to reduce HABs and increase biodiversity in Lake Latonka, click here.

[post_title] => July is Lakes Appreciation Month: Four Tips to Help You Celebrate [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => lakes-appreciation-month-2022 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-07-12 15:57:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-07-12 15:57:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=11034 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10995 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-06-16 18:54:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-06-16 18:54:33 [post_content] => Time to pack up your gear and head out to your favorite fishing spot. This Saturday, July 18 is National Go Fishing Day! We’ve put together six tips to help you enjoy your angling adventures with minimal environmental impact:

1. Plan Ahead & Review Your Local Regulations.

Before you go, always do your research, educate yourself on fishing laws and regulations, and make sure your fishing license and boat registration is current. Check your local area for information on season dates, size requirements, possession limits, permit requirements, area closures, and other guidelines. These laws protect fish and other aquatic species to ensure that the joys of fishing can be shared by everyone well into the future. The New York State Department of Conservation publishes a very informative Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide every year. Click here to review the 2022 guide.

Check out this interactive map from TakeMeFishing.org to find great fishing and boating spots in your area, including fish species you can expect to find, logged catches and fishing forecasts.


2. Wash Your Gear and Watercraft.

Reduce the spread of invasive species by thoroughly washing your gear and watercraft before and after your trip. Invasives come in many forms – plants, fungi, and animals – and even those of microscopic size can cause major damage. To learn more about invasive species, read our blog:


3. Choose the Right Bait.

Use artificial lures or bait that is native to the area you’re fishing in. Live bait that is non-native can easily introduce invasive species to water sources and cause serious damage to the surrounding environment. Always do your part to keep  our precious waterbodies clean and fisheries healthy! Opt for biodegradable fishing lures, properly dispose of your lures, make sure your lure is secure, and check your bait often. Click here for more info on eco-friendly bait and fishing gear.

[caption id="attachment_11004" align="aligncenter" width="473"] Illustration by: NYSDEC[/caption]

4. Engage in Best Practices.

Before you head out for a day of fishing, familiarize yourself with catch and release best practices. Always keep the health of the fish at the forefront of your activities by using the right gear and employing proper techniques.

NOAA Fisheries says, "Catch and release is a great conservation strategy, but simply letting a fish go does not guarantee it will live. The actions you take before, during, and after you land a fish can improve its chances of survival, keep fish stocks healthy, and keep fishermen fishing." Visit their website for more info and helpful tips.

And, check out this "Best Practices for Catch and Release" video from Keep Fish Wet, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the use of science-based best practices to catch, handle, and release fish: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEFnrSfKXX0[/embed]

5. Stick to the Designated Path.

Stay on designated paths to avoid disrupting sensitive and protected areas, like wetlands, shorelines, stream banks, and meadows. Disturbing and damaging these sensitive areas can jeopardize the health of the many important species living there. We recently worked with the Watershed Institute to present a workshop about stream bank restoration in communities and backyards; click below to watch.

[embed]https://youtu.be/xLLkVUp5hJM[/embed]

6. Leave No Trace.

Always, pack out your trash! Bring a bag with you to easily carry out your trash and any litter you may find. Never leave behind fishing line, fish entrails, or bait. Before a fishing trip or any outdoor adventure, familiarize yourself with the seven principles of Leave No Trace and spread the good word to others!

...

As biologists, ecologists, environmentalists, and outdoor enthusiasts, all of us at Princeton Hydro fully enjoy getting outside and having fun in nature. We also 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.

By following our six tips, you’re doing your part to protect the outdoor spaces and wild places we all love to recreate in! As the old adage goes, “respect nature and it will provide you with abundance!”

Princeton Hydro has designed, permitted, and overseen solutions to reconnect migratory fish to their spawning grounds, including the installation of technical and nature-like fishways and the removal of dozens of small and large dams throughout the Northeast. To learn more, check out our blog:

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The Metedeconk River flows through over 40 miles of New Jersey's woodlands, freshwater wetlands, forested wetlands, tidal wetlands, and densely developed areas before emptying into the Barnegat Bay. The river and its watershed provide drinking water from ground and surface water sources to about 100,000 homes in Ocean and Monmouth Counties.

A tributary to the North Branch of the Metedeconk River that flows directly through Ocean County Park in Lakewood, NJ. This tributary was deemed to have water quality impairments, including fecal coliform due to the Canada Goose population and high temperature due to the exposed stream channels, which lack a significant tree-canopy. The increasing amounts of impervious land cover associated with the continued urbanization of the Metedeconk River’s Watershed was also a primary cause of water quality impairments.

American Littoral Society (ALS) partnered with Princeton Hydro and local stakeholders to implement green infrastructure projects with the goal of remedying the fecal coliform and water temperature impairments in the Park's tributary as well as improving the overall health and water quality of the Metedeconk River, its surrounding watershed, and, ultimately, the greater Barnegat Bay.

 

Green Infrastructure Design & Implementation Project

The project team designed and implemented a stormwater treatment train, which combined multiple green infrastructure stormwater management best management practices (BMPs) that work in unison to decrease NPS pollutant loading to the Metedeconk River and increase ecological diversity in Ocean County Park.

The project, which was funded by a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection 2014 319(h) Implementation Grant, included four primary BMPs in Ocean County Park: 1. Installation of two Filterra curb-side tree boxes; 2. Construction of a vegetated bioretention/biofiltration swale; 3. Creation of a section of living shoreline along the banks of Duck Pond; and 4. Installation of two floating wetland islands in Duck Pond.

 
 

Filterra curb-side tree boxes

 

Built at street level, the Filterra™ tree box is a pre-manufactured, in-ground concrete box filled with soil media and planted with a native, noninvasive tree or shrub. It is designed to collect stormwater, absorb nutrients, and treat water before it discharges into surrounding waterbodies.

For this project, two Filterra™ tree box units were installed in the parking lot to the north of Ocean County Park's swimming beach and each planted with serviceberry shrubs. The boxes serve to catch and treat stormwater runoff flowing from the parking lot.


Vegetated Bioswale

 

Unlike a traditional drainage basin that simply collects water, a vegetated bioswale uses native plants to reduce the volume of stormwater runoff, decrease total phosphorus loading, and prevent debris, sediment, and pollutants from flowing into the Metedeconk River and other surrounding waterbodies.

For this project, the team designed and implemented a .07-acre bioswale adjacent to the park's main parking lot. Installation of the vegetated bioswale began by removing existing vegetation, excavating the ground north of the parking lot, and then regrading it per the specifications on the plans. Once proper grading was established, the basin was planted with native species including Joe Pye Weed, Blue Mistflower, Jacob Cline Bee Balm, Orange Coneflower, and Wrinkleleaf Goldenrod.


Living Shoreline Along Duck Pond

[caption id="attachment_11850" align="aligncenter" width="767"] Photo by American Littoral Society[/caption]  

Living shorelines use a variety of native plants to filter runoff, create and improve habitat for aquatic animals, increase water quality, and protect the shoreline from erosion. Two sections of bulkhead along the North and South edges of Ocean County Park's Duck Pond were removed so that the bank could be sloped naturally into the pond and populated with vegetation. The design serves as an additional point of stormwater collection and filtration, significantly reducing the amount of water flowing into nearby paved parking areas.

The northern portion of the living shoreline encompasses 0.06 acres and spans 100 feet along the shore. The southern portion  encompasses 0.18 acres and spans 40 feet along the shore. The living shorelines were seeded and then planted with Green Bulrush, Helen’s Flower, Switchgrass, Blue Mistflower, New England Aster, Upright Sedge, and Little BlueStem.


Floating Wetland Islands in Duck Pond

A floating wetland island is made up of a plastic matrix that is planted with water-loving native vegetation. The matrix promotes the growth of a healthy microbial community. The biofilm that develops on the plants' roots and within the island matrix, contribute toward the uptake of nutrients within the waterbody thus improving water quality. Floating wetland islands are anticipated to remove an estimated 17.33 lbs of phosphorus and 566.67 lbs of nitrogen each year, as well as promote a balanced ecosystem through the promotion of “healthy” bacteria and plankton.

Two 250-square-foot floating wetland islands made of polyethylene terephthalate layers were populated with native wetland plants and installed in Duck Pond. The plant pockets were then filled with a biomix of soil and peat, and a variety of native plant species were planted on both islands, including: Swamp Milkweed, Upright Sedge, Common Boneset, Crimson Eyed Rosemallow, and Blue Flag Iris.


Volunteer Involvement & Community Education

Given the magnitude of the project and the high-profile nature of Barnegat Bay, community education and outreach was an essential element of the project and its long-term success. Throughout the course of the project, efforts were made to increase public understanding of the project and to encourage public input in the design of the green infrastructure BMPs and the living shoreline.

The education and outreach was a collaborative effort led by ALS, with support provided by the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation, Georgian Court University, Brick Municipal utilities Authority, NJDEP, and Princeton Hydro.

The team conducted public presentations and meetings, installed educational signs to accompany the water quality improvement techniques that were implemented, created a website dedicated to providing project details and updates, and invited local residents to participate in shoreline restoration and floating wetland island planting efforts.


Successful Outcome

Following the project, in-situ and discrete water quality monitoring was conducted in stream in order to assess the effectiveness of the above BMPs. The combined green infrastructure and living shoreline elements of this project set the stage for a much needed effort to reduce nonpoint source pollution loading and address waterfowl-related pathogen impacts to Ocean County Park’s lakes and the Metedeconk River. It also heightened public awareness of nonpoint source pollution and the benefits of green infrastructure measures in the abatement of water quality problems.

The project serves as a model for proper stormwater management and living shoreline creation throughout both the Metedeconk River and Barnegat Bay Watersheds.


To learn more about Princeton Hydro’s robust natural resource management and restoration services, click here. Click here to read about another stormwater management green infrastructure project recently completed in Thompson Park, the largest developed park in the New Jersey's Middlesex County park system.  

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Posted on November 23, 2022

Designing & Implementing Green Infrastructure in the Metedeconk River Watershed

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