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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To read about another STEAM education youth inclusion initiative that Princeton Hydro is involved with, click here. [post_title] => Hold High The Torch Recognizes Princeton Hydro for STEAM Education Contributions [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => hold-high-the-torch-recognizes-princeton-hydro-for-steam-education-contributions [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2024-05-17 20:47:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2024-05-17 20:47:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=15007 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14851 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2024-05-01 14:53:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2024-05-01 14:53:39 [post_content] =>

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

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

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


What to Expect:

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

Why Attend:

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

Event Details:

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

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

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

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


Build a Rain Garden in Your Yard

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

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

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

Install a Rain Barrel

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

Get 4 steps for installing a rain barrel.

Get Your Garden Spring-Ready

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

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

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

Implement a Community Clean-up Routine

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

Click here for more community clean-up ideas.

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

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

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


Fascinating Facts about American Shad

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

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

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

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

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

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


Historical Significance

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

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

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

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

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


Challenges in American Shad Restoration

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

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

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

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

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


Conservation Efforts

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

Paulins Kill River

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

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


Musconetcong River

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

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


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

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

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March 20: 2024 Achieving Climate Resilience Through Water Symposium

Join the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia for its day-long conference that convenes business-owners, professionals, and other interested parties working in the green stormwater infrastructure field and other fields related to water quality, equity, and climate resilience. The symposium will be held at the Science History Institute, and will include special guests and speakers, engaging technical sessions, and excellent opportunities for growing your networks. Princeton Hydro's Dana Patterson Grear and WSP's Elizabeth Treadway are presenting on, "Stormwater Utility: A Mechanism for Funding Green Stormwater Infrastructure Projects in Your Community".

Register for the symposium.

March 23: 2024 Watershed Congress

Presented by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, the 2024 Watershed Congress, will take place at the Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown. This year's conference includes an in-person program on March 23 along with several virtual sessions the week following. Attendees can select a full-access ticket, in-person only ticket, or virtual only ticket. The in-person program will be presented in three parts: a Keynote Speaker, Breakout Sessions, and a Closing Plenary. Presentation topics include native plants, riparian buffers, civic engagement for environmental protection, and “Converting a Pond into a Wetland Mosaic within a Public Park,” led by Emily Bjorhus, PWS.

Get more info and register.

March 27: Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Summit 2024

Registration is now open for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection‘s HAB Summit! This all-day, virtual seminar will be packed with important information about understanding, preventing and managing HABs. This year's Summit, "Unlocking the Puzzle of Harmful Algal Blooms," includes a keynote address and three educational sessions - "Growth Through Reflection: Lessons Learned," "Innovative Tools and Applications," and "Beyond the Numbers" - each featuring a variety of expert presentations. Princeton Hydro Senior Technical Directory of Ecological Services Dr. Fred Lubnow is presenting on "Quantifying Overwintering Cyanobacteria and How They May Impact the Monitoring and Management of HABs."

Get more info and register.

March 27: American Shad Webinar

Did you know that the American Shad is perhaps the preeminent, native, migratory fish of our Mid-Atlantic region? Join the Watershed Institute for an eye-opening webinar that shines a spotlight on this unique species. Led by The Watershed Institute's Executive Director, Jim Waltman, and Princeton Hydro's Senior Technical Director, Engineering, Dr. Clay Emerson P.E., CFM, this session will delve into species identification and biology, spawning migration, the historical significance of American Shad, and habitat restoration and dam removal efforts aimed at protecting this vital species. This free webinar takes place via Zoom from 5:30 - 7pm on Wednesday, March 27. Registration is required.

Get more info and register.

April 15 - 17: Free Flow Conference 2024

Free Flow 2024 is an international conference on protecting and restoring free-flowing rivers. Held in Oosterpoort, Groningen, The Netherlands, the conference will bring together policy makers, river managers, ecologists, researchers, students, and industry professionals from around the world. The two-day event features 130 speakers, divided over 27 sessions, who will present their research on topics including dam removal / fish passage; ecology and hydromorphology of free-flowing rivers; freshwater fish & fisheries; river restoration tools & projects; and cultural & socio-economic aspects of free-flowing rivers. Princeton Hydro is sponsoring a lecture on small barrier dam removals, and Founding Principal and President Geoffrey M. Goll, PE is presenting on the inner workings of dam removal in an education session titled, "Dam removal is not just about dam removal." The conference also features five field trip excursions, an exhibitors market, a poster session, and networking events.

Get more info and register.

April 16: Colorado Lake and Reservoir Management Association Spring Luncheon

CLRMA and its members work to manage, study, restore, and protect lakes and reservoirs across Colorado. On April 16, CLRMA is hosting its Annual Spring Luncheon for which participants will gather together for a lunch-and-learn-style event to discuss lake restoration projects and CLRMA’s outreach programs. Princeton Hydro is a proud sponsor, and Chris Mikolajczyk, CLM, Princeton Hydro Senior Project Manager Aquatics and CLRMA board member, is attending the luncheon and hopes to see you there! Get more info and register.

April 17: 17th Annual New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team Conference

Presented by the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space and hosted by Duke Farms, the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team Conference is considered the most comprehensive state-wide forum on invasive species. The conference encompasses insights from both academic research and field experience, and features practical demonstrations by land stewards in addition to formal presentations. Topics include "How to Garden Like a Forager," "Engaging the Public and the Language of Invasives," and "Invasive Species Management & Restoration Case Studies." Princeton Hydro is sponsoring the conference and exhibiting.

Get more info and register.

April 18 - 22: "Pitch in for Parks" Earth Day Celebration

Westchester Parks Foundation and the Westchester County Parks Department invite you to celebrate Earth Day by participating in the annual Pitch in for Parks volunteer initiative taking place at parks throughout West Chester County, New York. Every year, thousands of civic-minded individuals, organizations and groups volunteer their time and efforts to pick up trash, build trails, remove invasive species, plant native flowers and trees, and celebrate nature. This year's event, for which Princeton Hydro is a Bronze Sponsor, includes 16 different Pitch in for Parks locations, including Tibbetts Brook Park in Yonkers, Marshlands Conservancy in Rye, and Glen Island Park in New Rochelle.

Get more info and register.

April 19: Coastal Resilience in NJ - Funding Through Implementation

The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) New Jersey Post is hosting its annual day-long seminar in celebration of Earth Day on Friday, April 19, 2024. This full-day, in-person program, being held at the Rutgers EcoComplex in Bordentown, New Jersey, features presenters from local, state, and federal governments, NGOs, and academia who will highlight planning, funding, and implementation efforts for coastal restoration in New Jersey. Princeton Hydro is a proud sponsor and will be exhibiting at the event. The day concludes with an Oyster Tasting Happy Hour & Networking event!

Get more info and register.

May 3: New Jersey Sustainability Summit

The New Jersey Sustainability Summit is a momentous event that draws change-makers from across the political, private, and public sectors. This exceptional one-day forum spotlights the successes and lessons learned from the people and projects that are helping New Jersey realize a more sustainable future. Princeton Hydro's Senior Technical Director, Engineering, Dr. Clay Emerson P.E., CFM is presenting on stormwater basin naturalization. He'll provide case studies for recently completed  projects and offer actionable stewardship activities that municipalities can undertake to better manage their publicly managed stormwater basins.

Get more info and register.

May 3 & 4: The New York State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA) Annual Conference

Founded in 1983, NYSFOLA is comprised of 200+ lake associations across the state. On May 3rd & 4th, NYSFOLA will host its 41st Anniversary at the Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center in Lake George. This year’s conference, which is titled “It Takes a Community to Protect a Watershed,” is focused on collaborative efforts to protect water quality through watershed-wide collaborative efforts. Participants will enjoy a variety of panel discussions, workshops, networking events and an exhibitor hall. Princeton Hydro, a sponsor of the event, is leading a variety of workshops, including a session about the management of lakes and ponds in New York City's Central Park being led by Princeton Hydro Senior Technical Directory of Ecological Services Dr. Fred Lubnow.

Get more info and register.

May 4: Trenton Community Day

Enjoy an afternoon of music, games, food, and fun at George Page Park for this year's Trenton Community Day! This free, community event will feature craft demonstrations, educational programs, and exhibitors from organizations throughout the Trenton area and beyond. More details are coming soon!

Stay tuned for more info.

May 9 & 10: Watershed Restoration Academy - Healthy Streams 101

Are you ready to delve into the fascinating world of streams? The Watershed Institute and Princeton Hydro invite you to take part in a brand new, two-day, in-person course designed for water resources professionals seeking to enhance their understanding of watershed analysis and stream processes. Led by licensed professionals in engineering, geomorphology, and watershed science, this course offers a comprehensive introduction to stream restoration projects. Spend a day in the classroom gaining foundational knowledge, then head out into the field for hands-on assessments of both degraded and healthy stream environments. Don't miss this opportunity to deepen your expertise and contribute to the restoration of our precious water ecosystems.

Get more info and register.


May 16: 59th Annual New Jersey Conference of Mayors

The New Jersey Conference of Mayors presents its 59th Annual Conference at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. This esteemed gathering convenes mayors from across the state, united in their commitment to amplifying community voices, addressing pressing issues, and shaping the future of New Jersey. This year's conference features a dynamic panel discussion on Climate Resiliency. Experts, including Dr. Fred Lubnow from Princeton Hydro, will explore the impacts of flooding and stormwater management on New Jersey communities. Beyond the panel, attendees can explore an exhibitor hall showcasing innovative solutions, hear a keynote from Governor Murphy, and engage in networking opportunities.

Get more info.


INCASE YOU MISSED IT: A LOOK BACK ON EXCITING EVENTS FROM EARLIER THIS YEAR

Pennsylvania Lake Management Society Annual Conference

Pennsylvania Lake Management Society hosted its 34th Annual Conference. This year’s event, themed “Bringing it Back Home,” was held at the Wyndham Garden in State College, PA. Princeton Hydro was a proud sponsor of the conference, which offered a collection of professional presentations, workshops and panel discussions focused on topics like threats to our waters, new scientific discoveries, and homegrown solutions to improving water quality. Princeton Hydro Senior Technical Director of Ecological Services Dr. Fred Lubnow presented on “Assessing the Potential for Harmful Algal Blooms Over the Winter and Early Spring Seasons.”

Learn more about Harmful Algal Blooms.

Seventh Annual Watershed Conference

For the 7th Annual Watershed Institute Watershed Conference Watershed members, environmental professionals, government officials, nonprofit organization professionals, and stakeholders came together to learn about and share experiences related to Regional Watershed Planning. Princeton Hydro, a proud Conference sponsor, led two sessions:
  • Director of Marketing and Communications Dana Patterson Grear, along with team members from The Watershed Institute and New Jersey Future, led a session on community engagement. The panel covered how officials/municipal staff can engage their communities on the MS4 permit requirements, implement a public education and outreach program, collaborate with Spanish-speaking populations, and encourage community participation in stormwater-related activities.
  • Senior Technical Director, Ecological Services, Dr. Fred Lubnow, joined a panel to discuss the valuable ecosystem services associated with watershed management, with a focus on watershed planning and nutrient management.

Delaware Wetlands Conference

400+ people gathered together in Wilmington, DE for the 10th Delaware Wetlands Conference. The conference featured 50+ presentations on topics like soil science, climate adaptation, water quality monitoring, and wetland restoration. Princeton Hydro, a proud conference sponsor and exhibitor, led four sessions:
  • Project Manager and Environmental Scientist Emily Bjorhus, PWS  presented on "Converting a Pond into a Wetland Mosaic within Public Park," which explored the design and construction of the Lion’s Pride Park Ecological Restoration Project in Warrington, PA. The project converted a stagnant pond overrun with invasive species and water quality concerns into a diverse wetland complex that provides native wildlife habitat and reduces nonpoint source pollutants discharged to downstream waters.

  • Project Manager and Environmental Scientist Duncan Simpson, PWS presented on the Cypress Branch Dam Removal.

  • Environmental Scientist Ivy Babson presented on "Third River Urban Park and Habitat Creation Project – Brownfield Turned Wetland Sanctuary."

  • Director of Regulatory Compliance and Wildlife Surveys, Michael Rehman, CERP, PWS presented on "Revisiting Successful Wetland Mitigation Projects — Is Five Years of Monitoring Sufficient?"


Stay tuned to our blog for more events!

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New Jersey’s water-related infrastructure is a complex system, constantly facing the challenges posed by stormwater runoff and working to properly manage it. Stormwater management isn’t just about handling rainfall; it’s a critical aspect of preserving water quality and mitigating flooding risks. In New Jersey, where urbanization and rainfall patterns intersect, managing stormwater is more than just a priority; it’s a necessity. Enter a stormwater utility— a dedicated fee to address these stormwater management challenges.

Stormwater Utilities in New Jersey

New Jersey’s stormwater infrastructure (storm drains, sewer piping, etc.) is aging and unable to effectively handle the amount of runoff that has been flowing through the region in recent years. This is causing increased nutrient runoff and flooding in communities throughout the state. With increasing global temperatures and the proliferation of intense storm systems, this trend is likely to continue.

To address these issues, in 2019, New Jersey enacted the Clean Stormwater & Flood Reduction Law that allows municipalities, counties, groups of municipalities, and sewage and improvement authorities to establish a stormwater utility.

For many local leaders, the process to establish a utility can be complex, often depending on a number of details like the scope of the work and size of the community. In 2021, Princeton Hydro teamed up with the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, New Jersey Future, and Flood Defense New Jersey to host a webinar explaining the purpose of a stormwater utility; how a stormwater utility works; how to decide if a stormwater utility is the right fit for a particular community; and how municipalities or counties can implement one.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUvD79bjiPQ[/embed]

In 2022, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) announced the availability of Technical Assistance for Stormwater Utility Feasibility Studies, which supports municipalities in completing a stormwater utility feasibility study. Stormwater feasibility studies can help communities weigh the costs and benefits of having a stormwater utility to determine if it's right for them. Princeton Hydro is currently conducting a feasibility study for the City of Lambertville.


Jersey Water Works Stormwater Utility Information Forum

Jersey Water Works is a collaborative effort of many diverse organizations and individuals who embrace the common purpose of transforming New Jersey’s water infrastructure. They bring people together to find equitable solutions focused on: Clean water and waterways; healthier, safer neighborhoods; local jobs; flood and climate resilience; and economic growth. Jersey Water Works consists of many different committees run by volunteers, including the Stormwater Utilities Subcommittee, which is part of the Asset Management and Finance Committee.

The Jersey Waterworks Stormwater Utility Subcommittee launched the “Stormwater Utility Informational Forum” comprising five one-hour-long, town-hall-style education sessions. Each session featured expert panelists who explored various aspects of creating a stormwater utility and establishing a sustainable and dedicated funding mechanism to pay for a community’s stormwater management program.

Utility leaders, government stormwater managers, municipal and county representatives, elected officials, experts and stakeholders came together to discuss the topics of stormwater financial planning and funding options; New Jersey legislation and the utility development process; stormwater rate structures and credits; stormwater utility policies; and stakeholder engagement.

Key leaders in the Stormwater Utility subcommittee who organized the information forum include Dana Patterson Grear, Director of Marketing and Communications for Princeton Hydro (co-chair); Micah Shapiro of RES (co-chair); Prabha Kumar of Black & Veatch Management Consulting LLC; and Elizabeth Treadway of WSP. The forum presenters included Prabha Kumar, Elizabeth Treadway, Dana Patterson Grear, Dave Mason of CDM Smith; Lindsey Sigmund of New Jersey Future.


The Art of Stakeholder Engagement

Prabha Kumar and Dana Patterson Grear led the final session of the forum, which was dedicated to Stakeholder Engagement. They shared their expert recommendations and real-world experience in fostering community involvement, navigating the complexities of stakeholder engagement, and developing inclusive public meetings and dialogues related to implementing a stormwater utility feasibility study.

The presentation emphasized the significance of prioritizing stakeholder engagement early on and maintaining consistent engagement throughout the entire stormwater utility feasibility process. Prabha and Dana also provided tons of easy-to-follow, actionable tips, including:

  • How to structure your stakeholder groups, including the creation of a project team, a project champion and internal steering committee;

  • Which local community groups, municipal entities, and other external stakeholders to include in the conversation and when to include them;

  • Key factors in planning public workshops, like how many workshops to host, should the workshops be virtual or in-person, and how to structure the agenda for the best results; and

  • How to create engaging graphics, solicit feedback and educate the target audience in ways that are inclusive, informative and tailored to the unique characteristics of the community.

"Creating a stormwater utility in your community can be challenging as it is a public policymaking process. Engaging stakeholders throughout the entire process and educating the public is not just a step; it's the cornerstone to success," said Dana. "It's about embracing a  diversity of voices from day one, listening to concerns and ideas, and collaboratively shaping a solution that resonates with your communities' needs."

Watch the full presentation.

[embed]https://youtu.be/WFeVCMrMlJE?si=qu8h-v8ESwrzAigd[/embed]

Continuing the Conversation

The Stormwater Utility Information Forum served as a platform for sharing expertise and fostering dialogue around supporting community efforts to properly manage stormwater and protect water quality. As the conversation continues, it's crucial to leverage these insights to drive meaningful change in stormwater management initiatives across New Jersey.

The sessions were held via Zoom and the recordings of the forum sessions made available on the Jersey Water Works website. The recorded sessions serve as invaluable resources for individuals, communities, and policymakers interested in delving deeper into stormwater management.

The journey towards sustainable stormwater management is ongoing. If you or your community are interested in furthering this cause or exploring a stormwater utility, don't hesitate to reach out. The Jersey Water Works Stormwater Utility Subcommittee and Princeton Hydro welcome all voices committed to creating a more resilient and equitable water infrastructure. For more information about the Stormwater Utility Subcommittee or to get involved, please contact info@jerseywaterworks.org. Also, please explore New Jersey Future's New Jersey Stormwater Utility Resource Center which is a treasure trove of resources on this topic!

Princeton Hydro is a leader in innovative, cost-effective, and environmentally sound stormwater management systems. The preparation of stormwater management plans and design of stormwater management systems for pollutant reduction is an integral part of our projects - learn more.

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Mark Gallagher, Vice President of Princeton Hydro, has been appointed to the Friends of Abbott Marshland Advisory Board.


About the Friends of Abbott Marshland

The Abbott Marshlands is composed of 3,000 acres of wetlands and uplands located on the western edge of central New Jersey in Mercer County. It is the northernmost freshwater tidal marsh on the Delaware River and contains valuable habitat for many rare species like River Otter, American Eel, Bald Eagle, and various species of wading birds.

[caption id="attachment_14051" align="aligncenter" width="743"] Aerial drone imagery taken in late summer of 2019 above Roebling Park in Abbott Marshlands.[/caption]  

Unfortunately, this ecosystem has faced challenges partially due to the invasion of the aggressive Common Reed (Phragmites australis), causing substantial habitat loss and degradation. In response to these challenges, the Friends for the Abbott Marshlands have dedicated themselves to enhancing appreciation and protection of this precious ecosystem. Their mission focuses on engaging and inspiring a diverse community to experience the unique nature and history of the Abbott Marshlands. Their priorities involve expanding community involvement, advancing educational programs through the Tulpehaking Nature Center, enhancing organizational capacity, and working in cooperative stewardship efforts.

Since its inception, the Friends for the Abbott Marshlands have played a pivotal role in advocating for the preservation and stewardship of the marshlands. They've organized various educational programs, symposia, nature walks, and juried photography shows to raise awareness and encourage stewardship of this unique ecosystem. The Friends for the Abbott Marshlands Advisory Board meets periodically to advise on program design and execution, fundraising, and engagement in any and all activities related to the preservation of the Abbott Marshlands.

The area is named "Abbott Marshlands" in recognition of the important archaeological legacy of the marsh and of Charles Conrad Abbott, a 19th and early 20th century archaeologist and naturalist, who lived on the bluffs near the marsh and who wrote extensively about it.


Princeton Hydro's Work at Abbott Marshlands

Recognizing the urgent need to restore the Abbott Marshlands, Mercer County contracted Princeton Hydro to spearhead a multi-year, multi-phased restoration initiative. The project aimed at reducing and controlling the invasive Phragmites australis while increasing the presence of native marsh vegetation.

Princeton Hydro conducted a Floristic Quality Assessment to identify invasive areas and to establish a baseline for the restoration efforts. The team also performed hydrologic monitoring to understand tidal stage elevations. From 2018-2019, herbicide treatments were consistently conducted to combat the invasive phragmites. In the winter of 2019-2020, 46 acres of phragmites was cut and rolled with our Marsh Master using a modified steel roller attachment. The phragmites was then removed by raking, which in turn exposed the marsh plain’s substrate and seedbank to promote germination of the native marsh vegetation. Extensive areas of wild rice, mud plantain, broad leaved cattail, water purslane, pickerelweed, and arrow arum colonized the areas formerly overtaken by phragmites within the first growing season after the marsh plain was exposed. The project also includes the creation of 500 linear feet of living shoreline, a freshwater mussel bed, and a sustainable boat launch.

[gallery link="none" columns="4" ids="14049,7137,14058,14055"] [caption id="attachment_14053" align="aligncenter" width="749"] Drone imagery from Winter 2020 after herbicide treatment and rolling and cutting of Phragmites at Roebling Park.[/caption]

This comprehensive and collaborative restoration effort not only targets invasive species but also focused on enhancing biodiversity; improving recreational opportunities such as kayaking and bird watching; enhancing the overall visitor experience at John A. Roebling Memorial Park, which is part of Abbott Marshlands; and creating opportunities for community engagement and appreciation of this natural treasure.


Learn More

Click here to learn how you can get involved with supporting and participating in initiatives aimed at protecting and cherishing the Marshlands for generations to come. To take a deeper dive into Princeton Hydro's work at Abbott Marshlands, click here.

A founding partner of Princeton Hydro, Mark is a pioneer in the field of restoration ecology, and helped get the conservation science movement off the ground in the 1980s. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Moravian College and Master of Science in Plant Ecology from Rutgers University. For more than two decades, Mark has overseen wetland and terrestrial ecology projects at Princeton Hydro, including many complex restoration projects that require unique solutions.

Mark, along with Princeton Hydro team members Dana Patterson and Michael Rehman, CERP, PWS and representatives from Mercer County and Friends of the Abbott Marshlands, led a educational course and field exploration of the Abbott Marshlands as part of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) annual Youth Inclusion Initiative. Learn more here.

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The Princeton Hydro team is leading webinars; presenting at conferences throughout the country; and participating in events that celebrate community and environmental stewardship.

In this edition of our Events Spotlight, we provide an overview of all the latest happenings and information on how to get involved.


September 16: Trenton River Days Fair

Hosted by The Watershed Institute, Trenton River Days is a free event that celebrates the history, culture, and recreational benefits of the Delaware River. Join us on Saturday, September 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for canoe and boat rides, food trucks, live music, hayrides, fly fishing demonstrations, crafts, educational games, and exhibits for hands-on fun. Princeton Hydro is proud to sponsor and excited to attend this fun-filled community event – please stop by our booth to get an up-close look at our airboat and say hello to our team!

Get more info.

September 27: Edge-of-Field Nutrient Runoff and Algae Bloom and Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Remediation Webinar

The National Algae Association is hosting a “From Source to Blooms” webinar focused on preventing, remediating, removing, recycling and repurposing HABs. Our Senior Technical Director, Ecological Services Dr. Fred Lubnow is presenting on “Using the Ecosystem Services of Green Infrastructure to Reduce and Control HABs.”

Get more info and register.

September 28 & 29: 11th Annual Delaware River Watershed Forum

We are proud to sponsor this year’s Delaware River Watershed Forum, which is bing held at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, DE. The 11th Annual Forum provides an opportunity for Coalition members, legislators, watershed advocates, environmental organizations, community members, local businesses, and students to collaborate on protecting the Delaware River Watershed. Participants can engage in education workshops, field trip excursions, networking events, and keynote addresses.

Get more info and register.

October 1-3: SER Mid-Atlantic Conference

Society for Ecological Restoration’s 2023 Mid-Atlantic Conference will be held at NJSEA’s Environmental Center in the New Jersey Meadowlands. This year’s conference, titled “Restoring Urban Ecosystems,” includes an opening-day birding festival, Plenary Sessions, field trips, and a variety of workshops. Princeton Hydro is sponsoring and attending the event. Geoffrey Goll, PE, Mark Gallagher, Michael Rehman, PWS, CERP, and Christiana Pollack, CERP, CFM GISP, are each presenting on ecosystem restoration topics. We look forward to seeing you there!

Get more info and register.

October 5 & 6: SAME Philadelphia Post Small Business Conference 2023

The mission of SAME is to build leaders and lead collaboration among government and industry to develop multidisciplinary solutions to national security infrastructure challenges. The 2023 Conference, includes breakout sessions, networking opportunities, USACE-led contract opportunities and programs briefings, and a small-business exhibitor hall. Princeton Hydro, an event sponsor and exhibitor, joined SAME as a sustaining member in 2018.

Get more info and register. 

October 11: SAME MEGA Maryland Small Business Conference

The SAME MEGA Maryland conference gives small and minority businesses in the architecture, engineering and construction industries the opportunity to come together with federal agencies in order to showcase best practices and highlight future opportunities to work in the federal market. Princeton Hydro is exhibiting at and sponsoring this year’s conference, which includes 75+ speakers, two inspiring and informative keynotes, networking events, training sessions, and panel discussions being led by local, state, and federal agency professionals, networking, matchmaking, client panels, training sessions, and MORE!

Get more info and register.

October 11 & 24: Hudson River Watershed Alliance’s 2023 Watershed Conference

Advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice (DEIJ) is critical to achieving our goals of clean water and healthy tributaries in the Hudson River watershed. As such, the 2023 Watershed Conference is themed "Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice" and offers participants a chance to learn about DEIJ strategies and water-related case studies that are moving this critical work forward in the region. It will be held both in-person and virtually.

The in-person session will be on Tuesday, October 24 from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Henry A. Wallace Center, FDR Presidential Library & Museum in Hyde Park, NY. This session will focus on DEIJ strategies and case studies from the Hudson River watershed. The day will be structured with both plenary and breakout sessions, along with space and time for networking.

The virtual session, held on Wednesday, October 11 from 1 to 3:30 PM via Zoom, will feature presentations from a panel of speakers, followed by a discussion and a Q&A. It is highly recommended that everyone planning to attend the in-person session watches the webinar beforehand as it will set a valuable foundation for the content of the in-person session. Registration for the virtual session is included with the in-person conference registration, and will be recorded and shared with all conference registrants.

Get more info and register.

October 13: Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions’ 2023 Environmental Congress

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Environmental Congress, which Princeton Hydro is proud to sponsor and participate in. The in-person conference will be held at Mercer County College from 9am – 5pm on October 13. Virtual sessions will also be available October 17 and October 19. ANJEC is a nonprofit organization that helps New Jersey environmental commissions, individuals, local and state agencies achieve responsible and sustainable use of New Jersey’s natural resources and protection of environmental health. Princeton Hydro is a business member of ANJEC.

Get more info and register.

October 22 – 26: North American Lake Management Society International Symposium

Lake Erie will be the backdrop to this year’s International Symposium. The theme to this year's conference is “Great Lakes, Local Solutions.” The action-packed agenda includes workshops, panel discussions, field trips, poster presentations, the annual 5k fun run, and an exhibitor hall. Princeton Hydro, a proud sponsor of the Symposium, is exhibiting and leading a variety of presentations:

  • "The Interaction Between Algae and Sediments: Managing HABs From the Bottom Up" led by Senior Technical Director, Ecological Services Dr. Fred Lubnow.
  • "The Ecosystem Services of Stormwater Management in the Protection and Improvement of Lakes" also led by Dr. Lubnow.
  • "CSLAP and Customized Monitoring: How Additional Data Is Helping Sleepy Hollow Lake" led by Senior Aquatics Project Manager Chris Mikolajczyk, CLM.
  • "The Importance of Hand-On Field Education and Exposure With Regards to Monitoring Data" also led by Chris Mikolajczyk, CLM.
  • "Combat HABs With Biochar: A New Tool for You" led by Senior Environmental Scientist and Aquatics Technical Project Manager J.P. Bell, GISP.
Get more info and register.

October 24 – 26: New Jersey Association for Floodplain Management (NJAFM) Annual Conference

NJAFM is hosting its 16th Annual Conference and Exhibition in Atlantic City, NJ. ​With over 500 people expected to attend, NJAFM Annual Conference is the premiere floodplain management conference in the Northeast, providing an opportunity for professionals in the fields of engineering, hydrology, geology, planning, code enforcement, floodplain management and emergency management to participate in educational seminars, training opportunities and exclusive networking events. Participants will engage in educational sessions centered around the conference theme: "Investing in Mitigation - Leveraging Resources to Mitigate Flood Hazard." Princeton Hydro is sponsoring and exhibiting at the conference.

Get more info and register.

October 26: Backyard Birding - Live Q&A Event with Princeton Hydro Experts

On Thursday, October 26 at 6pm EST, join us for a Live Facebook Q&A Event with Princeton Hydro scientists and birding enthusiasts Emily Bjorhus, PWS and Eric Zawatski. Learn about the basics of bird identification, how to attract specific birds to your yard, options for food and feeders, and get all of your burning birding questions answered!

  Get more info and register.

November 3: Technical Friday Webinar - The New Stormwater Rule and Proposed Enhancements

In July 2023, NJDEP published the Inland Flood Protection Rules, which requires municipalities to update their stormwater control ordinances to improve water quality. Hosted by The Watershed Institute, the webinar will provide guidance on the new stormwater ordinances, a summary of requirements, and recommendations for developing and implementing stronger ordinances. The Watershed Institute along with co-sponsors American Littoral Society (ALS), Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC), and Pinelands Preservation Alliance, invite officials, planning board members, municipal professionals (engineers and planners), attorneys and Environmental Commission members, from all across the state, to learn more and ask questions. The webinar features two expert speakers: Princeton Hydro Senior Technical Director of Engineering Dr. Clay Emerson, PE, CFM, and The Watershed Institute Policy Director Michael Pisauro, Esq.

The webinar is free and will take place via Zoom from Noon - 1:30 PM on Friday, November 3.

Get more info and register.

November 9: SAME Philadelphia Resilience Symposium

As the U.S. continues to see warming temperature trends and heavy weather events of increasing frequency and intensity, infrastructure resiliency is a crucial topic of discussion. The SAME Philadelphia Post Annual Symposium will bring together practitioners from the Greater Philadelphia Area and beyond to speak about infrastructure resiliency and how it can help public and private entities survive these turbulent times. The event also includes an exhibitor hall - Princeton Hydro is exhibiting and is also a proud sponsor of the event.

Get more info and register.

November 14 – 16: New Jersey League of Municipalities Annual Conference

The 108th Annual Conference will be held at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, NJ. The Conference, which is considered the largest municipal gathering in the nation, provides three full days of extensive learning opportunities, meaningful face-to-face networking, and a comprehensive showcase of product innovations. The event opens the doors to local government officials, connecting them with state and federal officials and resources. Come visit our booth in the exhibit hall!

Get more info and register.

November 15: Colorado Lake and Reservoir Management Association (CLRMA) Fall Conference

CLRMA is an organization of water professionals and community members who share an interest in enjoying and protecting Colorado's lakes and reservoirs. The 2023 Fall Conference, themed "Historical Perspectives on Water Quality," takes place in Denver on November 15 from 9am - 2:3opm. The conference features a variety of presentations, including "How Climate Change Impacts the Ecology and Management of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and the Value of Long-Term Data," which is led by Princeton Hydro Senior Technical Director, Ecological Services Dr. Fred Lubnow and Senior Aquatics Project Manager Chris Mikolajczyk, CLM.

Get more info and register.

November 20: Liquid Lecture - Thinking (W)holistically about Water Management

Fountain Creek Watershed District Brewshed Alliance invites to join them at Voodoo Brewing Company in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the November Liquid Lecture featuring Princeton Hydro Senior Aquatics Manager Chris Mikolajczyk, CLM. During his presentation he will address some of the more common issues from a "big picture" perspective of surface water quality, lake management, and watershed management. He will share techniques that can assist in management and improvement, including emphasis on the cause of harmful algae blooms (HABs) and ways to prevent and deal with HABs. Liquid Lecture attendees receive $1.00 any beer purchase!

Get more info.

December 1: NJ-AWRA Stormwater Webinar

New Jersey Section of American Water Resources Association (NJ-AWRA) is hosting a free  Stormwater webinar on Friday, December 1 from Noon - 1pm. The webinar, which is eligible for 2 NJ PE and 2 AICP CM self-reporting credits, features three presentations:

1. Stormwater Regulatory Updates and Green Infrastructure Overview led by Brian Friedlich, P.E. 2. NJ Future Initiatives - MS4 Primer and Stormwater Retrofits Manual led by Lindsey Sigmund 3. Green Infrastructure Case Study - Clawson Park led by Dr. Stephen J. Souza

Princeton Hydro was involved in the design and implementation of stormwater management upgrades to Clawson Park in Ringoes, NJ. Hundreds of native plants were installed in the park’s large stormwater basin and two of the park’s rain gardens were completely overhauled, removing invasive weeds and planting beneficial native species. To learn more about the project, click here.

Get more info.

December 4: Colorado Lake and Reservoir Management Association (CLRMA) Fall Conference

Join Greater Trenton on December 4, 2023 at 5 p.m. for an evening of cocktails and conversations to reflect on Trenton’s past, reimagine its future, and make connections with some of the most influential leaders impacting the Capital City. The celebration honors Caren Franzini, former NJEDA CEO and one of the founders of Greater Trenton, by presenting the Caren Franzini Capital City Award to John Hatch, Principal at Clarke Caton Hintz, and David Henderson, Principal at Hx2 Development. Princeton Hydro is proud to be part of the Trenton community and participate as a Sustaining Sponsor in this celebratory event.

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[post_title] => Fall Events Spotlight: Community Events, Conferences, and Webinars [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => fall-events-spotlight-2023 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-11-08 18:52:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-11-08 18:52:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=13375 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 13535 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2023-08-25 15:21:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-08-25 15:21:48 [post_content] =>

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has launched its third annual Youth Inclusion Initiative. The program hopes to enrich young participants, who may not have the opportunity to explore open spaces in their community, with hands-on environmental field experience under the tutelage of NJDEP professionals and mentors.

This year’s youth consists of 47 participants from ages 16-20 that hail from five different community-based organizations. These partners include Neighborhood Improvement Association (Trenton), Rutgers-Camden, Groundwork Elizabeth, Ironbound Community Corporation (Newark), and The Work Group (Camden).

[caption id="attachment_13546" align="aligncenter" width="1230"] The youth program participants gather together with their certificates for a final group photo.[/caption]  

Over the course of this six week program, the youth participated in a curriculum that showcased career pathways in the water resources and natural resources management fields. Participants learned through classroom instruction and by receiving some in-field experience across sectors regulated by NJDEP such as touring an air monitoring station, visiting a trout hatchery, conducting stream assessments, and practicing proper tool and equipment recognition at a state park. After their time with the initiative is through, they will have nurtured the skills to pursue these job opportunities and develop a deeper appreciation for our environment.

Princeton Hydro representatives Mark Gallagher, Dana Patterson, and Michael Rehman, CERP, PWS led one of the mentorships. This is the second year NJDEP’s Division of Land Resource Protection Mitigation Unit invited Princeton Hydro to teach a portion of the program. The goal in participating was to educate the youth about the importance of restoring native landscapes and explore the job responsibilities of environmental scientists, water resource engineers, geologists, ecologists, pesticide applicators, and regulatory compliance specialists, while building upon and cultivating  fascination with nature.


The Abbott Marshlands in Trenton, New Jersey

The program kicked off with a presentation in Mercer County Park Commission’s Tulpehaking Nature Center located in John A. Roebling Park. After learning about the history of the site from representatives from Mercer County and Friends of the Abbott Marshlands, Princeton Hydro discussed opportunities for careers in conservation and gave a brief overview of the restoration efforts in the park to eradicate the invasive Common Reed (Phragmites australis). Prior to heading out to explore the Abbott Marshlands, the northernmost freshwater tidal wetlands on the Delaware River, the Princeton Hydro team went through a health and safety briefing, a very important part of our job, to make sure everyone was aware of the potential risks and exposures.

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Princeton Hydro team members and NJDEP’s Environmental Specialist Jessica Klein led the participants through the park. Right away, the first group witnessed one of nature’s marvels when they spotted a Northern Red-bellied Cooter (Pseudemys rubriventris) laying her eggs along the side of the main road. Participants learned of the marshland and surrounding upland’s rich cultural significance. On their trek through this natural oasis, they followed in the footsteps of the Lenape, a tribe of Native Americans who regularly visited and eventually settled in the area at least 13,000 years ago. These early nomadic people relied on the land for food, fuel, and other readily available resources until they were displaced due to European settlement along the Delaware River. Learn more about the Abbott Marshland cultural history here.

Eventually, the group made it to the area of the restoration site. Here, the students gained a better understanding of the harsh effects that invasive species have on an ecosystem. The 3000-acre freshwater tidal marsh provides habitat to many rare and endangered species, but it has experienced a significant amount of degradation due to monoculture of the invasive Common Reed. In order to improve the area’s biodiversity and elevate visitors’ recreational experience, Princeton Hydro implemented a restoration plan that aimed to eradicate the aggressive non-native plants within a 40-acre stretch of the marsh and enable native plants like Wild Rice (Zizania aquatica) to flourish. Learn more about this project.

NJDEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette surprised the Rutgers-Camden group with his joyful presence. After giving a zealous speech to the class, he accompanied them on their journey to the marshland.

[caption id="attachment_11299" align="aligncenter" width="1230"] NJDEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette joins the class.[/caption]  

Overall, participants had fun learning how to use a field guide to identify invasive species found within the area. They were taught how to differentiate them with native flora like sensitive fern, poison ivy, and wild rice. With a wide survey of the marshland, the youth were taught about wetland delineation and got a peek into the process of using a hand auger and a Munsell Soil Color Book to identify wetland soils. Utilizing binoculars, the last group was lucky to spot a Northern Harrier, an uncommon visitor for the marshland, soaring circles in the sky in search of prey. The rare sighting led to the successful end of the final tour.

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The NJDEP Youth Inclusion Initiative began on July 6 and culminated on August 16 with a graduation and NJDEP Career Day where students had the opportunity to meet and discuss career options with various organizations who tabled at the event, including Princeton Hydro. To learn more about the NJDEP education program, click here. If you’re interested in learning more about Princeton Hydro’s ecological restoration services, click here. [post_title] => Another Successful Year Mentoring Participants from NJDEP's Youth Inclusion Initiative [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => njdep-youth-inclusion-initiative-2023 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-08-28 19:50:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-08-28 19:50:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=13535 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 13355 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2023-08-16 07:03:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-08-16 07:03:24 [post_content] =>

400 native plants were installed along the western shoreline of Memorial Pond in Mount Arlington, New Jersey. The planting was completed in one day by a team of 20+ volunteers, staff members from Mt. Arlington Department of Public Works (DPW), Lake Hopatcong Foundation, Lake Hopatcong Commission, Princeton Hydro, and a generous community member who volunteered his excavating equipment (and time).

The planting initiative aims to prevent shoreline erosion, promote the growth of native species, increase wildlife habitat, and improve the water quality of Memorial Pond and Lake Hopatcong. Funding for this project was secured through a grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, awarded to the Lake Hopatcong Commission in partnership with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation.

[caption id="attachment_13422" align="aligncenter" width="616"] Photo by Lake Hopatcong Foundation Executive Director Kyle Richter[/caption]

Memorial Pond

Drainage Area Aerial Map of Mt. Arlington Memorial Beach and Memorial Park in New Jersey. Created by Princeton Hydro.Memorial Pond is a 0.3-acre stormwater runoff basin that gradually releases into Glen Brook, which then flows into Lake Hopatcong. The pond receives sheet flow of stormwater from the adjacent road, which contributes to nutrient and sediment loading, thus locally reducing water quality in Memorial Pond and ultimately the waters of Lake Hopatcong.

Memorial Park, which includes Memorial Pond and Glen Brook, was identified by Princeton Hydro and the Lake Hopatcong team as a priority site for improvement, targeting initiatives that reduce pollutants and excessive nutrients entering into Lake Hopatcong.

Additionally, the pond’s steeply-sloped shoreline was bare and only stabilized with large rocks at the base of the banks. In the absence of stabilizing vegetation, the pond’s banks were experiencing erosion, and there was some concern about a few mature trees along the shoreline potentially falling into the pond.

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The photos above were taken in April 2023 before the planting initiative.


Shoreline Planting Initiative

The plant selection and layout were designed taking into account the steep slope and presence of mature, existing trees as well as focusing on regionally native plant species that will thrive and help stabilize the eroding shoreline. The planting team, led by Princeton Hydro Landscape Architect Jamie Feinstein, RLA and Aquatics Project Manager Pat Rose, was given precise instructions on how to install the plants to eliminate washouts and ensure the root systems can embrace the soil and hold it in place.

A variety of native herbaceous plants and shrubs were chosen for the site, including pennsylvania sedge, slender mountain mint, blue flag iris, sweet azalea, smooth hydrangea, and maple-leaved viburnum.

[gallery link="none" ids="13427,13421,13428"]

The plants will help reduce stormwater flow, absorb excess nutrients, prevent erosion, and ultimately decrease sedimentation to the pond, while creating a visually pleasing addition to the park and providing a habitat for pollinators and birds. Overall, this project promotes a healthier and more balanced ecosystem in Memorial Park.

[gallery link="none" ids="13400,13392,13394"]

The photos above were taken in July 2023 immediately after the planting initiative.


Multi-Faceted Approach to Water Quality Improvements

The installation of these beneficial plants is part of a series of water quality initiatives on Lake Hopatcong funded by a NJDEP Freshwater Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Prevention & Management Grant and 319(h) Grant awarded to Lake Hopatcong Commission in partnership with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation.

Additional initiatives included in the watershed implementation and HABs management plan are, the installation of:

  • floating wetland island (FWI), which are a low-cost, effective green infrastructure solution designed to mimic natural wetlands in a sustainable, efficient, and powerful way. FWIs improve water quality by assimilating and removing excess nutrients; provide valuable ecological habitat for a variety of beneficial species; help mitigate wave and wind erosion impacts; provide an aesthetic element; and add significant biodiversity enhancement within open freshwater environments;

  • biochar filtration bags, which improve water quality by removing phosphorus from waterbodies. Biochar can be placed in floatation balls, cages, or sacks, which are then tethered along the shoreline and in critical locations throughout the waterbody; and

  • nanobubble aeration system, which increases the concentrations of dissolved oxygen in the water, prevents stagnation of water, increases circulation, disrupts thermal stratification which provides “through-column” mixing, and minimizes the occurrence of HABs.

“Paired with biochar filters attached to buoys in the pond and continued monitoring and maintenance of the plantings by the DPW, these steps will set a healthy precedent for what can be achieved through working together with funders, local partners, science, and landscape architecture,” said Feinstein, who sourced plant material, provided logistics and co-led the planning and volunteer planting event along with Rose.

Princeton Hydro's Landscape Architect, Cory Speroff PLA, ASLA, CBLP, designed the planting plan, and Will Kelleher and Jackson Tilves from the Aquatics Team participated in the plant installation event with Feinstein.

Princeton Hydro is also authoring and supplying a maintenance manual that provides guidance on seasonal care of the plantings, when to remove the herbivory protection fencing, pruning, watering, and other activities that support the long term success of the planting initiative. 

“This collaborative effort to enhance water quality serves as a prime example of how seemingly simple actions can have a meaningful impact on safeguarding our water resources for the benefit of future generations,” said the Lake Hopatcong Foundation.

[gallery link="none" ids="13403,13429,13393"]

The photos above from left to right: June 2023 before the planting; July 2023 during the planting (photo by Lake Hopatcong Foundation Executive Director Kyle Richter); and July 2023 immediately after the planting.


Princeton Hydro has been working on Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey’s largest Lake, for 30+ years, restoring the lake, managing the watershed, reducing pollutant loading, and addressing invasive aquatic plants and nuisance algal blooms. To read about some of the other projects we’ve recently worked on at Lake Hopatcong, click here.

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When we hear about harmful algal bloom (HAB) outbreaks, like those recently spotted in New Jersey, the first thoughts that come to mind usually involve discolored waters, environmental disruption, closed beaches, and potential human health hazards. Yet, a crucial aspect that often escapes the spotlight is the impact of these blooms on animals, including pets, wildlife, and livestock.

As HABs proliferate due to factors like excess nutrients and warming waters, the impacts ripple across a wide spectrum of living things, encompassing everything from aquatic species to humans to our animal companions, working animals, and livestock. Animals are most at risk because they may bathe/swim in affected water, drink contaminated water, or ingest it when cleaning algae from fur/hair coat, and the symptoms of HABs toxicity can go unnoticed for a period of time.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) released a new factsheet that specifically provides an array of information and techniques to safeguard livestock from the dangers of HABs. 

In this blog, we provide links to the USDA NRCS's newly released informational resources, shed light on the often-unseen consequences of HABs, and outline steps to protect the four-legged members of our agricultural communities.


Deciphering HABs

HABs are rapid, large overgrowths of cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, aren’t actually algae, they are prokaryotes, single-celled aquatic organisms that are closely related to bacteria and can photosynthesize like algae. These microorganisms are a natural part of aquatic ecosystems, but, under the right conditions (e.g., heavy rains followed by hot, sunny days), these organisms can rapidly increase to form HABs. Climate change is leading to more frequent, more intense rainstorms that drive run-off pollutants into waterways, coupled with more hot days that increase the water temperature, creating the ideal environment for HABs to proliforate.  In recent years, HABs have begun to appear in more places, earlier in the summer.

[caption id="attachment_13363" align="aligncenter" width="1230"]Nutrient sources of HABs. Illustration created by USGS. Nutrient sources of HABs. Illustration created by USGS. Click image to enlarge.[/caption]  

HABs can cause significant water quality issues in lakes and ponds, often forming a visible and sometimes odorous scum on the surface of the water. They can produce toxins that are incredibly harmful (even deadly) to humans, aquatic organisms, and animals, including livestock.


Mitigating Livestock Exposure to HABs

The health impacts and symptoms can vary depending on the size and type of animal, how an animal is exposed to the cyanotoxin, how long they were exposed, which type of toxin was present, and how much toxin was present.

Symptoms of cyanotoxin exposure in animals includes: vomiting, profuse salivation, fatigue, unsteady gait, labored breathing, convulsions, and liver malfunction. When animals bathe or swim in waters with even low concentrations of cyanotoxins, it may cause skin rashes, ear/throat infections, and gastrointestinal distress. In severe cases, especially when contaminated water is ingested, HAB poisoning can prove fatal.

When HABs are present in a waterbody that is accessible to and utilized by livestock, it's important to immediately restrict access to the contaminated water. If a potential exposure to cyanotoxins has occurred, NRCS recommends:

  1. Washing animals with clean water and monitoring for symptoms of exposure to cyanotoxins.
  2. Isolating any animals exhibiting symptoms and seeking veterinary care as soon as possible.
  3. Providing animals with an alternative source of fresh, safe drinking water.
  4. Contacting the appropriate state agency for sampling and testing guidance to test the water source for HABs and cyanotoxins. Please note: It is not safe for landowners to sample the water themselves without proper personal protective equipment and procedures.
  5. Visiting the CDC website for further information, or contacting your state/county health department.

In its newly released fact sheet, NRCS also provides a number of ideas for segregating livestock from tainted waters, reducing the risk of livestock exposure to HABs, and providing alternate water sources, including:

  1. Installing protective fencing (Conservation Practice 382)
  2. Constructing purposeful ponds (Conservation Practice 378)
  3. Implementing access control measures (Conservation Practice 472)
  4. Establishing reliable water wells (Conservation Practice 642)
  5. Designing effective watering facilities (Conservation Practice 614)
To download the USDA NRCS fact sheet, click below:

To minimize the risk of future HABs, it's important to stay informed, routinely monitor waterbodies, take actions to reduce harmful effects, and adopt conservation practices that prevent nutrient loading to waterbodies.

Princeton Hydro is regionally recognized for its HABs expertise, having provided management recommendations and services for 100+ lakes and ponds in the Northeast, including Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey’s largest lake. To learn more about our lake management and HABs prevention services, click here. For additional HABs resources from the USDA NRCS, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To read about another STEAM education youth inclusion initiative that Princeton Hydro is involved with, click here. [post_title] => Hold High The Torch Recognizes Princeton Hydro for STEAM Education Contributions [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => hold-high-the-torch-recognizes-princeton-hydro-for-steam-education-contributions [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2024-05-17 20:47:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2024-05-17 20:47:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://princetonhydro.com/?p=15007 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 55 [max_num_pages] => 5 [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] => 6e0d7844b55e80b4bd60c1c3dddc4ab4 [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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Posted on May 17, 2024

Hold High The Torch Recognizes Princeton Hydro for STEAM Education Contributions

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