Delaware River Watershed Initiative
Funded through the William Penn Foundation
The William Penn Foundation Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI) projects give MWA the opportunity to build on our strengths in outreach, education, and water quality monitoring in ways that are fully aligned with our mission, but would not have been possible without this funding. These projects allow us to deepen our connection within the communities that we serve and work more closely with our partners. The DRWI created new and important connections such as that with Montclair State University and new resources for technical information at the Academy of Natural Sciences.
About half a million dollars of the total $14.1MM awarded in 2014 under the DRWI will be used by the MWA, North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council and Trout Unlimited to focus on projects along the Lower Musconetcong River and its tributaries. Restoration projects will focus on reducing bacteria in the Musconetcong River to protect drinking water sources, recreational users, and aquatic life.
The William Penn Foundation has identified 8 subwatersheds or "Clusters" where they are focusing grant awards. The Musconetcong River is in the New Jersey Highlands Cluster.
The New Jersey Highlands Cluster focuses on 5 major watersheds in our Northwest New Jersey region: The Musconetcong River, Paulins Kill River, Pequest River, Lopatcong Creek, and Pohatcong Creek. The Musconetcong and Paulins Kill are the two largest tributaries to the Delaware River in our cluster, and MWA's main focus is the Musconetcong River Watershed.
DRWI projects MWA is currently working on:
River Restoration: MWA is working to remove remnants of an old dam near East Avenue in Hackettstown, NJ.
Citizen Science: Last year, 25 volunteers were trained in biological, habitat, chemical, and physical stream assessment methods in the Musconetcong and Lopatcong focus areas.
Northwest New Jersey Rivers Conference: This conference will be held on March 30th, 2019 and is the first of its kind in our region. MWA's Kyle Richter will present at a workshop along with other professionals in their fields. Click here to register.
Microbial Source Tracking: MWA prepared a study design and Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) to collect bacteria data at 12 sites. MWA collected bi-weekly bacteria samples from May to mid-October, 2018 at these 12 sites and they are currently being analyzed for different types of DNA found in the bacteria that could determine their source.
MWA has recently been awarded a separate grant from the William Penn Foundation for education and outreach efforts to create more protective Clean Water Act standards and designations.
Photo Credit: John Brunner, Former MWA Executive Director