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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:


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

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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.


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.

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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 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][/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.


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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It’s River’s Month in Pennsylvania! To celebrate, the nonprofit Schuylkill River Greenways, in partnership with Berks Nature, Bartram’s Garden, The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Stroud Water Research Center, and Princeton Hydro launched a new interactive ArcGIS StoryMap web page that reveals local perceptions of the Schuylkill River and documents the ecological status of the main stem through a year-long water quality and trash monitoring project: The ultimate goal of this new publicly-available resource is to connect residents and communities with the Schuylkill River and to encourage engagement with this special resource.

“For decades we have heard misgivings from residents throughout the watershed about the water quality of the Schuylkill River, and unfortunately the terrible reputation that the river had from years of polluting continues to linger. But the truth is that today the river is actually quite healthy and clean,” said Tim Fenchel, Deputy Director of Schuylkill River Greenways. “In this project we set out to work with our partners and community members to finally set the record straight with solid data about the health of the river.”

“This project brought together the conservation community and community scientists to understand the water quality and social perceptions of the Schuylkill River,” said Michael Hartshorne, Director of Aquatics at Princeton Hydro. "The results showed that the river, while having challenges as many waterbodies do, is a vibrant corridor that offers many recreational and environmental opportunities for those that live in the region.”

To understand local perceptions of the Schuylkill River’s residents, we first conducted a community opinion survey. Over 300 community members from Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties participated. Overall, we found that a majority of people do care about the river (56%) and bike or walk along it (60%). However, many are not confident whether the river is clean or safe to use for recreational activity, clean enough to swim in, or safe to eat fish from. When asked about the cause of river contamination, an overwhelming majority (85%) cited "Trash and Litter" as the problem. This insight was used to drive the priorities for water quality monitoring and inspired the launch of a new Community Science trash monitoring program.

To determine the ecological status of the river, we collected water quality data for one year. Water temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and conductivity were continuously measured at four locations. Bacteria sampling for Enterococci coli (E. coli) was also conducted at each station over the course of the study.

“Protecting safe recreational access to rivers and streams is one of the most important contributions we as environmental stewards can make to local communities. This project has made great strides in supporting this cause on the Schuylkill River,” said David Bressler, Project Facilitator at Stroud Water Research Center.

To complement the water quality sampling, the team recruited “Community Scientists” to monitor and measure trash along the river by conducting 5-minute visual assessments. It aimed to document critical areas of trash accumulation or dumping points in order to guide management efforts to better deal with this pollution. Over 100 responses were logged by volunteers. Overall, the results were positive; between 73% and 90% of sites on the main stem of the Schuylkill River were rated as optimal. The participants deemed the study reach to be clean and safe for both human and aquatic life, however, there are certainly locations along the Schuylkill River that could be cleaned up.

The data collected tells the tale of a vibrant river corridor with numerous opportunities for kayaking, fishing, bird watching, hiking, and biking. The dry weather data showed water quality conditions to be ideal during the time periods most people would utilize the river. E. coli concentrations were low, and transparency is high as shown by turbidity levels. Still, the river is constrained within an environment that spans the more agriculturally rich upstream reaches down to urbanized Philadelphia. Agricultural erosion, stormwater, and suburban pollutants are a challenge upstream, while stormwater runoff, litter, and sewer overflows are a primary concern during rainfall events in the more urbanized portions of the river. During rainfall, we measured elevated E. coli, turbidity, and trash which causes poor water quality conditions. However, this should not deter those who love and enjoy the river from using it, understanding that the safest conditions are likely following periods of dry weather.

“Our coordinated monitoring effort has been a special opportunity to capture snapshots of the river from top to bottom at specific points in time. The data we collected drives home that the Schuylkill is by many measures a healthy river bouncing back from intense industrial pollution. Different issues affect different locations along its 135 miles, but we are all connected upstream and downstream!,” said Chloe Wang, River Programs Coordinator at Bartram's Garden. “In addition to our learnings about water quality, having water samples analyzed at both a professional lab and using DIY methods at our own sites helped us to understand the accuracy of the low-cost tools we can use in community science and education programs.”

Additionally, the project partners were able to put the collected data to action by submitting it to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, one of the regulatory agencies responsible for implementing the Clean Water Act for the Schuylkill. “There is so much more to learn about the river, but I hope this work helps people make informed decisions about when to get out on the water, and draws attention to opportunities to continue improving river health,” expressed Wang.

[caption id="attachment_10966" align="alignleft" width="242"] Photo courtesy of Schuylkill River Greenways.[/caption]

The water quality and trash assessment sampling protocol and interactive ArcGIS Story Map was designed by Princeton Hydro, with input from all the project partners. Detailed results and data from the perception and options survey, water quality monitoring, and trash assessment monitoring can be found on the StoryMap.

“Land and water are intrinsically connected – you can’t have healthy landscapes without healthy watersheds. Supporting this relationship is core to Berks Nature’s mission and conservation work, and through our 74-year tenure as Berks County’s land trust, we’ve seen the Schuylkill River flow cleaner and cleaner,” said Michael Griffith, Education & Watershed Specialist at Berks Nature. “We were thrilled to participate in this project not only as an opportunity to deepen our understanding of this regionally significant waterway, but also to shift public perceptions of the Schuylkill River as a community asset.”

“As we had hoped, we found that the river is indeed in great shape and we are now trying to spread the good news that all kinds of recreation on the river are safe and encouraged – including kayaking, boating, and fishing,” said Fenchel. “We have an incredible recreational and environmental asset in this river and we want everyone to know about it.”

This project was truly a team effort, with collaboration and engagement from all project partners. It was funded by the William Penn Foundation who has long been a supporter of this and similar projects throughout the Schuylkill and Delaware River Watersheds.

ABOUT SCHUYLKILL RIVER GREENWAYS: The mission of the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area 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.

ABOUT BARTRAM'S GARDEN: Bartram’s Garden is a 45-acre National Historic Landmark, operated by the John Bartram Association in cooperation with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. It is a destination and an outdoor classroom, living laboratory, and membership organization for ever-expanding audiences―over 95,000 each year and counting.

ABOUT STROUD WATER RESEARCH CENTER: Stroud Water Research Center seeks to advance knowledge and stewardship of freshwater systems through global research, education, and watershed restoration. Since 1967, Stroud Water Research Center has been leading the effort to produce innovative solutions for preserving and restoring fresh water. The organization believes in an independent voice — and in adventure, inspiration, perseverance, and integrity.

ABOUT BERKS NATURE: As a nonprofit conservation organization, Berks Nature has been serving the Berks County community since 1974. Land preservation, water protection, trail management, community gardens, education programs, State of the Environment, Eco-Camp and valued partnerships are at the center of Berks Nature’s work every day.

ABOUT SCHUYLKILL CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: Founded in 1965, the Schuylkill Center is one of the first urban environmental education centers in the country, with 340 acres of fields, forests, ponds, and streams in northwest Philadelphia. They work through four core program areas: environmental education, environmental art, land stewardship, and wildlife rehabilitation.

ABOUT PRINCETON HYDRO: Princeton Hydro is committed to improving our ecosystems, quality of life, and communities for the better. The firm was formed in 1998 with the specific mission of providing integrated ecological and engineering consulting services. Offering expertise in natural resource management, water resources engineering, geotechnical design & investigation, and regulatory compliance, their staff provide a full suite of environmental services throughout the Northeast for the public and private sectors.

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In October 2021, the largest stream restoration in Maryland was completed. Over 7 miles (41,000 linear feet) of Tinkers Creek and its tributaries were stabilized and restored.

The project was designed by Princeton Hydro for GV-Petro, a partnership between GreenVest and Petro Design Build Group. Working with Prince George’s County Department of the Environment and coordinating with the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, this full-delivery project was designed to meet the County’s Watershed Implementation Plan total maximum daily load (TMDL) requirements and its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Discharge Permit conditions.

Today, we are thrilled to report that the once highly urbanized watershed is flourishing and teeming with life:

[gallery columns="2" size="medium" link="none" ids="10632,10631"]

We used nature-based design and bioengineering techniques like riparian zone planting and live staking to prevent erosion and restore wildlife habitat.

[gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="10635,10634"]

10,985 native trees and shrubs were planted in the riparian area, and 10,910 trees were planted as live stakes along the streambank.

[gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="10637,10636"]

For more information about the project visit GreenVest's website and check out our blog:

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

Today, we’re shining the spotlight on the Seatuck Environmental Association. Seatuck Environmental Association is a 501c3 nonprofit based in Islip, New York. They work on wildlife conservation and nature education across Long Island. The organization advocates for wildlife and advancing conservation projects, engages community scientists in wildlife research, and offers environmental education opportunities for Long Islanders of all ages.

For this Client Spotlight, we spoke with Seatuck’s Conservation Policy Advocate Emily Hall via zoom:

Q. What is your primary role within Seatuck?


Q. What does Seatuck value?

Particularly in our conservation work, we really try to stay niche. We specifically focus on restoring and protecting Long Island’s wildlife and environment. We advocate for wildlife, advance restoration projects, conduct surveys, educate public officials, host workshops, lead coalitions and pursue a host of other approaches to promote wildlife conservation and habitat restoration.

Q. What makes the Seatuck Environmental Association unique?

Seatuck is really unique because we're one of the only environmental organizations that works island-wide and isn’t part of a national organization. This really gives us the opportunity to stay focused on Long Island’s wildlife and environment, and dive into a lot of different wildlife protection efforts as well as habitat restoration projects. We also offer nature-based education programs all the way from pre-k to professional teacher training.

Q. How long has Seatuck been working with Princeton Hydro?

We’ve been working with Princeton Hydro since 2018. Seatuck was awarded the NYSDEC Division of Marine Resources Grant for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency to design a fish passage at the dam intersecting Mill Pond and Bellmore Creek. We contracted Princeton Hydro to design the fish passage options. Read more about the project here:

Q. What are some key takeaways/highlights from the Bellmore Creek Fish Passage project?


Q. In what ways did you get the community involved in the Bellmore Creek Fish Passage Project?

As an organization, it’s very important for us to collaborate with the community on projects and initiatives, and to understand the perspectives of all the different stakeholders involved. For the Bellmore Creek Fish Passage Project, we brought together environmental organizations, community members and the dam owners. We began by holding in-person meetings and site visits in order to provide education around the site’s history and the project goals, and give everyone a chance to hear each other’s feedback in real-time. Then COVID forced us to go virtual so we hosted a community webinar and developed an online survey. We collected a lot of valuable feedback that we were able to bring back to the dam owners to help them make the best decision possible.

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

Meeting with all the different stakeholders and talking to them about the project is probably one of my most rewarding parts of the project. Educating people on why these diadromous fish are important and helping them understand the different benefits of a fish passage is very important to me and incredibly rewarding.

Q. The Bellmore Creek project is part of a larger initiative called “Seatuck’s Long Island River Revival.” Can you talk more about that?


Q. What connectivity and restoration project is coming up next for Seatuck?

[embed][/embed] To learn more, click below to explore the River Revival Story Map:

Q. How can an individual get involved with Seatuck?


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

Princeton Hydro has been a fantastic partner through the Bellmore Creek Project. We look forward to working with Princeton Hydro in the future and supporting our efforts to look at different fish passage projects, potentially dam removals, and related alternative assessments. For Bellmore Creek, Princeton Hydro provided valuable insights as to the different types of fish passage options and helped to identify the best option for our community. We’ll hopefully continue this partnership and work together to restore the ecological health of more coastal rivers and streams.

Q. What excites you about going to work everyday?


Thanks to Seatuck Environmental Association and Emily Hall for being a great project partner and participating in this Client Spotlight. To learn more about Seatuck, visit their website.

Click here to read a previous edition of our Client Spotlight blog series, which features Medford Lakes Colony in New Jersey:

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River herring are diadromous fish, which means they migrate between fresh and salt water. On Long Island in Nassau, New York, they migrate between Mill Pond Creek and the ocean, using Bellmore Creek as a highway. The river herring live much of their adult life in the ocean and travel to the freshwaters of Mill Pond Creek in order to spawn.

There is a dam located at the point where Bellmore Creek meets Mill Pond. When the water level isn’t high enough, the river herring can be blocked from swimming upstream to reach their spawning habitat. This not only has negative implications for river herring species, it also negatively impacts the entire ecosystem. The herring are a vital food source for countless other fish, birds and animals, and play a critical role in transferring marine derived nutrients into surrounding estuarine, freshwater and upland habitats.

River Herring have been documented at the base of the dam at Mill Pond for the past several migration seasons. Bellmore Creek is one of only two-dozen streams on Long Island where remnant runs of this ecologically valuable, diadromous fish still exist.

In 2018, Seatuck Environmental Association, a nonprofit dedicated to wildlife conservation on Long Island, was awarded the NYSDEC Division of Marine Resources Grant for Tributary Restoration and Resiliency to design a fish passage at the dam intersecting Mill Pond and Bellmore Creek. Seatuck contracted Princeton Hydro to design the fish passage options.

The project goals not only include increasing river herring spawning habitat, but also are focused on improving the ecological condition of Bellmore Creek, maintaining and enhancing recreational values, and improving site resiliency to climate change and sea level rise.

To provide guidance on the project, Seatuck assembled an advisory committee with representation from Nassau County (dam owner), New York State Office of Parks, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Nassau County Soil and Water District, Town of Hempstead, the South Shore Estuary Reserve, Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, South Shore Audubon, and the Bellmore Civic Association.

Princeton Hydro conducted a study to understand the feasibility of enhancing fish passage to Mill Pond. The initial site investigation, in November 2020, included sediment probing and sampling, and a thorough assessment of the existing dam, spillway, water pipes, bridges and upper reaches.  [gallery ids="10580,10579,10581"]   Based on its findings, the Princeton Hydro team developed three design options to restore fish passage:
  1. A nature-like fishway, where a channel made of boulders and concrete is constructed through the dam to mimic a natural, steep stream;
  2. A technical fishway, where a pre-fabricated metal fish ladder is placed within the spillway to allow fish to swim up and into the pond; and
  3. A full or partial dam removal, where the spillway is fully or partially removed and the pond is restored to a free-flowing stream and wetland complex.

On June 8 2021, Seatuck, Nassau County and Princeton Hydro held a virtual meeting to get the public’s input on each of the fish passage designs. Emily Hall, Conservation Policy Advocate for Seatuck, also put together an informative presentation in which she provides a synopsis of Bellmore Creek's history, describes the project goals, and discusses the community engagement process and the results of the public opinion survey. Watch it now:


Additionally, Princeton Hydro completed a site investigation including topographic survey, sediment probing and sampling, and assessment of structures to identify project opportunities and site constraints. Sediment sampling and analysis indicated no major concerns with contamination. By performing analysis of the longitudinal profile, Princeton Hydro determined that the full dam removal (option 3 listed above) was not recommended due to the potential for initiating uncontrolled channel incision below the original river grade into Mill Pond and upstream reaches.

Ultimately, the technical fish ladder (option 2 listed above) was chosen as the most appropriate solution for restoring fish passage to Mill Pond and maintaining existing recreational values. Princeton Hydro is currently developing preliminary engineering design plans for this selected alternative as part of this phase of the project.

The focus on Bellmore Creek is just one of many projects included in Seatuck’s River Revival program, which has sought to clear similarly blocked waterways across Long Island. If you’re interested in learning more about Seatuck’s conservation work and getting involved, click here.

Princeton Hydro has designed, permitted, and overseen solutions for fish passage 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 about our fish passage and dam removal engineering services, click here and check out our blog:

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The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) hosted its 3rd Annual Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Summit! The all-day, virtual seminar included expert presentations and facilitated open-forum discussions related to HAB science, monitoring, response, management, treatment and communication.

Approximately 220 people from around the country participated in the virtual summit, which was free and open to the public. The audience of stakeholders included government officials (local, state, federal); lake and other environmental commissions; watershed associations; environmental nonprofits; businesses; academics; lake management and HAB treatment experts; and folks interested in protecting their community lakes.

Participants heard presentations about “Keeping Your Pets Safe from HABs,” “The Benefit of Riparian Buffers;” and “Stormwater Management and the Use of Green Infrastructure.” Additionally, two members of the NJDEP HAB Expert Team - Dr. Fred Lubnow Director and Dr. Meiyin Wu - gave a presentation on best management practices to prevent, mitigate, and/or control HABs. The 10-person expert team was established as part of Governor Phil Murphy’s plan to enhance scientific expertise around water quality management and bolster the State’s response to HABs.

The Governor’s HABs Initiative was launched in 2019 after lakes throughout NJ (and the entire Continental U.S.) suffered from HAB outbreaks, which caused local and county health agencies to close off all beaches and issue advisories. These unprecedented conditions had significant negative impacts on lake-related ecological, recreational, and economic resources. The Governor’s initiative designated $13 million in funding to local communities for HABs reduction/prevention; established the aforementioned HABs expert team; and coordinated annual HABs summits in order to encourage continued community education and discussion.

If you were unable to attend the 2022 HAB Summit, NJDEP has made the complete morning and afternoon sessions available online:

Watch the Morning Session: 


Watch the Afternoon Session: 


The NJDEP Division of Water Monitoring and Standards has an entire website dedicated to HABs. Click here to access educational fact sheets, stay informed on HAB alerts and advisories, and report a HAB sighting.

For more information about HABs, watch a live interview with Dr. Fred Lubnow on Jersey Matters during which he discusses what steps should be taken to prevent HABs, and check out our recent blog:

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Princeton Hydro is dedicated to protecting our natural resources and changing our ecosystems, quality of life and communities for the better. Our team members are passionate about continuing to learn new technologies, staying ahead of regulatory changes, and expanding their knowledge.

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


We are thrilled to announce that six team members earned their Professional Engineer (PE) license in four states:

  • Andrew Simko in Maryland;
  • Jake Dittes in Connecticut;
  • Ryan Wasik in Delaware, and;
  • Jake Schwartz, Robert Costello, and Stephen Duda in New Jersey.

The PE license is the engineering profession’s highest standard of competence, a significant symbol of achievement and assurance of quality. To become licensed, engineers must complete a four-year college degree, work under a Professional Engineer for at least four years, pass two intensive competency exams, and earn a license from their state's licensure board. Then, to retain their licenses, PEs must continually maintain and improve their skills throughout their careers.

Andrew Simko, who works in our Bowie, Maryland office, has extensive experience in floodplain and stormwater management, and is proficient in hydrologic and hydraulics computer modeling and GIS. Before arriving to Princeton Hydro, Andrew worked as a water resources engineer developing FEMA flood insurance rate maps and helping to design stormwater management projects.

Jake Dittes is passionate about restoring the habitat and natural functions of aquatic systems. As a Water Resources Engineer, Jake works on hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, project design, drafting and construction management on ecological restoration projects. He is based in our New England field office. 

Jake Schwartz is a Staff Engineer with a B.S. in Civil Engineering with experience in stormwater design, site layout, construction inspection, environmental regulation, as well as water chemistry and hydraulic principles. Jake uses his knowledge and experience to design sustainable site plans for a variety of projects.

Water Resource Engineer Robert Costello uses his knowledge and experience to provide the best possible outcomes for our clients in every one of his projects. Robert received his degree from the University of Delaware, with a major in Environmental Engineering and a Minor in Civil Engineering. Robert has experience in subsurface geotechnical investigations, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling of water conveyance systems, stormwater BMP design, as well as the complete design, modeling, and supervision of Green Infrastructure Systems.

Ryan Wasik is a Water Resource Engineer with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a minor in Environmental Engineering from Widener University in in Chester, PA. He has professional experience in roadway design, ADA ramp design, site grading and layout, utility design, erosion and sediment control measures, and stormwater design/inspections.

Staff Engineer Stephen Duda is a civil engineer with expertise in grading and stormwater design, drafting, permitting, soil testing and construction inspection. Prior to Princeton Hydro, he worked for a small land development firm in South Jersey, where he worked on multiple aspects of land development projects, construction management and municipal engineering. He holds an Associate degree in General Engineering and Engineering Technologies/CAD, as well as a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Rowan University.


Jake Dittes also earned the New Jersey Watershed Institute Green Infrastructure (WIGI) certification. WIGI is an adapted version of the Level 1 training to landscape professionals in New Jersey who design, install, and maintain stormwater best management practices (BMPs) and conservation landscapes.

The achievement of the WIGI certification demonstrates an advanced level of professionalism and knowledge of sustainable landscaping practices for healthier watersheds. Certification is voluntary and candidates must pass a comprehensive exam that assesses an individual’s command of sustainable practices in the design, installation, and maintenance of landscapes. WIGI-certified professionals have in-depth knowledge of sustainable landscape best practices and a focus on maintenance of stormwater best management practices.

Jake recently led a webinar for The Watershed Institute about stream bank stabilization and restoration. Check it out here:


Christiana Pollack, GISP, CFM, Senior Project Manager, Ecologist and Certified Floodplain Manager, is now a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP) through the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER).

SER’s CERP program encourages a high professional standard for those who are designing, implementing, overseeing, and monitoring restoration projects. Only senior level practitioners who have achieved the knowledge requirements and have greater than five years of full-time experience with restoration can be certified.

Christiana has 15+ years of expertise in hydrologic modeling and ecological restoration, with a focus on freshwater and tidal habitats, living shorelines using natural and nature-based features, spatial analysis, and environmental mapping. She performs flood mitigation and wetland hydrology modeling in riverine systems, and, as a project manager, she oversees numerous ecological restoration design and geospatial projects, including vulnerability assessments and hazard mitigation planning mapping. Additionally, Christiana manages several wetland restoration projects that provide ecosystem services to mitigate flood risks, improve water quality, and strengthen storm resiliency.

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

If you’re interested in learning more the Princeton Hydro team, click here. [post_title] => Employee Spotlight: Seven Team Members Earn New Professional Certifications [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => employee-spotlight-2022 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-03-09 14:19:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-03-09 14:19:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10283 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-03-07 06:12:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-03-07 06:12:46 [post_content] =>

Lake Latonka is a 260-acre man-made freshwater lake in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. The lake serves as the centerpiece of the Lake Latonka community, and is used for fishing, boating, swimming, and a variety of recreation activities.

The watershed of Lake Latonka encompasses 8,000+ acres of rural land, which is comprised predominantly by agricultural type land uses (57%) and forest (27%) with low-density residential (12%) occurring along the immediate lake shores. The area is bordered by Ohio to the West and located midway between the cities of Erie and Pittsburgh.

[caption id="attachment_10338" align="aligncenter" width="841"] Photo by Lynne Annis[/caption]  

The Lake, which was formed in 1965, has been studied and managed in some form since its formation with a record of consistent management and study since the mid-1990s. This work has included water quality monitoring, academic study of the sediment transport to the lake, herbicide and algaecide applications, and the development of generalized guidance for lake management. Additionally, some advanced management and restoration activities were implemented, including the installation of a community sewer system and maintenance dredging of the lake's inlet area.

Despite these ongoing efforts, the lake has suffered from water quality impairments primarily due to excessive phosphorus from surrounding agricultural land that flows into the waterbody via stormwater runoff. These nutrients fuel algal growth and contribute to the increased deposition of sediment and nutrients at the lake bottom.

Over time, the increase in biological oxygen demand has led to anoxia (i.e. no oxygen) in the lake’s deep waters, which causes phosphorus to be ‘pumped’ from the sediments during the summer months. This process is termed ‘internal loading’ and leads to an acceleration of lake productivity that has fueled harmful algal blooms (HABs).

Recognizing the importance of the lake within the community, the Water Quality Committee (WQC) of Lake Latonka commissioned Princeton Hydro to perform an in-depth diagnostic/feasibility study and, based on the study's findings, develop a comprehensive Lake Management Plan.

The diagnostic/feasibility study, in accordance with USEPA protocol, also analyzed background data; collected site specific water quality and fishery data; and computed the nutrient and hydrologic load. The study also included trophic calculations, the development of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based) goals, and the establishment of site-specific management recommendations.

In order to meet Lake Latonka’s water quality goals most expediently, Princeton Hydro recommended five primary management measures:

  1. Phosphorus Loading Mitigation
  2. Biomanipulation
  3. Management of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation
  4. Waterfowl Management
  5. Regular Water Quality Monitoring and Testing.

Phosphorus Loading Mitigation

Although phosphorus is a nutrient utilized for plant growth, excessive phosphorus in waterbodies has problematic effects in that it speeds up weed production, reduces water quality, and can lead to HABs. One of the most sustainable means of controlling nuisance weed and algae proliferation is to control phosphorus inputs or reduce the availability of phosphorus for biological uptake and assimilation.

For Lake Latonka, Princeton Hydro recommended an alum treatment as a primary method for reducing internal phosphorus loading. Alum (aluminum sulfate) is a commonly used nutrient inactivation product that controls the internal recycling of phosphorus from the sediments of the lake bottom. On contact with water, the alum binds with the phosphorus so it can no longer be used as food by algae. On the bottom of the lake, the alum creates a barrier that prevents the phosphorus from releasing into the lake’s sediments under anoxia.

In addition, recommendations were made to address phosphorous loading from the larger agricultural watershed. These recommendations lead to the formation a Watershed Sub-Committee, which has been monitoring water quality and identifying nutrient-loading "hot spots." As these areas are discovered, the community will work with local stakeholders to recommend watershed best management practices (BMPs) to reduce phosphorus and sediment loading at the source.


The diagnostic/feasibility study revealed a major change in Lake Latonka from a previous fishery study conducted in 2016: the establishment of gizzard shad. The gizzard shad, not found in any previous surveys, represented 29% of the total catch in the 2020 survey. These fish can, if present in significant densities, outcompete beneficial fish and aquatic species and alter the zooplankton population, which can lead to water quality impairment, HABs, and cyanobacteria.

Biomanipulation in lake management refers to the deliberate alteration of the lake’s ecosystem by adding or removing species. One of the main recommendations for Lake Latonka is to control the gizzard shad population by stocking the lake with hybrid striped bass (Morone saxatilis x Morone chrysops), which is a cross between striped bass and white bass that are not able to reproduce. The plan includes measures to bolster the walleye, largemouth bass, black crappie, and panfish populations to offer a robust recreational fishery. This "top down" approach to nutrient management serves as a complementary effort to the aforementioned phosphorus loading mitigation activities.

Management of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation

[caption id="attachment_10336" align="alignright" width="273"] Photo by Lynne Annis[/caption]

As phosphorus is reduced and water quality conditions improve, algae will diminish in abundance and water clarity will improve, and the shallow areas of the lake will become excellent habitat for increased growth of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV).

SAV is a critical component of a healthy lake and important habitat for juvenile fish and invertebrates. Additionally, SAV serves to precipitate suspended solids and assimilates nutrients that may otherwise be taken up by algae for growth. Still, elevated levels of SAV may prove to hinder recreational use of the lake.

The Plan for Lake Latonka recommends regular SAV surveys in order to monitor densities, document species composition, and ensure proper management. As SAV increases, pragmatic, measured management will be recommended to maintain an optimal balance of plant growth while allowing for recreational lake access.

Waterfowl Management

Resident populations of Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) contribute acute sources of nitrogen, phosphorus, and bacteria to lakes via waste products.

Using loading coefficients derived from scientific literature, in combination with Canada geese population surveys, the team determined the approximate phosphorus load being contributed by the resident goose population each year is 88.6 lbs per year.

The Plan recommends a variety of deterrent/harassment actions as permitted through Federal and State agencies in order to minimize the resident population of these waterfowl.

Regular Water Quality Monitoring and Testing

The Management Plan also provided recommendations for routine water quality monitoring related to nutrient concentrations, algal types and densities, and safety for lake users. Lake monitoring helps track changes in water quality over time and is utilized to objectively assess the impacts of prescribed management measures. In this manner, monitoring can help to address potential issues before they become large problems.

Specifically, Princeton Hydro recommended growing season monitoring, which entails monitoring for five months each year, in order to build a lake water quality database for nutrients, in-situ measures, and plankton. Additionally, the team recommends robust contact testing at the beach and open water for E. coli sampling, fecal coliform, and cyanotoxins.

[caption id="attachment_10339" align="aligncenter" width="793"] Photo by Jim Janzig[/caption]   Simply put, there is more to lake management than weed and algae treatments alone. A customized plan acts as a “blueprint” that guides proactive, long-term lake management and care while remaining flexible enough to adapt to new challenges that may arise. Our scientists, engineers, and Certified Lake Managers can assess the status of a waterbody and provide a holistic management plan that is based on the waterbody's unique physical, hydrologic, chemical, and biological attributes. A management plan identifies water quality issues, determines the causes of those issues, and provides the guidance needed to correct the issues. The results are far more environmentally sustainable than simple (and often unnecessary) reactive weed and algae treatments. During the Pennsylvania Lake Management Society Annual Conference held on March 2 & 3, Senior Aquatic Ecologist Michael Hartshorne gave a presentation about the the creation and implementation of the Lake Latonka Management Plan: If you're interested in reading more on the topic of lake management, click here: [visual-link-preview encoded="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"] [post_title] => Reducing HABs & Increasing Biodiversity in Lake Latonka [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => lake-latonka-management-plan [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-03-09 14:08:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-03-09 14:08:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10290 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-02-17 19:39:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-02-17 19:39:19 [post_content] =>

The Aquetong Creek Restoration Project is situated within the former basin of Aquetong Lake, which was a 15- acre impoundment formed in 1870 by the construction of an earthen dam on Aquetong Creek. The cold-water limestone spring, which flows at a rate of about 2,000 gallons per minute at approximately 53ºf, is known to be the largest of its kind in the 5-county Philadelphia region, and one of the largest in the state of Pennsylvania.

In 2015, the Township of Solebury commenced the restoration of Aquetong Spring Park, first with a dam breach followed by a large stream restoration, reforestation, and invasive species removal. In September 2021, the park was officially reopened to the public following a ribbon cutting ceremony. The event featured a blessing from the Lenni-Lenape Turtle Clan, the original inhabitants of the land.



Prior to European settlement, the Lenni-Lenape Tribe inhabited a village close to the spring and designated the spring “Aquetong”, meaning “at the spring among the bushes." After an outbreak of smallpox, however, the tribe abandoned the village. William Penn acquired Aquetong Spring in the early 1680’s as part of his peaceful treaty with Lenni-Lenape. The park land transferred hands many times before it was owned by Aquetong Township.

The dependability of the water flow made the Aquetong Creek an ideal location for mills. As of the early 1800’s, Aquetong Spring is known to have supplied enough water to turn two grist mills regularly throughout the year, and to have concurrently powered numerous mills including a paper mill, a fulling mill, two merchant mills, four sawmills, and an oil mill.

Around 1870, the 15-acre Aquetong Lake was created by constructing a dam at the east end of the property. This provided additional power for the local mills and a recreation area for the public. A fish hatchery was constructed at the base of the spring outfall, portions of which can still be viewed today. Shad, brook trout, and terrapin turtles were raised in the hatchery, which was available for public viewing at a cost of 25 cents per person.

Then, in 1993, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission acquired the property. A few years later, with the support of Bucks County Trout Unlimited, Solebury Township began negotiating to obtain ownership of the site. Around 1996, the State performed emergency repairs on the dam; a six-foot section of the outlet structure was removed in order to take pressure off the aging barrier. This lowered the level of the lake and added about 80 feet of wetlands to the western shoreline. However, it was recognized that a complete repair of the dam could cost over $1 million and might not be the best choice for the environment.

In 2009, after almost 15 years of negotiations, Solebury Township gained control of the property, with the goal of preserving this important natural resource. It purchased the lake and surrounding properties from the state and obtained a 25-year lease. The Township’s total costs were substantially reduced because it received a large credit in exchange for its commitment to repair the dam in the future, as well as funding from the Bucks County Natural Areas Program toward the purchase.

Following the purchase, the Township engaged in a five-year process of community outreach and consultation with environmental experts in which it considered alternatives for the Aquetong Lake dam. Choices included rebuilding the dam in its then-current form, creating a smaller lake with a cold-water bypass into Aquetong Creek, or breaching the dam and restoring a free-flowing stream. Ultimately, recognizing that the lake was a thermal reservoir which introduced warm water into Aquetong Creek and eventually into the streams and river, the Township decided to breach rather than restore the dam, and return the site to its natural state.

[caption id="attachment_10303" align="aligncenter" width="832"] The Aquetong Creek restoration site is located in Solebury Township, Bucks County, PA, and encompasses the boundaries of the former Aquetong Lake. The Lake was a 15-acre impoundment formed in 1870 by the construction of an earthen dam on Aquetong Creek. The Creek flows approximately 2.5 miles from Ingham Spring to join with the Delaware River in New Hope, PA.[/caption]  


The Aquetong Restoration Project got underway in 2015, and Solebury Township breached the historic mill dam in Aquetong Spring Park to convert the former lake into a natural area with a free-flowing, cold water stream capable of supporting native brook trout.

After the dam breach, areas of active erosion were observed along the mainstem and a major tributary of Aquetong Creek. The steep, eroding banks, increased the sediment load to the Creek's sensitive aquatic habitat.

As with most dam removal projects, a degree of stewardship is necessary to enhance the establishment of desirable, beneficial vegetation. Additionally, Solebury Township wanted to control invasive species in Aquetong Spring Park and replant the project area with native species.

The Township secured funding to construct riparian buffers, implement streambank stabilization measures, establish trout habitat structures within the mainstem and its tributary, control invasive species, and implement a woodland restoration plan. The project was funded by a $250,000 grant from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, with an equal match from the Township. Additional grants for the project were provided by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Solebury Township contracted Princeton Hydro to design the stabilization of the stream channel and floodplains within the former impoundment, monitor the stream and wetlands before and after implementation, and obtain the permits for the restoration of the former impoundment. Princeton Hydro team members designed the restoration of the main channel and tributary to reduce channel and bank erosion while supporting the brook trout habitat.

After gathering and reviewing the existing data for the site, Princeton Hydro conducted field investigations to inform and guide the final design including surveying cross sections and performing fluvial geomorphological assessments of the existing channel. Pebble counts were performed, cross sections were analyzed, and existing hydrological data was reviewed to inform the design. Simultaneously, an invasive species control and woodland restoration plan was developed for the park.

Data collected from the site was used to develop a geomorphically-appropriate, dynamically-stable design. The proposed channel design included excavation of impounded sediment to create stable channel dimensions, the addition of gravel, cobble, and boulder substrate where original/existing channel substrates were absent or insufficient, and the installation of large wood features to create aquatic habitat and enhance stability of channel bed and banks.

The banks and riparian corridor were vegetated with native seed, shrubs and trees to ultimately create a wooded, shaded riparian buffer. The design ultimately stabilized the streambanks with features that double as trout habitat and replanted the surrounding park with native vegetation.

The project was replanted with an incredibly diverse set of native species that included:

  • herbaceous species: swamp milkweed, blue mistflower, and butterfly weed;
  • shrub species: silky dogwood, winterberry holly, and buttonbush; and
  • tree species: red maple, american hornbeam, and pin oak.
[caption id="attachment_10301" align="aligncenter" width="763"] The forested restoration area was planted with a wide variety of native tree, herbaceous and shrub species. Shown here from top left: Canada Goldenrod, New England Aster and River Birch[/caption]  


In addition to restoring the stream in the former impoundment, as a part of its Strategic Master Plan for Aquetong Spring Park, Solebury Township expanded its focus of the restoration project to include another 20 acres of forested land.

For this, Solebury developed a Woodland Restoration Plan which identified over 1,000 diseased forest trees, composed mostly of ash (Fraxinus sp.) and black walnut (Juglans nigra). It was the Township’s objective to remove the hazardous trees, re-establish a native woodland community, and establish an invasive species management program.

The trees removed as a part of this effort were repurposed for the stream restoration project and used for habitat features, stream stabilization measures, and park features (i.e. benches).

[caption id="attachment_10295" align="aligncenter" width="749"] Hazardous trees were removed and repurposed in the stream restoration construction, including the log grade control structures pictured here.[/caption]  

Princeton Hydro also provided stormwater design support for adjacent areas in Aquetong Spring Park, including multiple stormwater connections to the main tributary. After completion, Princeton Hydro provided bid assistance, developed a probable cost, drafted technical specifications, and produced a bid package to assist Aquetong Township in bringing the project to construction.

This restoration success could not have been possible without the hard work of so many dedicated project partners: Aquetong Spring Advisory Council, Bucks County Trout Unlimited, Solebury Township, Aquetong Township, Simone Collins Landscape Architects, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PA Department of Community and Economic Development, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Lenni-Lenape Turtle Clan, and Princeton Hydro.

Princeton Hydro specializes in the planning, design, permitting, implementing, and maintenance of ecological rehabilitation projects. To learn more about our watershed restoration services, click here.  To learn about some of our award-winning restoration projects check out our blogs about the Pin Oak Forest Conservation Area freshwater wetland restoration project:

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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:


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

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