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                    [post_content] => 

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

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

Let's dive in!

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

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

2. What does SRG value?

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

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

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

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


3. What is your primary role within SRG?

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

  Click below to read the previous edition of our Client Spotlight Series featuring Seatuck Environmental Association Conservation Policy Advocate Emily Hall: [visual-link-preview encoded="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"] [post_title] => Client Spotlight: Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => client-spotlight-schuylkill-river-greenways [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-10-31 17:16:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-10-31 17:16:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=11552 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11177 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-08-16 16:31:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-08-16 16:31:47 [post_content] => Data visualization is an important tool for communicating science to a broader audience. Whether you are a volunteer community scientist or a professional aquatic ecologist, there are many free tools and low-cost programs that you can use to link the scientific data to actions that can improve water quality. Members of the Princeton Hydro team created a blog for a River Network that provides readers with 8 simple steps as well as tips and tricks on how to communicate your results most effectively. Click below to read the full blog:   For more tips and tricks, including a tutorial on how to make graphs using Microsoft Excel, graphic design 101, and a deeper dive on engagement strategies, watch the webinar Princeton Hydro led for River Network:   [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9kwW8I8GIY&t=2s[/embed] River Network, founded in 1988, has been at the forefront of expanding national interest in protecting the waters of the United States, encouraging diversity in the environmental movement, and helping engaged community members and local organizations take a stand for their waters. Read more. [post_title] => Data Visualization Tips and Tricks for Water Quality Monitoring [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => data-visualization-tips-and-tricks-for-water-quality-monitoring [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-08-16 16:36:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-08-16 16:36:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=11177 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10948 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2022-06-14 16:43:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-06-14 16:43:19 [post_content] =>

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: bit.ly/schuylkillriver. 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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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?

[embed]https://youtu.be/SoAgRaypc4Q[/embed]

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?

[embed]https://youtu.be/E1oYOy9Y688[/embed]

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?

[embed]https://youtu.be/f5BV2u04Q5A[/embed]

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

[embed]https://youtu.be/wyRIHwMD5gE[/embed] To learn more, click below to explore the River Revival Story Map:

Q. How can an individual get involved with Seatuck?

[embed]https://youtu.be/rT1CinT-xKs[/embed]

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?

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

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:

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvdWsI_3MIU[/embed]

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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Lake Hopatcong Commission partnered with Lake Hopatcong Foundation, with in-kind contributions from the NJDEP, municipal governments, Morris and Sussex Counties, Musconetcong Watershed Association, Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum, Rutgers University, NJ Highlands Council, and Princeton Hydro, to address three priority streambank stabilization projects within the Upper Musconetcong River Watershed.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced that the Lake Hopatcong Commission would receive $480,650 through the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund (DWCF). The DWCF aims to conserve and restore natural areas, corridors, and waterways on public and private lands to support native migratory and resident wildlife and fish, and native plants; and to contribute to the social health and economic vitality of the communities in the Delaware River watershed. Major funding for the DWCF is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“It’s great to see funding awarded to the Upper Musconetcong River Watershed at the federal level. The Commission was created to promote public health and welfare through the preservation of Lake Hopatcong for recreational and conservation purposes. These projects are consistent with our organizational goals and will enhance water quality and recreational access within the watershed,” said Ron Smith, Chairman of the Lake Hopatcong Commission.

The grant will fund the design and implementation of three streambank stabilization projects, identified as priority projects in the 2021 Upper Musconetcong River Watershed Implementation Plan as prepared by Princeton Hydro for the Lake Hopatcong Commission. They will address important stormwater issues that had been previously identified.  The projects are:

  • Musconetcong River Streambank Stabilization and Floodplain Enhancement in Hopatcong State Park (Roxbury Township). This portion of the Musconetcong River at Lake Hopatcong’s outlet has been identified as having serious stormwater and flooding issues. An approximate four-acre section of streambank will be restored and stabilized. As part of this effort, invasive species will be eradicated and the existing floodplain rehabilitated through the establishment of native vegetation.
  • Glen Brook Streambank Stabilization in Memorial Park (Borough of Mount Arlington). Glen Brook is a major stream entering Lake Hopatcong at Mount Arlington Beach. It is a significant source of stormwater runoff and has been identified as having a negative impact on water quality. Approximately 75 linear feet of Glen Brook immediately downstream of Memorial Pond will be regraded and vegetated to naturally treat runoff into the lake.
  • Lakefront Public Access & Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance at Witten Park (Borough of Hopatcong). Witten Park, a forgotten public area, will be restored and serious stormwater issues will be addressed. The severely eroded Sperry Spring, which feeds Lake Hopatcong, will be rehabilitated and a regenerative stormwater conveyance will be installed. This device will convey and treat stormwater runoff down a naturally occurring slope, reconnecting it to the original floodplain. 

“Environmental impacts associated with development pressure in the upper Musconetcong Watershed around Lake Hopatcong have contributed to reduced water quality. By implementing these projects, we will be able to continue our efforts to improve water quality by reducing phosphorus and sediment entering Lake Hopatcong and the Musconetcong River all while enhancing local wildlife habitat and increasing recreational access around New Jersey’s largest lake,” said Kyle Richter, Executive Director, Lake Hopatcong Foundation.

The grant application requested $480,650 from the DWCF with a combined local in-kind match of more than $489,000 from the Lake Hopatcong Commission, Lake Hopatcong Foundation, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Borough of Hopatcong, Township of Roxbury, Mount Arlington Borough, Morris and Sussex Counties, the Musconetcong Watershed Association, Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum, Rutgers University, NJ Highlands Council, and Princeton Hydro. This is the first grant that has been awarded to the Lake Hopatcong Commission from NFWF.

“Lakes in the Upper Musconetcong Watershed, like Lake Hopatcong and Lake Musconetcong, have experienced degraded water quality and unprecedented harmful algal blooms from excessive nutrients in stormwater runoff and aging septic systems. We are proud to partner with Lake Hopatcong Commission, Lake Hopatcong Foundation, and local stakeholders on this multi-site stream stabilization project to reduce nutrient runoff, enhance wildlife habitat, and improve public access in the watershed,” said Dr. Fred Lubnow, Director of Aquatic Resources at Princeton Hydro.

To learn more about The Lake Hopatcong Commission, visit lakehopatcongcommission.org. To learn more about The Lake Hopatcong Foundation, visit lakehopatcongfoundation.org and check out our recent blog. To learn more about Princeton Hydro's natural resource management services, visit princetonhydro.com.

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July is #LakesAppreciation Month - a great time of year to enjoy your community lakes. Lakes Appreciation Month was started by North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) to help bring attention to the countless benefits that lakes provide, to raise awareness of the many challenges facing our waterways, and to encourage people to protect these precious resources.

We’ve put together six tips to help you celebrate Lakes Appreciation Month and get involved in protecting your favorite lakes:

1. Join the “Secchi Dip-In” contest.

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. Get all the Dip-In details here.


2. Enter the #LakesAppreciation Challenge.

NALMS invites you to participate in its "Show Your Lakes Appreciation Challenge" social media #lakeselfie photo contest. The first place winner, who will be chosen on August 3, gets a $100 REI gift card, donated by Princeton Hydro. Click here to get all the details on how to participate.


3. Monitor and report algae blooms.

With the bloomWatch App, you can track harmful algal blooms (HABs) with your smart phone. HABs can produce toxins that can have serious negative impacts on water quality. Use bloomWatch to take photos of potential blooms, submit your photos through the app, and the info gets sent to relevant state officials for further action. Get more info here.


4. Commit to keeping your lake clean.

Volunteers play a major role in maintaining the health and safety of community waterways. If you’re interested in helping to conserve and protect your water resources, you can start by cleaning up trash. Choose a waterbody in your community; determine a regular clean-up schedule; and stick to it! Cleaning your neighborhood storm drains really helps too; click here to find out how


5. Support your local lake.

You can help support your favorite lake by joining or donating to a lake or watershed association. Lake associations monitor the condition of the lake, develop lake management plans, provide education about how to protect the lake, work with the government entities to improve fish habitat, and much more.


6. Get outside and enjoy the water.

There are countless ways to enjoy and appreciate your community lakes. During Lakes Appreciation month, take photos that illustrate how you appreciate your community lakes, share them on social media using the hashtag: #LakesAppreciation, and hopefully you’ll inspire others to show their Lake Appreciation too.


To learn more about NALMS and get more ideas on how to celebrate your local lakes, go here: https://www.nalms.org. If you’re interested in learning more about Princeton Hydro’s broad range of award-winning lake management services, go here: www.princetonhydro/pondlake

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Welcome to the newest edition of our Client Spotlight Blog Series! Each spotlight provides an inside look at our collaboration, teamwork, and accomplishments with a specific client. We value our client relationships and pride ourselves on forming strong ties with organizations that share our values of creating a better future for people and our planet.

Meet The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey (TNCNJ)

The Nature Conservancy began as a collaborative effort between leading scientists, committed citizens, and dedicated leaders who shared a vision to care for the world around them. Their priorities include finding innovative solutions to some of the planet’s biggest challenges: tackling climate change, protecting land and water, providing food and water sustainability, and building healthy cities.  Princeton Hydro has worked with TNCNJ on about a dozen projects since 2009. 

TNCNJ’s Director of River Restoration Beth Styler Barry and Princeton Hydro President Geoff Goll.

To develop this Client Spotlight, we spoke with TNCNJ’s Director of River Restoration Beth Styler Barry. Beth has over 18 years of experience in river restoration, water quality monitoring, community outreach, and project management. In addition to leading major stream restoration projects for TNCNJ, Beth also co-leads the statewide New Jersey Dam Removal Partnership. Beth has worked with Princeton Hydro on a number of projects, including the removal of the Columbia Dam, the largest dam removal in New Jersey's history. 

Q: What makes your organization unique?

The Nature Conservancy is a global organization and the largest environmental nonprofit in the United States, so we can make conservation happen at a continental scale. At the same time, we are structured into smaller business units that keep us nimble and relevant for handling ecological challenges that affect and resonate with people, wildlife, and habitats locally. Everyone who works here is very passionate about protecting nature. 

Q: What does your organization value?

Our conservation work is always guided by science. In fact, we have more than 400 scientists on staff around the world. We also have a knack for working with a wide range of partners and bringing about positive outcomes where they otherwise may not have been easily achieved. 

Q:   How long have you been working with Princeton Hydro?

I joined TNC in 2016, so about 4.5 years.

Q:   What types of services have we provided to your organization?

I have worked with Princeton Hydro on water and soil studies, engineering and design for dam removals, and oversight for the construction phase of river restoration.

Beth Styler Barry and Geoffrey Goll on-site during the Columbia Dam removal project.
Project partners celebrating the kick-off of the Columbia Dam Removal.
Q:  Do you have a favorite or most memorable project we’ve worked on together?

Princeton Hydro was an important partner in our effort to remove the Columbia Dam from the Paulins Kill in 2019. A study ranked the 300-foot-long, 18-foot-high structure in the top 5% of East Coast dams for removal. The impoundment of water behind the dam was unhealthy and the dam itself impeded the migration of threatened American shad for more than 100 years. With Princeton Hydro’s help, and working with a team of partners including the State of New Jersey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we succeeded in the largest dam removal in state history. Less than two weeks after the dam was completely removed, the shad were recorded ten miles upstream!

Q:  What are some exciting things your organization is working on right now?

There are so many exciting projects! We are working on two more dam removals on the Paulins Kill, as part of a watershed-wide restoration.  As a part of that restoration work, we’re working on completing design and permitting on a 1,000-acre wetland and stream restoration project in the headwaters of the Paulins Kill.  We are also still working in New Jersey to protect and connect land for state-endangered Bobcat and other wildlife; to increase the use of nature as a way of building resiliency in communities dealing with flooding from storms and sea level rise; and to support a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 2006 levels by 2025.

Q: What drives you to want to go to work everyday?

I feel a deep connection to rivers, especially the rivers of New Jersey.  I’ve seen so many good restoration projects that it inspires me to keep pushing forward.  We owe that to our rivers.

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

One thing that I enjoy about working with Princeton Hydro is that staff are always ready to really walk me through a new design idea, method, or step in the regulatory process. I like the opportunity to ask a lot of questions and fully understand the work at hand.

...

To learn more about The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey, visit their website.  And, click below to read the previous edition of our Client Spotlight blog series, which features the Musconetcong Watershed Association.

[post_title] => Client Spotlight: The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => client-spotlight-the-nature-conservancy-in-new-jersey [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-04-22 15:55:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-04-22 15:55:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=8405 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8736 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2021-05-31 17:55:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-05-31 17:55:01 [post_content] => In April, our Marketing Coordinator, Kelsey Mattison, attended the Westchester Parks Foundation's annual Pitch in for Parks event! This volunteer event, of which Princeton Hydro is a proud sponsor, featured a full day of cleanup and park beautification across Westchester County in New York State. Throughout the day, 14 different park sites saw a total of 838 volunteers! That's a whole lot of impact. Exhibit tables for the event were stationed at the Kensico Dam Plaza, one of the many park sites in Westchester County, located in Valhalla, New York. This park is home to one of the historic Kensico Dam, a 307 foot high by 1,843 feet long dam that forms the Kensico Reservoir, one of the major reservoirs supplying water to New York City and the surrounding area. The dam was completed in 1917 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Bronx River Parkway Reservation. [caption id="attachment_8588" align="aligncenter" width="1230"] Kensico Dam[/caption] Princeton Hydro has been working with the Westchester Parks Foundation since 2019 managing one of their lakes in Tibbets Brook Park in the Bronx. Our Aquatics team has provided invasive species management for European Water Chestnut, which causes overall water quality issues and can impact human and ecological health. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="8719,8717,8574,8718"]   If you're in the area and interested in getting more involved, head over to Westchester Parks Foundation's website to learn more! They have several volunteer opportunities and programs to check out. [post_title] => Westchester Parks Foundation's "Pitch in for Parks" Volunteer Event [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => pitch-in-for-parks-volunteer-event [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-06-01 18:16:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-06-01 18:16:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=8736 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4722 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2021-04-20 12:20:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-04-20 12:20:42 [post_content] =>

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

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

Let's dive in!

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

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

2. What does SRG value?

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

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

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

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


3. What is your primary role within SRG?

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

  Click below to read the previous edition of our Client Spotlight Series featuring Seatuck Environmental Association Conservation Policy Advocate Emily Hall: [visual-link-preview encoded="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"] [post_title] => Client Spotlight: Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => client-spotlight-schuylkill-river-greenways [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-10-31 17:16:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-10-31 17:16:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=11552 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 43 [max_num_pages] => 4 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => 1 [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => 1 [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => d79e55868d73771035fe0bcde45bf8f7 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [allow_query_attachment_by_filename:protected] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )

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