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In honor of Earth Day, Princeton Hydro held its annual Photo Contest with the theme "Biodiversity, Near and Far" for its employees. We’d like to thank everyone who submitted photos this year. Overall, we received 31 gorgeous submissions from our staff.

All photos were rated on the following criteria by three volunteer judges: Danielle Odom, Darren Rist, and Amanda Brooks (see bios below).
  • Technical Quality (30%)
  • Originality (30%)
  • Artistic Merit (40%)
THE WINNER OF THE PRINCETON HYDRO 2021 EARTH DAY PHOTO CONTEST IS...
[caption id="attachment_8193" align="aligncenter" width="1227"] "Northern Gray Tree Frog" by Michael Rehman, PWS, CERP, Senior Ecologist. Warren County, New Jersey.[/caption] Scroll to the bottom to see a gallery of runner-up photos.
ABOUT THE JUDGES:
Danielle Odom

Danielle is a Staff Scientist II at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Her career is dedicated to watershed monitoring research and her responsibilities include both field and laboratory work. She has specialized in studying biological indicators as a parameter to track stream health via macroinvertebrate taxonomy; in particular identifying members of the non-biting midge family Chironomidae. Once an experiential outdoor educator, she taught nature photography to middle school students as a pathway to understanding different perspectives and the impact of humans on the environment, a la Ansel Adams.

Darren Rist

Some of Darren’s fondest childhood memories are of fishing with his father and brothers. He’s always loved trout fishing, but it wasn’t until his first year in college that he caught the fly fishing bug…BAD. Darren spent many painstaking hours deciding whether to go to his morning engineering classes at NJIT or the ‘entomology classes’ on one of the many trout rivers in Northern NJ. (The latter usually won out). In 2003 he found himself wanting more than just a career in automation engineering. That was when he decided to buy his first drift boat and began guiding part-time on the fabled rivers of the Catskills and Upper Delaware. Becoming a fly fishing guide has enabled Darren to blend his love of the outdoors, travel, photography, birding, teaching and of course, fly fishing. In addition to guiding, Darren provides fly casting and tying instruction, and is a past president of the North Jersey Chapter of Trout Unlimited. His photography has been published in fly fishing books and periodicals. To learn more about guided fly-fishing trips with Darren, you can reach him at dprist@earthlink.net.

Amanda Brooks

Amanda is a nature enthusiast who loves taking long walks in the woods with her camera and notepad. With her degree in Environmental Studies and English and her background in the arts, she loves to use both words and graphics to communicate environmental issues in ways to help inspire solutions. She currently resides in Burlington, Vermont and is the Communications Coordinator for the Town of Colchester. She also works as a freelance photographer, editor, and web designer, and manages several clients' marketing plans. You can check out more of her work on her Facebook page.

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Happy Earth Day! It's important that we all do our part to honor this important occasion and promote climate action. We've put together a list of fun ideas and helpful tips to celebrate Earth Day 2021 safely and responsibly:


Get Outside, Safely

Illustration by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Getting outdoors is a great way to celebrate Earth Day, and it can boost your mental and physical health. While remaining mindful about maintaining safe social distancing practices, we can still get outside to take advantage of the spring weather and enjoy the outdoor adventures in our own backyards.

Earth Month Scavenger Hunt from Eco Promotional Products For more tips on social distancing while visiting parks and natural areas, check out this helpful info from NJ Department of Environmental Protection.

Clean-up Your Neighborhood

Photo: Santiago Mejia, The Chronicle

Although large volunteer clean-up events are postponed due to social distancing guidelines, we can still do our part to pick-up trash and protect our local waterways. Here are a few ideas:

  • When you go outside for an afternoon walk, bring gloves and a garbage bag so you can pick up any trash you see along the way.

  • Check the storm drains in your neighborhood and remove and discard any debris that you find. Get started by reading these DIY tips!


Get Crafting & Birdwatching

Here are some simple DIY crafting ideas to help you pass the time and improve your backyard birdwatching.

  • Orange Feeder: Oranges are a tasty, energizing snack loved by several bird species, especially the Baltimore Oriole. Follow a few simple steps for building an orange feeder, and then sit back and enjoy your backyard bird watching experience!

  • Hummingbird Nectar: Bring more hummingbirds to your backyard this season in a few easy steps! By filling your feeder with this DIY delight, you can watch these beautiful little birds feed and flitter all day.

  • Heart-Shaped Feeder: Show your local songbirds some love with this DIY heart-shaped bird feeder. It makes a charming decoration for your backyard trees.

If you're interested in taking your birdwatching adventures beyond your backyard, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation offers a variety of information and online resources to help you do so.

Get your Yard Spring-Ready

Residential homes and neighborhoods can benefit from the implementation of green infrastructure in more ways than many people realize. Planting native flower beds reduces runoff and attracts important pollinators.
  • Reduce Invasives, Plant Natives: Tulips will soon be emerging from the ground, buds blossoming on trees and, unfortunately, invasive plant species will too begin their annual growing cycle. Invasive species create major impacts on ecosystems near and far, but we can all do our part to reduce the spread. To learn more about aquatic invasive species and how to address them, check out our blog.

  • Prepare your Pond for Spring: If you have a pond on your property, check out these six steps for taking your pond out of hibernation mode, sprucing it up for Spring, and ensuring it remains healthy all year long.


Be Water-Wise

Now that we’re all spending more time at home, this is a great opportunity to incorporate better water-conservation practices into our daily lives.

  • Reduce water waste by checking for leaks that have been caused by winter freeze. Check garden hose spigots and sprinklers, and replace valves, washers and other components as necessary.

  • Install a rain barrel and use the captured rainfall to irrigate flower beds. This is another fun and inexpensive way to reduce runoff and save water. You can order a rain barrel online or search online for DIY rain barrel ideas. Remember to cover your barrels to keep mosquitoes at bay.

  • Go here for more water conservation tips.


Let’s Talk Toilets

According to the USEPA, toilets account for more water use than any other water-consuming product in your home. Toilets are estimated to be responsible for upwards of 30% of household water consumption. Additionally, flushing anything besides toilet paper has major negative impacts on the environment.

  • Eliminate toilet leaks: 79% of water lost in the home is through toilet leaks. Often silent, these leaks can waste up to 300 gallons of water per day. Check for leaks using food coloring. Replace the refill valve or flush valve when necessary.

  • Flush Responsibly: NY State Department of Environmental Conservation recently issued an email requesting more responsible flushing habits. As a reminder, disinfectant wipes, diapers, baby wipes, personal hygiene products, and any paper products other than toilet paper should never be flushed! These materials create significant damage to sewer systems, water treatment plants, and septic systems. Learn more.


Go Digital

Earth Day 2020, which also happens to be the 50th anniversary, will now be the first-ever Digital Earth Day. Here are a few ways to celebrate from the safety of your home:

  • Participate in a global Citizen Science effort! Download the Earth Challenge 2021 smart phone app to submit observations of the environment around your home. The data you submit will be validated, and the resulting database—of over one billion data points—will be displayed on a public map for researchers to use.

  • Sign-up to be a part of the largest environment mobilization in history: EarthDay.org’s EARTHRISE initiative, which includes social media campaigns, online teach-ins, performances, and more. Find a digital Earth Day Event!

Inspire others to celebrate Earth Day 2021 responsibly by documenting your activities and sharing on social media with hashtags: #EarthDay, #EarthDay2021, #EARTHRISE, and #RecreateLocal. To read about Princeton Hydro's past Earth Day celebrations, go here.

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Earth Day and Arbor Day are right around the corner, and we've got a variety of upcoming events we're excited about. The Princeton Hydro team is pitching in at Westchester County's largest volunteer effort of 2021; presenting at virtual conferences; leading a professional education course on dam removal; and participating in events that celebrate environmental stewardship. Here's a snapshot of what's to come:

April 14:  SAME Philadelphia Post Small Business Conference 2021

This year's SAME Philadelphia Post Small Business Conference 2021, which will be held virtually, includes presentations, interactive breakout sessions, an open forum networking session, and live capabilities introductions from each participating SAME member. The mission of SAME is to build leaders and lead collaboration among government and industry to develop multidisciplinary solutions to national security infrastructure challenges. Princeton Hydro joined SAME as a sustaining member in 2018.

Get more info & Register

April 19-24: Pitch in for Parks Volunteer Event

Westchester Parks Foundation and the Westchester County Parks Department will host its largest volunteer event of the year: “Pitch in for Parks.” Adhering to all COVID guidelines, volunteers will come together to celebrate Earth Day and pitch in to help paint, rake, prepare and plant native flower beds, clear trails and shorelines, clean rivers, restore wildlife habitats, and remove invasive vines in parks throughout Westchester County. Princeton Hydro's Marketing Coordinator Kelsey Mattison participated in the event and exhibited with a variety of other event sponsors at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla, NY on April 24th.

Get more info & Register

April 19-23: North American Lake Management Society's National Monitoring Conference

North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) is hosting its 12th Annual National Water Quality Monitoring Conference. This year's conference, which will be held virtually, invites all water stakeholders to participate, including federal, state, tribal, and local water professionals, non-profits, academia, volunteer citizen scientists, and industry experts. Princeton Hydro  is a proud sponsor of the event, and three of our team members are giving presentations:

  • Director of Aquatic Resources Dr. Fred Lubnow is presenting on "The Biology, Monitoring & Management of HABs in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey" and acting as moderator for the "Integrative Lake and Watershed Management" real-time session.
  • Senior Aquatic Ecologist Dr. Jack Szczepanski is presenting on "Dealing With HABs at Greenwood Lake, Recent Seasons & the Future" as well as moderating a "Harmful Algal Blooms" real-time session.
  • Senior Aquatic Ecologist and NALMS President Elect Chris L. Mikolajczyk, CLM is presenting on "A Watershed-Based Assessment of the Lakes of the Borough of Ringwood & Township of West Milford, Passaic County, New Jersey" and moderating a "Harmful Algal Blooms" real-time session.
View the full program & Register here

April 29 - 30: The New York State Federation of Lake Associations Annual Conference

This year’s conference, which is titled, “Freshwater Ecosystems: Learning to Coexist,” will be held virtually via Zoom. Participants will enjoy a variety of interactive educational sessions, panel discussions and a NY lake trivia contest. Princeton Hydro is a proud sponsor of the event, and our Aquatics Director Dr. Fred Lubnow is giving a presentation on "Management Activities to Prevent, Mitigate and/or Control HABs at Lake Hopatcong, NJ."

View the full program & Register here

May 4: North Atlantic Industry Day 

During SAME's 2021 virtual North Atlantic Industry Day, participants will hear from government and industry professionals on procurement opportunities and current A/E/C trends in the North Atlantic Region. Experts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard and FEMA will present on a variety of topics including: COVID-19 related safety measures, sustainability in small business, government contracting evaluation and the latest trends and tips for landing government contracts.

View the full program & Register here

May 5 - December 1: Webinar Series from FEMA Region 2

The webinar series from the FEMA Region 2 Mitigation and National Preparedness Division explores how to expand the reach of mitigation activities by engaging more people and organizations from across the whole community beyond those typically involved in hazard mitigation. One webinar will be hosted each month on a variety of topics centered around "Guides to Expanding Mitigation." The next webinar, being held on May 5, will focus on how to partner with community artists to communicate hazard risks and build a culture of preparedness.

Register here

May 24 - 27: 11th Annual Choose Clean Water Conference

Princeton Hydro is a proud sponsor of Choose Clean Water Coalition's first-ever virtual Choose Clean Water Conference. The conference theme of A Changing Chesapeake will explore the ecological changes in the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed  as well as the ways organizations are changing due to COVID-19. Along with a virtual exhibit hall, the conference includes a variety of breakout sessions covering topics like, "Empowering Diverse Communities to Take Action in Stormwater Management," "People-Powered Restoration for Clean Water," and "Driving Digital Change in 2021."

View the full program & Register here

Upcoming Summer Events:

June 9-10: Rutger's Professional Education Course on Dam Removal

Register now for the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education two-day virtual course: "Dam Removal: Design, Planning, and Implementation." Participants will learn about the technical aspects of dam removal, including the investigations and design of projects that both deregulate dams and provide river restoration and ecological uplift. This introductory, technical course includes presentations from Princeton Hydro team members: President Geoff Goll, P.E.; Director of Natural Resources Dr. Laura Craig; Director of Stormwater Management & Green Infrastructure Dr. Clay Emerson, P.E, CFM; Fluvial Geomorphologist Paul Woodworth, CERP; along with Dr. Steve Souza of Clean Waters Consulting, LLC and Beth Styler-Barry, Director of River Restoration, The Nature Conservancy.

Learn more & Register here.

June 21-24: The Society for Ecological Restoration's World Conference

"A New Global Trajectory: Catalyzing Change Through the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration" is the title of the Society for Ecological Restoration's 9th World Conference on Ecological Restoration. Held virtually this year, the conference will bring together from around the world scientists, academics, researchers and experts from the fields of rehabilitation and environmental restoration, alongside practitioners and industry leaders to tackle the vast environmental challenges that we face today. The conference also includes virtual field trips; workshops, keynote, and plenary sessions; live discussion sessions and poster presentations; and networking events. Princeton Hydro President Geoffrey Goll, P.E. is presenting on "Removing Dams of the American Industrial Revolution in the Northeastern U.S. to Restore Natural Capital Against Climate Change."

Learn more & Register here.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Celebrating the Delaware River: A Webinar Series from American Rivers and the Stroud Water Research Center

American Rivers and Stroud Water Research Center held a four-part webinar series celebrating the Delaware River, which was named "River of the Year 2020" by American Rivers for its progress in improving water quality, river restoration, and community revitalization. The fourth webinar, titled "Federal Protections for the Free-Flowing Delaware River," featured presentations from a variety of experts including Alan Hunt, Director of Policy and Grants at the Musconetcong Watershed Association.  If you missed any of the webinars, have no fear! They were all recorded in full and are available for viewing anytime.

Watch the webinars here.

Engineering With Nature: An Atlas, Volume 2 Virtual Book Launch Ceremony

Engineering With Nature (EWN) is an initiative of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that enables more sustainable delivery of economic, social, and environmental benefits associated with water resources infrastructure. An Atlas, Volume 2, which is set to publish in early April, showcases 62 project examples from the US and around the world demonstrating what it means to partner with nature to deliver engineering solutions. The virtual book launch ceremony was held on April 7, 2021 and included messages from LTG Scott A. Spellmon, 55th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other executives and leaders from organizations around the world.

Get more info here.

STAY TUNED FOR MORE EVENT SPOTLIGHTS!

   
 
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It’s officially time to say goodbye to winter and “spring” your pond out of hibernation mode. We’ve put together six tips for getting your pond ready for Spring and ensuring it remains healthy all year long.

1. SPRING CLEANING 

The first step in preparing your pond for Spring is to give it a thorough cleaning. Remove leaves, debris, and any surface algae that may have accumulated over the winter. For shallow ponds, you may be able to use a net or pond rake to remove debris and sediment from the bottom and along the perimeter of the pond.

2. INSPECT YOUR POND FOR DAMAGE

Inspect your pond, including berms, outlet structures, and trash racks for any damage that may have occurred over winter due to ice. If you observe any damage, we recommend contacting a professional right away. One of our engineers or certified pond managers can determine if the damage is superficial or requires more significant repairs. Also, if your pond is equipped with an aeration system, before starting it up, be sure to schedule a system inspection. A thorough inspection and proper start-up procedure will ensure the system remains fully and effectively operational for the entire summer.

3. PUT YOUR POND TO THE TEST

The routine testing of your pond’s water quality is an important part of preventing harmful algae growth, fish kills, and other problems. We recommend conducting a “Spring start up” water quality analysis of your pond. The resulting data will inform the management process and allow for the development of a pro-active, eco-friendly management plan. Maintaining your pond's water quality helps to control nuisance aquatic species and promote environmental conditions supportive of a healthy and productive fishery.

4. AQUASCAPE YOUR SHORELINE

It’s important to check the pond’s shoreline for any signs of erosion. Mowing to the water line, especially in ponds that have fluctuating water levels, can lead to severe shoreline erosion. Eroding shorelines can be easily stabilized by planting native, riparian plants.

Deep-rooted, native emergent aquatic vegetation is able to tolerate alternating periods of exposure and dry inundation. The correct combination of native aquatic plants, emergent wetland plants, and transitional upland plants can correct or prevent chronic shoreline erosion problems. A properly planted (aquascaped) edge beautifies the shoreline, stabilizes erosion problems, creates fish and amphibian habitat, attracts pollinating species and a variety of birds, and decreases mosquito breeding.

5. CONSIDER INSTALLING AN AERATION SYSTEM

Sub-surface aeration systems eliminate stagnant water and keep your pond thoroughly mixed and properly circulated. These systems are the most cost-effective and energy-efficient way to maintain proper pond circulation. Proper aeration enhances fish habitat, minimizes the occurrence of algae blooms, and prevents mosquito breeding. It's best to contact a certified lake/pond manager to first determine if aeration is the right solution for you. If it is, an aeration system tailored to your pond's needs can be designed and installed.

6. HAVE AN ECOLOGICALLY BALANCED POND MANAGEMENT PLAN

There is more to pond management than weed and algae treatments alone. There is also a big difference between simple pond maintenance and ecologically-based pond management. A customized pond management plan acts as a “blueprint” that guides  proactive, long-term care for your pond.

Our certified lake and pond managers can assess the status of your pond and provide you with an environmentally holistic management plan that is based on the unique physical, hydrologic, chemical, and biological attributes of your pond. A management plan identifies the causes of your pond’s problems and provides you with the guidance needed to correct these problems. The results are far more environmentally sustainable than simple (and often unnecessary) reactive weed and algae treatments.

 

To learn more about our lake and pond management services or schedule a consultation, visit our website.

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Princeton Hydro’s “why” centers on our commitment “to changing our ecosystems, quality of life, and communities for the better.” In order to fully realize our “why,” our team recognized the need for a company-wide sustainability plan that examines our current actions and explores new opportunities. As our company increases in size and revenue, we recognize the need to both highlight our sustainability success stories and ensure we continue operating with sustainability at the forefront. Therefore, via the initiative of our staff, a Sustainability and Stewardship Team was formed in 2018 to develop our guiding plan.

Today, we're putting the spotlight on the folks who orchestrate the Sustainability & Stewardship Working Group to learn more about the contributions and positive impacts they've made over the past two years.


Let's Meet Them!


Jennifer Duff, Administrative Assistant

Jennifer is passionate about climate and environmental issues both as part of the Sustainability Team and outside of work through her connection to CT Fibershed, a group that encourages purchasing wool or other fiber products from local farmers. Jennifer’s two favorite accomplishments for the committee thus far are helping to switch over office purchasing to focus on recycled and green products and cleaners, and researching sustainable products for our annual holiday gift-giving initiative.


Nicole Hanson, Executive Assistant

With her strong love for the environment, Nicole appreciates all that she has learned about sustainability from serving on the Team with her colleagues. Her favorite personal contribution was working on the Green Product Purchasing plan to ensure that, moving forward, company cleaning products would be greener. In the future, she’d like to work on a plan encouraging employees to adopt alternatives to single-occupant vehicle commuting.


Michelle Lubnow, Administrative Assistant

As a lover of graphic art, Michelle created and circulated a sustainability newsletter every month, which included the latest news about sustainable practices and conservation activities.

One of her main goals in joining the Sustainability & Stewardship Working Group was to bring easier and more cost-effective recycling methods to the forefront.


Kelsey Mattison, Marketing Coordinator
 

Kelsey gained a strong interest in sustainability while attending St. Lawrence University for her undergraduate degree where she was a member of the sustainability club on campus. She is interested in helping Princeton Hydro live their “why” by shifting the office and company culture toward cutting down on energy consumption and increasing awareness of waste production. Kelsey has enjoyed working on various sustainability initiatives with the rest of the committee members since she joined the company in 2018.


Dana Patterson, Director of Marketing & Communications

Shortly after Dana joined Princeton Hydro in 2016, she collaborated with her then colleague Rupal Patel to launch the Sustainability & Stewardship initiative. The two, who were already buddies from their graduate school days at Yale School of the Environment, felt strongly that Princeton Hydro could be driving as much energy into corporate social responsibility internally as the firm was already doing externally in its ecosystem restoration project work.

Rupal and Dana gathered interest from staff and encouraged folks from each of our five offices and all practice areas to join, and successfully formed a team with a diversity of experience and knowledge. Collaborating with this newly formed group to assemble a formal strategy plan for the firm is one of her favorite accomplishments so far. She noted, “the group displays true teamwork; everyone is involved - from a junior scientist to a member of the Leadership Team - equally contributing and sharing ideas to develop a plan that will have real impact in reducing our firm’s carbon footprint.”


Jack Szczepanski, PhD, Senior Project Manager

Jack joined the Sustainability & Stewardship Team because he felt an obligation to do his part in having as little negative environmental impact as possible, including at work. He is grateful to work at a place that features sustainability as part of its corporate culture.

Jack is determined to get the offices started on worm composting, and he enjoys having spirited discussions about this topic with his colleagues.


The Sustainability & Stewardship Team uses their passion for and knowledge of sustainable practices to implement policies and protocols company-wide that help reduce our energy use and waste input, while encouraging our employees to consider choices they make in their everyday practices. The first Sustainability & Stewardship plan was developed by the team (as well as previous team members Emily Bjorhus, Rupal Patel, and Sophie Breitbart) in 2018. Here's a few actions that were laid out in the plan, which have since been completed:

  • WASTE REDUCTION.  Office engagement around waste reduction has been ramping up with new informational signage on recycling, installation of composting bins in the offices, and tapping into local programs to recycle ink cartradges. We've also incentivized staff to "Bring Your Own" utensils/plate for our annual picnic each year.
  • GREEN PURCHASING.  We created  a "Green Purchasing Plan & Policy" for office supplies and products, which was formally adopted by the owners and is being implemented company-wide. Since, all offices have been eqipped with reusable kitchenware, green cleaning products are prioritized, and the marketing department has shifted to purchasing sustainable promotional products.
  • STEWARDSHIP.  The firm provided $10,000+ in sponsorships and donations to like-minded nonprofits organizations and held two office donation drives. Our staff volunteered to plant trees in Exton Park, PA for Arbor Day and helped install a living shoreline made from hundreds of upcycled Christmas Trees in Point Pleasant, NJ.
  • WATER & ENERGY USE.  The team collected office use data and outlined specific actions that each office can take to to increase energy efficiency and decrease water use in all offices.
  • TRANSPORTATION.  All offices have opted into carbon offset programs through Enterprise when renting vehicles, and we've started tracking mileage traveled for company vehicles.  And, due to COVID-19, most employees drastically reduced their travel due to the shift to remote working.

While the team has been working remotely throughout most of 2020 and into 2021, the Sustainability and Stewardship team is as committed as ever to furthering Princeton Hydro’s mission of changing our ecosystems, quality of life, and communities for the better, and will continue to make progress on many of the goals outlined in our plan.

Stay Tuned for More!

  [post_title] => Meet Princeton Hydro’s Sustainability & Stewardship Team [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => sustainability-stewardship-team [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-04-22 13:01:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-04-22 13:01:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.princetonhydro.com/blog/?p=5822 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7720 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2021-02-21 23:35:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-02-21 23:35:34 [post_content] => Throughout the first quarter of 2021, the Princeton Hydro team has participated in a variety of virtual events focused on conserving, restoring, and protecting our precious water resources. Here's a snapshot of what's to come:
March 1 - 3: Delaware Estuary Science and Environmental Summit

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary’s Science and Environmental Summit, happening virtually this year, brings together scientists, managers, restoration practitioners, and educators from different sectors to share the latest scientific information and make ecological linkages that promote a better understanding of the Delaware watershed as a whole. During this year’s summit, Princeton Hydro is virtually exhibiting and leading four presentations:

The schedule also includes many student presentations and posters, which will judged and evaluated by a panel of volunteer judges. Princeton Hydro President Geoffrey Goll will judge three of the student presentations. The winners will be announced at the Summit closing ceremony.

View the full agenda & Register here.

March 3 & 4: PENNSYLVANIA LAKE MANAGEMENT SOCIETY (PALMS) ANNUAL CONFERENCE

PALMS is hosting its 31st annual conference during which lake professionals, students, recreation enthusiasts, lakeside residents, and community members explore a variety of topics related to managing lakes and reservoirs. This year’s conference, themed, “Managing for Emerging Threats,” will be held virtually via Zoom. Attendees can participate in a collection of professional presentations, workshops and panel discussions. Princeton Hydro’s Director of Aquatic Resources, Dr. Fred Lubnow, is presenting on the “Implementation of Various In-Lake Management Techniques to Address HABs in Lake Hopatcong, NJ.”

View the full conference agenda & Register here

March 8: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Annual Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Summit

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is hosting an all-day, virtual Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Summit. Attendees will participate in interactive educational sessions, lead by HAB and lake management experts, on topics like emerging HAB treatment technologies and best management practices for controlling HABs. Princeton Hydro’s Director of Aquatic Resources Dr. Fred Lubnow is giving a presentation on "The evaluation of innovative measures to prevent, mitigate, and/or control HABs in Lake Hopatcong." Participants will also be introduced to the newly established NJ HAB Expert Team, which includes two Princeton Hydro scientists: Dr. Lubnow and Dr. Steve Souza. The HAB Summit is part of Governor Phil Murphy and the NJDEP’s multi-pronged initiative to reduce and prevent future HAB outbreaks in waterbodies throughout the state.

Learn More & Register here

March 9: Community Engagement - The Key to a Successful Dam Removal Project

The NJ Statewide Dam Removal Partnership will host a virtual event titled, Community Engagement: The Key to a Successful Dam Removal Project. This free one-hour information session will focus on the “who, what, where, when, and how” of a successful dam removal implementation and community outreach campaign. Presenters include experts from Raritan Headwaters Association and Musconetcong Watershed Association. Registration is required.

Learn more & Register here

May 4: Society for American Military Engineers (SAME) North Atlantic Industry Day

North Atlantic Industry Day 2021 is a virtual event during which registrants can participant in briefings and presentations from government officials, industry experts, and agency members from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, and FEMA. Topics include the latest trends in resiliency, cybersecurity, COVID-19, sustainability, government contracting evaluation, tips for landing government contracts, and much more! SAME aims to provide leaders from the A/E/C, environmental, and facility management industries the opportunity to come together with federal agencies in order to showcase best practices and highlight future opportunities for small businesses to work in the federal market.

Learn more & Register here

INCASE YOU MISSED IT: NJ HIGHLANDS COALITION WEBINAR - Benefits of Riparian Buffers

On February 9, NJ Highlands Coalition hosted a webinar lead by Princeton Hydro Founding Principal Dr. Stephen Souza and Policy Director for the NJ Highlands Coalition Elliott Ruga. Participants of the webinar - "A River Runs By It: The Environmental and Societal Benefits of Riparian Buffers" - learned about riparian buffers; what they are, why they exist, and how they protect water quality in streams and rivers. By showcasing real-world examples, the presenters illustrated the importance of restoring stream banks to enhance water quality and promote healthy aquatic life and fish populations. The webinar and preceding Q&A discussion are available to view on the Highlands Coalition YouTube Channel. 

Watch the complete webinar here.

STAY TUNED FOR MORE EVENT SPOTLIGHTS!

   
 
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When monitoring and managing the health of a lake or pond, dissolved oxygen is one of the most important indicators of water quality. Dissolved oxygen refers to the level of free, non-compound oxygen present in water. It is an important parameter in assessing water quality because of its influence on the organisms living within a body of water; the vast majority of aquatic life needs sufficient amounts of oxygen dissolved in water in order to survive.

Pollutants, the decomposition of invasive aquatic weed growth, and algae blooms significantly reduce dissolved oxygen. The purpose of aeration in lake management is to increase the concentrations of dissolved oxygen in the water. Aeration systems achieve these water quality improvements by helping prevent stagnation of water, increasing circulation, disrupting thermal stratification which provides “through-column” mixing, and minimizes the occurrence of harmful algal blooms (HABs).

Princeton Hydro has been working with the Lake Hopatcong Commission and Lake Hopatcong Foundation to implement several projects aimed at reducing the impacts of HABs in Lake Hopatcong, including the installation of three innovative aeration systems in different areas of the lake. Funding for these projects have come from a NJ Department of Environmental Protection Water Quality Restoration HAB grant awarded to the Commission in 2020, with additional funding and support coming from the Foundation, Morris and Sussex Counties, and four municipalities that surround Lake Hopatcong.

Air Curtain Aeration System

Our team completed the installation of an air curtain system at Shore Hills Country Club in Roxbury Township in early November 2020. The system produces a wall of bubbles that provide the kinetic energy to push and deflect away floating cyanobacteria and other toxins trying to enter the waterway. Installed near the shoreline, the air curtain increases the movement of the water, making it more difficult for floating debris, pollutants, and HABs to accumulate near the shore and in nearby shallow water areas.


Nanobubble Aeration System
Image by: Nanobubble Systems

Nanobubbles are extremely small gas bubbles that have several unique physical properties that make them very different from normal bubbles. Nanobubble aerators directly saturate the water with significantly more oxygen than traditional water aeration systems. These systems produce ultra-fine bubbles that are nearly invisible to the human eye. Unlike “traditional” aeration systems that push air bubbles to the surface in order to circulate the water and increase the dissolved oxygen levels, nanobubbles are so small that they remain within the water column for an extended period of time, directly oxygenating the water. Our team is scheduled to complete a nanobubble system install for Lake Hopatcong in the Spring of 2021.


Nanobubble Aeration System with Ozone

At Lake Hopatcong’s Lake Forest Yacht Club in Jefferson Township, our team installed a Nanobubble System with Ozone, which was completed in November 2020. This system generates ultrafine microbubbles (nanobubbles) containing ozone, which is used to disinfect water supplies and works to break down organic material in the water. These nanobubbles harness the unique biocidal power of ozone and place it into a safe delivery mechanism that is highly effective but also ensures human and environmental safety. The resulting ozone nanobubbles eliminate a wide range of polluting chemicals as well as herbicides, pesticides, and microbial toxins, which are all known causes of HABs.

The nanobubble technology is a relatively new strategy for preventing cyanobacteria blooms. Evaluation of the air curtain and both nanobubble systems in controlling and minimizing HABs in Lake Hopatcong will begin in Spring 2021. Our team will closely monitor the effectiveness throughout the 2021 season and provide detailed reports of our findings. Stay tuned for more info!

Increasing the dissolved oxygen levels in a pond or lake provides many benefits including improved water quality, healthier fish and plants, more efficient filtration, and reduced nuisance algae growth. Princeton Hydro has installed numerous aerations systems in waterbodies throughout the northeast. Contact us to determine if aeration is the right solution for your pond or lake: PHydro/LakeManagement.

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March 2, 2021 is the deadline for New Jersey’s municipalities to comply with the new stormwater management ordinances laid out in the New Jersey Stormwater Management Rule (N.J.A.C. 7:8).

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) revised the rule last year to now require construction projects to include green infrastructure in order to meet the three performance criteria that NJDEP sets forth for stormwater management. The new rule gives local governments an opening to revise their existing stormwater management ordinances to better manage flooding and improve compromised water quality.

The rule defines green infrastructure as, “a stormwater management measure that manages stormwater close to its source by: treating stormwater runoff through infiltration into subsoil; treating stormwater runoff through filtration by vegetation or soil; or storing stormwater runoff for reuse.”

The pre-existing rule required that major developments incorporate nonstructural stormwater management BMPs/strategies to the “maximum extent practicable” to meet their criteria. The amended rule not only gives specific suggestions for the kind of BMPs it’s looking for by adding a definition of green infrastructure, but it also makes those BMPs/strategies a requirement for compliance with the rule’s minimum standards. Also included in the rule are tables outlining the application of each type of stormwater BMP.

Another update to the rule is that motor vehicle surfaces are now incorporated into the definition of major development. The amended rule requires these motor vehicle surfaces to have 80% total suspended solids (TSS) removal in order to maintain water quality. These surfaces include standard pavement drive/parking areas and gravel and dirt drive/parking areas, according to the rule. However, the rule does not require water quality control for runoff from other impervious surfaces that are not traveled by automobiles, such as rooftops and sidewalks, or other paved walkway areas.

New Jersey municipalities need to comply with the new standards and the ordinances must be in effect by March 2nd, 2021. To make this transition a bit smoother, NJDEP released a revised Model Ordinance in Appendix D of the NJ Stormwater BMP Manual to act as a sample for municipalities to follow when adopting these new regulations.

The Watershed Institute also drafted its own Model Ordinance to help municipalities go beyond the updated rule and strengthen protections to benefit the environment. The Model Ordinance builds on the state’s baseline requirements with the following enhancements:

  • Reduced threshold definition for major development
  • Requirement for major developments to treat runoff from all impervious surfaces for water quality
  • Requirement for stormwater management for minor development over 250-square-feet
  • Stormwater management for redevelopment
  • The use of Low Impact Development techniques
  • Maintenance reporting requirements

At the end of last year, The Watershed Institute held a webinar about the state’s new Green Infrastructure rule. The webinar, attended by 240 people, included three presentations that provided a detailed look at the NJDEP’s rule updates and the steps needed for local governments to comply.

The presentations, given by the following green infrastructure experts, are available to view in full:

You can view the full webinar by clicking here.  

At Princeton Hydro, we recognize the benefit of green infrastructure and we’ve been incorporating it into our engineering designs since before the term was regularly used in the stormwater lexicon. We’ve been following the rule amendments very closely, and, last year, we developed the following blog to help folks garner a deeper understanding of green infrastructure, interpret the rule updates, and break down the complexities of the stormwater guidelines:

https://www.princetonhydro.com/blog/nj-stormwater-regulations-2020/

If you have further questions regarding green infrastructure or stormwater utilities, we encourage you to contact us.

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Princeton Hydro has grown from a small, four-person firm operating out of a living room to a 60+ person business with six office locations in the Northeast and a satellite office in Colorado. Over the last two decades, we’ve restored many miles of rivers, improved water quality in hundreds of ponds and lakes, and enhanced thousands of acres of ecosystems in the Northeast.

This year, we are feeling extra grateful for those who have supported our business and helped us further our mission during these difficult times. As we reflect on 2020 and set our sights on 2021, we have many successes to celebrate.  Here's a look at our top 10 successes of the year:

 

1. RESTORED FISH PASSAGE ON SIX WATERWAYS

Our team installed one fish ladder and oversaw the removal of five dams in four states. In New York, in partnership with Riverkeeper, Princeton Hydro oversaw the removal of two dams on tributaries to the Hudson River: Strooks Felt Dam on the Quassaick Creek in Newburgh and Barrier #1 on Furnace Brook in Cortlandt. The dams were the first barriers for fish movement upstream from the Hudson River. In Connecticut, the Slocomb Dam along Roaring Brook in South Glastonbury was removed, restoring American eel and trout passage. In Massachusetts, the Horseshoe Mill Pond Dam in Wareham was removed, opening over 3 miles of fish habitat on the Weweantic River, Buzzards Bay’s largest freshwater river. Here, migratory fish can now swim unimpeded from Buzzards Bay to lay their eggs in fresh water upstream for the first time in 200 years. In New Jersey, we led the removal of Warren Hills Dam in Washington, NJ and partnered with the American Littoral Society to install a fish ladder at the Old Mill Pond Dam in Spring Lake Heights, NJ, which allows migratory fish to scale the dam and access spawning grounds that had been blocked-off for over 100 years.

 

 2. LED THE LARGEST APPLICATION OF PHOSLOCK IN THE NORTHEAST ON NEW JERSEY'S LARGEST LAKE

We implemented a variety of measures that helped Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey's largest lake, mitigate harmful algal blooms (HABs). We applied a clay-based nutrient inactivating technology called Phoslock, which was the largest Phoslock treatment to occur in the Northeastern US. This treatment along with HAB prevention measures like the installation of biochar bags, nanobubble aeration systems, and floating wetland islands proved successful in mitigating HABs and improving overall water quality in 2020. And to top it all off, The Washington Post was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for its explanatory reporting on a novel climate change story featuring Lake Hopatcong and our lake management work.

 

3.  DESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED WETLAND AND SHORELINE RESTORATION PROJECTS

We completed a shoreline restoration project at The Dunes at Shoal Harbor, a coastal residential community along the Jersey Shore that was severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. In Linden’s Tremley Point neighborhood - another New Jersey community ravaged by Hurricane Sandy - we completed a green infrastructure and floodplain restoration project, the first restoration project to ever be implemented on NJDEP Blue Acres-acquired property. We transformed a densely developed, flood-prone, former industrial site in Bloomfield into a thriving public park with 4.2 acres of wetlands. Each of these three projects helped to restore valuable ecological functions and increase storm resiliency.

 

4. LAUNCHED A COMMUNITY SCIENCE MONITORING PROJECT FOR THE SCHUYLKILL RIVER

[caption id="attachment_5720" align="aligncenter" width="587"] Images provided by the American Littoral Society.[/caption]

On World Habitat Day, 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, kicked-off a Water Quality Monitoring Project for the Schuylkill River. This project aims to document the current ecological health of the river and engage a diverse set of river users and residents. As part of the campaign, the team is recruiting “Community Scientists” to conduct Visual Monitoring Assessments. Additionally, the stakeholder team is implementing water quality sampling and monitoring throughout 2021 at locations along the main stem of the Schuylkill River.

 

5. WELCOMED EIGHT NEW FULL-TIME TEAM MEMBERS

This year, we added eight new full-time staff members and one intern with expertise and qualifications in a variety of fields, all of whom have a passion for water resource management and environmental stewardship. In March, we were thrilled to welcome Dr. Laura Craig to our team as the new Director of Natural Resources. She is an Aquatic Ecologist who has overseen 25 dam removals, co-founded the NJ Dam Removal Partnership, and has 10+ years of experience in river conservation and climate adaptation. Go here to learn about the career opportunities currently available with us.

 

6. COMPLETED A MAJOR ECOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE HUDSON RIVER

Photo from USACE

The USACE Commanding General and 55th U.S. Army Chief of Engineers signed the Hudson River Habitat Restoration Ecosystem Restoration study, designating it as complete and making it eligible for congressional authorization. Princeton Hydro led the Integrated Feasibility Study and Environmental Assessment, which recommends three ecosystem restoration projects at sites along the river including Henry Hudson Park, Schodack Island Park, and Moodna Creek. The Hudson River Estuary is a significant habitat for fish, plants, and other wildlife, and this milestone marks progress toward the river’s return to a dynamic and self-regulating ecosystem. If constructed, these projects would restore almost 24 football-sized fields of wetlands in total.

 

7. EARNED THREE PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS

The New Jersey Section of the American Water Resources Association honored Princeton Hydro with the “Excellence in Water Resources: Ecological Restoration Award” for the Linden Blue Acres Floodplain Restoration & Green Infrastructure project. This restored the ecological and floodplain function on former residential properties acquired by the NJDEP Blue Acres Program for the first time. The American Littoral Society and Princeton Hydro received the “Land Ethics Best Large-Scale Project Award” from Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve for the work they did to restore the health and water quality of the Metedeconk River flowing through Ocean County Park in Lakewood, NJ. The Iowa Court and South Green Living Shoreline Project in Little Egg Harbor and Tuckerton, NJ, for which Princeton Hydro lead the sediment sampling/testing and hydrographic survey, received the “2020 Best Green Project Award” from Engineering News-Record.

 

8. GAVE OVER 20 PRESENTATIONS ON WATERSHED MANAGEMENT & RESILIENCY MEASURES

During the Hudson River Estuary Program’s conference, Christiana Pollack, GISP, CFM presented on managing invasive Phragmites and restoring wetland habitats. And, at the Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast, Christiana presented on a flood mitigation analysis project in a flood-prone Philadelphia community. As part of The American Sustainable Business Council’s “Clean Water is Good for Business” campaign, Marketing & Communications Manager, Dana Patterson, led a webinar, titled “Making the Business Case on Clean Water Issues to the Media.” At the 2020 Delaware Wetlands Conference, Senior Project Manager, Michael Rehman, presented a wetland restoration project that illustrates how a degraded urban area can be successfully rehabilitated. And, for a New York State Federation of Lake Associations webinar series, Senior Aquatic Ecologist, Chris Mikolajczyk, CLM, presented on a unique lake management initiative. And, our Director of Aquatics, Dr. Fred Lubnow, joined Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell & other experts to discuss Harmful Algal Blooms at a virtual #ProtectCleanWater Town Hall hosted by the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund.

 

9. CELEBRATED A VARIETY OF STAFF ACHIEVEMENTS

Our staff are repeatedly striving for personal growth and continue to amaze us. North American Lake Management Society chose Chris L. Mikolajczyk, CLM, Senior Aquatic Ecologist as the next President of the Board of Directors. Senior Ecologist, Michael Rehman, PWS, and Fluvial Geomorphologist, Paul Woodworth, became Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioners through the Society for Ecological Restoration. Emily Bjorhus and Robert George earned their Professional Wetland Scientist certification through the Society of Wetland Scientists program. In January, our Marketing & Communications Manager, Dana Patterson, received the Society of American Military Engineers New Jersey Post’s “Young Member Award” for her efforts in maintaining and advancing the objectives of the organization (pictured above). A national science journal published Environmental Scientist, Brittany Smith’s, graduate research study, which assessed “The Ecogeomorphic Evolution of Louisiana’s Wax Lake Delta.” Cory Speroff passed his Landscape Architecture exams and Andrew Simko earned his Professional Engineering license. And, Dr. Clay Emerson won our Earth Day Photo Contest with his incredible close-up of an Eastern Fence Lizard.

 

10. WE STAYED UNIFIED AND CONNECTED

2020 was a particularly challenging year, but the Princeton Hydro family stood together. With offices spread across the Northeast and collaboration between offices on a daily basis, we were unknowingly prepared for the shift to remote work during an unexpected global pandemic. But, it took more than just working laptops and VPN connections to keep us going. Because of our staff’s motivation and dedication to serving our clients, we were able to not only keep our firm open, but we continued to grow our geographic and service reach.

 

Thank you for supporting Princeton Hydro and sharing our stories. We truly appreciate each and every one of our clients, partners, and friends. Cheers to a fruitful 2021 and beyond!

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Princeton Hydro’s Senior Project Manager and Senior Aquatic Ecologist Chris L. Mikolajczyk, CLM, has been chosen as North American Lake Management Society’s (NALMS) next Board of Directors President-Elect. The President serves a three-year term including one year as President-Elect, one year as President, and one year as Immediate Past-President.

Founded in 1980, NALMS is dedicated to forging partnerships among citizens, scientists and professionals to foster the management and protection of lakes and reservoirs for today and tomorrow. The annual election is an important way for members to provide input into the management of the NALMS. In order to be eligible for a board position, candidates must be nominated by two organization members, be active in the organization, display leadership ability, and be able to accept the duties of office and attend semi-annual board meetings.

“I’m so proud to be a part of NALMS and honored to be chosen as President-Elect of this prestigious organization,” said Chris. “I look forward to working even more closely with the staff, the board, and members to uphold the mission of NALMS and seize the opportunities ahead.”

Chris attended his first NALMS conference in Madison, Wisconsin in 2001. From there, Chris went on to serve as the Region 2 Director from 2012–2015, and served and chaired the certification committee from 2015–2019. Chris is involved in the New Jersey Coalition of Lake Associations, is an active participant in New York State Federation of Lake Association’s annual conferences, and has recently joined the Colorado Lake and Reservoir Management Association. Chris was also recently featured in LakeLine Magazine, a quarterly e-magazine published by NALMS, and contributed the beautiful photo that appears on the magazine’s cover.

The Board of Director election results were announced during the NALMS International Symposium, which was held virtually this year. During the virtual symposium, NALMS also revealed the recipients of its annual Achievement Awards. The awards recognize individuals and organizations who have made valuable contributions to the goals of the organization or significant strides in lake management.

This year, the 2020 Leadership and Service Award winner was the Lake Champlain Committee of Burlington, VT. The 2020 Appreciation Award winners include: St. John’s River Water Management District in Palatka, FL; City of San Diego Water Utilities in San Diego, CA; and Water Quality Committee of the Normanoch Association, Inc. in Branchville, NJ.

Big congratulations to all award winners and newly elected Board members!

To see the full 2020 Board of Directors election results, go here. To learn more about the achievement awards and see a complete list of recipients, go here. To learn more about NALMS, go here.

Princeton Hydro is the industry leader in lake restoration and watershed management. We have conducted diagnostic studies and have developed management and restoration plans for over 300 lakes and watersheds throughout the country. This has included work for public and private recreational lakes, major water supply reservoirs, and watershed management initiatives conducted as part of USEPA and/or state funded programs. For more information about our lake management services, click here.

Chris is a CLM and Senior Project Manager in Princeton Hydro's Aquatic Resources Practice Area and conducts the management, oversight, and coordination of aquatic ecology and water resource projects. He leads green infrastructure and lake restoration projects, performs water quality sampling and investigations, and conducts stormwater quality modeling. Chris has been with Princeton Hydro since 1999 and has studied and managed well over 75 lakes in his career there. Read his full bio here.

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A project to increase storm resiliency and reduce flood risk through ecological and floodplain restoration on a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Blue Acres property in Linden, NJ was completed earlier this year. Today, we are thrilled to announce our project has received the “Excellence in Water Resources: Ecological Restoration Award” from the New Jersey Section – American Water Resources Association (NJ-AWRA).

“The Linden Blue Acres Green Infrastructure & Floodplain Restoration is an excellent model for showcasing a successful approach to the enhancement of public lands through a dynamic multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder partnership,” said Mark Gallagher, Vice President of Princeton Hydro. “We are so proud to have seen this project through to completion and are all the more honored to be recognized by the NJ-AWRA with this prestigious award.”

The NJ-AWRA Excellence Award recognizes projects that demonstrate an innovative and effective approach to water resources management. The projects must embody the mission of the AWRA to advance multidisciplinary water resources education, management and research. The Linden Blue Acres project excelled in these areas, resulting in the successful nomination of the project to receive the award.

The City of Linden, located 13 miles southwest of Manhattan, is a highly urbanized area with a complex mix of residential, commercial, and industrial land uses. Originally settled as farmland on broad marshes, the city has deep roots in industrial production that emerged in the 19th century, and its easily accessible location on the Arthur Kill tidal straight helped fuel this industrial development.

Like other communities in the Arthur Kill Watershed, Linden also suffers severe flooding from heavy rains and storms. Due to a high percentage of impervious cover from houses, roadways, and sidewalks, even small rain events generate a significant amount of stormwater runoff. Tremley Point, a low-lying community of about 275 homes, is particularly prone to backwater flooding because of its low lying landscape position and its proximity to an extensive area of tidal wetlands associated with Marshes Creek, a tributary to the Rahway River.

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused widespread destruction to the City of Linden. The City’s Tremley Point neighborhood was especially storm-ravaged; local news outlets reported that a 15-foot tidal surge overtook Tremley Point homes, destroyed roads, and washed up hazardous material such as a 150-gallon diesel tank.

To help communities like Tremley Point recover, the NJDEP launched the Blue Acres program under which NJDEP purchases homes from willing sellers at pre-Sandy market values, so residents in areas of repetitive and catastrophic flooding can rebuild their lives outside flood-prone areas. Structures are demolished and the properties are permanently preserved as open space for recreation or conservation purposes.

As part of the NJDEP Blue Acres Program, Princeton Hydro, in collaboration with the City of Linden, Rutgers University, NJDEP, Phillips 66, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, New Jersey Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, and Enviroscapes, took on one of the first ecological restoration projects within Blue Acres-acquired properties. This project increased storm resiliency by reducing flooding and stormwater runoff by improving the ecological and floodplain function within the Tremley Point properties acquired by the NJDEP Blue Acres Program.

Nancy Sadlon, Manager of Public Affairs for Phillips 66-Bayway Refinery, accepted the award on behalf of the project team and said, "Our team not only made possible the first successful implementation of the floodplain restoration on Blue Acres lands but set a precedent on stakeholder engagement; we showed what is possible when all stakeholders are fully engaged and dedicated to the same goal.”

The project included the development and implementation of an on-the-ground natural green infrastructure-focused floodplain enhancement design involving the restoration of native coastal floodplain forest and meadow, as well as floodplain wetlands. The restored area provides natural buffering to storm surge and enhances floodplain functions to capture, infiltrate, store, and slow excess stormwater to reduce the risk of future flood damage. In addition, it restores natural habitat and provides public recreation access on NJDEP Blue Acres property.

Although the planning for this project occurred over many years, the project officially kicked off in December 2018.  Engineering design was finalized and permitting submissions were completed in September 2019, and construction commenced in October 2019.  The project construction was completed earlier this year.

This project embodies the NJ-AWRA mission as it focuses on restoring a floodplain and enhancing its functions by leveraging the success of the NJDEP Blue Acres buyouts to create even more flood protection for the community. This project also fulfills the NJ-AWRA criteria as several different organizations were involved in bringing it to fruition, including private entities, government agencies, universities, and nonprofit organizations.

Given that this project was the first restoration project to be completed on NJDEP Blue Acres-acquired property, the hope is that it will bring to light other possibilities for restoration work on Blue Acres land. This project can be used as an example for future projects of a similar nature.

We would also like to thank the project funders, whose support made this project possible: The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Phillips 66, and the New Jersey Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership.

During the award ceremony, which was held virtually, NJ-AWRA also recognized John A. Miller, PE, CFM, CSM with the Peter Homack Award for "his outstanding contributions toward a multidisciplinary understanding and management of water resources in New Jersey." John previously worked with Princeton Hydro for 15 years as a Water Resources Engineer and now serves as the Mitigation Liaison to the State of New Jersey at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). We are so proud of John and all his accomplishments. This award is well deserved and we congratulate him on this honor.

Read more about the Linden Blue Acres project:

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In honor of Earth Day, Princeton Hydro held its annual Photo Contest with the theme "Biodiversity, Near and Far" for its employees. We’d like to thank everyone who submitted photos this year. Overall, we received 31 gorgeous submissions from our staff.

All photos were rated on the following criteria by three volunteer judges: Danielle Odom, Darren Rist, and Amanda Brooks (see bios below).
  • Technical Quality (30%)
  • Originality (30%)
  • Artistic Merit (40%)
THE WINNER OF THE PRINCETON HYDRO 2021 EARTH DAY PHOTO CONTEST IS...
[caption id="attachment_8193" align="aligncenter" width="1227"] "Northern Gray Tree Frog" by Michael Rehman, PWS, CERP, Senior Ecologist. Warren County, New Jersey.[/caption] Scroll to the bottom to see a gallery of runner-up photos.
ABOUT THE JUDGES:
Danielle Odom

Danielle is a Staff Scientist II at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Her career is dedicated to watershed monitoring research and her responsibilities include both field and laboratory work. She has specialized in studying biological indicators as a parameter to track stream health via macroinvertebrate taxonomy; in particular identifying members of the non-biting midge family Chironomidae. Once an experiential outdoor educator, she taught nature photography to middle school students as a pathway to understanding different perspectives and the impact of humans on the environment, a la Ansel Adams.

Darren Rist

Some of Darren’s fondest childhood memories are of fishing with his father and brothers. He’s always loved trout fishing, but it wasn’t until his first year in college that he caught the fly fishing bug…BAD. Darren spent many painstaking hours deciding whether to go to his morning engineering classes at NJIT or the ‘entomology classes’ on one of the many trout rivers in Northern NJ. (The latter usually won out). In 2003 he found himself wanting more than just a career in automation engineering. That was when he decided to buy his first drift boat and began guiding part-time on the fabled rivers of the Catskills and Upper Delaware. Becoming a fly fishing guide has enabled Darren to blend his love of the outdoors, travel, photography, birding, teaching and of course, fly fishing. In addition to guiding, Darren provides fly casting and tying instruction, and is a past president of the North Jersey Chapter of Trout Unlimited. His photography has been published in fly fishing books and periodicals. To learn more about guided fly-fishing trips with Darren, you can reach him at dprist@earthlink.net.

Amanda Brooks

Amanda is a nature enthusiast who loves taking long walks in the woods with her camera and notepad. With her degree in Environmental Studies and English and her background in the arts, she loves to use both words and graphics to communicate environmental issues in ways to help inspire solutions. She currently resides in Burlington, Vermont and is the Communications Coordinator for the Town of Colchester. She also works as a freelance photographer, editor, and web designer, and manages several clients' marketing plans. You can check out more of her work on her Facebook page.

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