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Welcome to "The Source" - Spring 2013 Newsletter

the source newsletter

In This Edition

:: Businesses and Golf Course Recently Certified as River-Friendly
:: Raritan River Rubbish Roundup
:: Kingwood Township is Going Blue
:: Cost-Share Available for Farmers in Target Watersheds
:: Upcoming Rainbarrel Workshop in Franklin Twp., Somerset County

:: Land Acquisition Partnerships Presented at the New Jersey Conservation Foundation's Annual Land Conservation Rally
:: NJWSA Spring Events
:: NJWSA Friend's Events and Listings

Welcome to "The Source," the NJWSA Watershed Protection Programs E-Newsletter. Watershed Protection is a coordinated framework for implementing prioritized and integrated water quality protection and restoration strategies driven by environmental objectives. In this newsletter we highlight information on our efforts to effectively protect against the introduction of contamination to the water supply of the Raritan Basin and the Manasquan Watershed. Not only do our programs protect water quality; they also help to raise community awareness of the risks of drinking water contamination and provide information and practical strategies for stakeholder groups to implement for the protection of their drinking water sources. We hope you find the articles interesting and helpful.


Businesses and Golf Course Recently Certified as River-Friendly

Two local businesses and one golf course were certified River-Friendly this winter: Ethicon, a Johnson and Johnson Company, in Bridgewater, the Raritan Headwaters Association Fairview Farm Preserve in Bedminster, and Green Knoll Golf Course in Bridgewater.

Since joining the River-Friendly Program, Ethicon has built and installed blue bird and screech owl boxes on their campus, built rain barrels with employees, examined lawn maintenance practices, reduced erosion by stabilizing stormwater outfalls, and removed invasive plant species.

The Raritan Headwaters Association has completed an invasive species survey of the property, identified areas of trail erosion for repair, held two BioBlitzes to catalog plant and wildlife species on the property, and installed signage to educate visitors and employees on key features in their landscape, including a rain garden, a bird and butterfly garden, and a native grass meadow.

Green Knoll Golf Course, a Somerset County course, established more than 30 acres of no-mow zones, installed bird boxes, implemented an integrated pest management approach to course maintenance, and created vegetated buffers around their pond and the Peters Brook, which runs through the course.

To learn more about the River-Friendly Programs, click here.

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Raritan River Rubbish Roundup

On Tuesday, March 26, 12 staff from the New Jersey Water Supply Authority and NJ Department of Environmental Protection and 4 AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassadors came out to clean Five Mile Lock at D&R Canal State Park, which runs directly parallel to Easton Avenue along the D&R Canal. They pulled out 14 bags of recyclable materials, 40 bags of miscellaneous garbage, 3 tires, 2 pieces of scrap metal, 1 road sign, 1 large hose, 2 tarps, 5 hub caps, 1 plastic pipe, 1 cone, 3 wood boards, 1 roof piece, and 50 sq. feet of foam. The volunteers did an amazing job finding all kinds of unique garbage!

This cleanup was part of AmeriCorps Week, a nationwide AmeriCorps event to engage AmeriCorps members and the community. The NJ Watershed Ambassadors program held 19 cleanups during this week as part of the Delaware River Dash for the Trash and the Raritan River Rubbish Roundup. For more information about the AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program (NJWAP), administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), and their Dash for the Trash and Rubbish Roundup events, please click here.

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Kingwood Township Park is Going Blue

Visitors to Kingwood Township Park (Hunterdon County) will notice a change in scenery at the main entrance located off Union Road. Turfgrass is being replaced with native grasses and flowering plants. Once established, this wet meadow will filter runoff from surrounding farmland which carries with it pollutants such as fertilizers and pesticides. The project is part of a larger effort to improve water quality in the Lockatong and Wickecheoke watersheds being undertaken by the NJWSA with funding through NJDEP. The meadow is being designed and installed by Hunterdon County Soil Conservation District with the assistance of community volunteers.

Kingwood Township Park is an expansive recreation area offering field sport facilities, picnic groves and walking paths. The area contains poorly drained soils which results in excessive stormwater runoff. Two areas are targeted for conversion to a wet meadow: the first is located on the right side of the main access drive between Union Road and the maintenance building; the second is located at the southeast corner of the park beyond the picnic grove. Deep rooted native vegetation will assimilate pollutants and increase evapotranspiration. Seasonal annual plants will provide a splash of color. Site preparation is expected to be complete in May and the planting will take place in June.

For more information about Lockatong and Wickecheoke project, click here.

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Cost-Share Available For Farmers in Target Watersheds

APPLICATIONS DUE MAY 1, 2013

Producers in target watersheds are eligible for cost-share up to 100%.
Visit www.raritanbasin.org to see if you are in the target area or call (908) 685-0315 x228.

The New Jersey Water Supply Authority (NJWSA) is offering cost-share funding to farmers in four target watersheds for the installation of conservation practices that improve soil and water resources while also protecting water quality. The four watersheds -- Mulhockaway Creek, Spruce Run, Neshanic River and South Branch Raritan -- are important components of NJWSA's Delaware & Raritan water supply system, which provides drinking water to more than 1.5 million customers in central New Jersey.

Benefits for Farmers

  • Receive cost-share to match your USDA-NRCS or FSA funding, providing up to 100% total cost-share OR receive Mini-grant funding up to 100% if you are not receiving other funding.

  • Implement conservation practices that help you improve soil and water resources while also protecting water quality.

The goal of the Ag Mini-Grant Program is to increase the amount of conservation practices implemented in the target watersheds by helping to bridge the gap between other cost-share funding that a farmer has applied for and the full cost of the project. Funding is available for a list of practices that NJWSA developed with their project partners, and can be used to match USDA-NRCS or FSA cost-share so that the farmer receives up to 100% cost-share funding. In some cases, the funding may be the sole source for practice installation.

Funding for the mini-grant program was provided by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection -- Division of Policy Implementation and Watershed Restoration. NJWSA is also working with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council to offer the mini-grants.

How Do I Apply?

Visit www.raritanbasin.org or contact Kathy Hale, Principal Watershed Protection Specialist, New Jersey Water Supply Authority, at (908)685-0315 x228 or khale@raritanbasin.org
Contact NJWSA for an application.
Contact your local USDA-NRCS Service Center and speak with a conservation specialist.

  • Hackettstown (908) 852-2576 x3

  • Frenchtown (908) 782-4614 x3

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Upcoming Rain Barrel Workshop in Franklin Twp., Somerset County

The Franklin Township Environmental Commission (FTEC) and the New Jersey Water Supply Authority (NJWSA) will hold a rain barrel workshop on May 11 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Franklin Township municipal building. Rain barrels collect and store rainwater collected from a roof. The water can be used to water lawns and gardens or be used for other non-potable (non-drinkable) uses. By using a rain barrel, residents can reduce their potable water usage and save money on water bills and reduce stress on wells. In addition to conserving water, rain barrels help the environment by reducing the amount of runoff going to our storm sewers and rivers during rain storms, easing stream erosion and improving stream health.

Staff from NJWSA will discuss the benefits of rain barrels and how residents can contribute to improving water resources. They will then show participants how to build, install, and maintain their own rain barrel, which will collect water from residential roofs during rain storms.

The workshop is open to all Franklin Township residents. Those living along DeMott Lane from Easton Avenue to the southern end of Emerson Road and the neighborhood along Rue Chagall are especially encouraged to attend, as their neighborhood drains to the Delaware & Raritan Canal, a drinking water supply resource managed by NJWSA.

The workshop is free to attend, but if you would like to build and take home a rain barrel, the cost is $38. To register and reserve a rain barrel, please call 908-685-0315 ext. 233 or e-mail shelble@raritanbasin.org. For additional information, visit www.raritanbasin.org.

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Land Acquisition Partnerships Presented at the New Jersey Conservation Foundation's Annual Land Conservation Rally

On March 9, NJWSA Property Administrator, Julie Hajdusek, along with colleagues from NJDEP, gave a presentation at the New Jersey Conservation Foundation's annual Land Conservation Rally. Julie, Pam Thier (of Green Acres), and Vicki Jenkins (of the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program), spoke about collaborative land preservation projects using Green Acres and the NJEIFP. The NJWSA has been utilizing this strategy to preserve environmentally sensitive land for nearly ten years, with great success. Since 2004, the NJWSA and its partners have preserved 3,859 acres of sensitive lands within the watersheds of the North and South Branches of the Raritan River and the D&R Canal, thereby helping to protect the sources of drinking water for millions of central New Jerseyans. The NJWSA has partnered with more than 30 different agencies, non-profits and governments to achieve this and derives its funds for these projects from its water customers.

For more information about NJWSA's Land Acquisition Program, visit http://www.raritanbasin.org/Projects/acquisition/about.html.

To watch the presentation from the Rally, visit http://www.raritanbasin.org/presentations.html.

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NJWSA Spring Events

The New Jersey Water Supply Authority recently attended the Hunterdon County Earth Day Celebration and the Somerset County Ag in Action events.

We hope to see you at upcoming events, including:

Basil Bandwagon in Flemington for their Earth Fair Music Fest on May 4, 2013 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, http://basilbandwagon.com/2006/images/earth13.jpg

Bridgewater Eco-Blast Fair on May 4, 2013 at 11:00 am (featuring a Rutgers Build a Rain Barrel Workshop) http://www.bridgewaternj.gov/applications/assets/RainBarrelFlyer.pdf

Somerville StreetFest on May 18, 2013 from 12pm-5:00pm http://www.findsomerville.com/pub/gen/event/1964/fulltext

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NJWSA Friend Events and Listings

AmeriCorps
Become a Volunteer Monitor with AmeriCorps and NJDEP
Location: Duke Farms 1112 Dukes Parkway West Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Saturday June 1st
Time: 1-3pm

Join the Raritan Region AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassadors for a biological volunteer monitoring training June 1st at Duke Farms. Learn how to identify stream health by using macroinvertibrates as indicators of pollution. Wear clothes that can get dirty! Bring rubber boots or waders and a snack. Contact Elyse Foladare for more information: wsamb@raritanbasin.org / (908) 685-0315 x224.

New Jersey Section American Water Resources Association

4th Annual "Excellence in Water Resources Protection and Planning Award"
Nominations are being accepted for the fourth annual New Jersey Section American Water Resources Association "Excellence in Water Resources Protection and Planning Award". The award will be granted at the New Jersey Sections annual "Water New Year's Eve" event. For categories, selection criteria, rules and nomination information, please visit http://www.nsawra.onefireplace.org/excellence. Nominations must be received on or before Friday August 2, 2013.   

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