What We Believe
The Musconetcong Watershed Association (MWA) is a collaborative organization that seeks to leverage and combine resources in a multi-agency and multi-stakeholder approach to watershed protection, management, and restoration. This mindset makes the MWA a valued and sought-after community partner.
The Musconetcong River and its tributaries must be protected/enhanced and river management must be a proactive partnership effort with local residents, municipalities, public agencies, and other non-governmental organizations. This work is informed by the Musconetcong River Management Plan (developed to protect the National Wild and Scenic River segments) and other plans.
The Musconetcong River should have the highest level of protection afforded to surface waters i.e., “Outstanding National Resource Waters” designation from the EPA/NJDEP. Headwaters of the Musky, including intermittent streams, need increased and restored protections.
The Musconetcong River and its headwaters should be managed in a way that restores natural processes and promotes biodiversity. Naturally functioning rivers enhance environmental, social and economic benefits in the communities they pass through by enhancing freshwater supply and drinking water quality, providing carbon storage and creating opportunities for recreation and tourism. Examples of supported restoration activities include providing for fish passage, bank stabilization, floodplain management, dam removal, improving instream habitat and creating riparian buffers.
Outdoor recreation is a gateway to enjoying, appreciating, and caring for the natural world that sustains us. Recreation within the Musconetcong watershed is encouraged provided that activities are compatible with preserving the natural and cultural resources of the watershed while respecting private property.
MWA supports the removal of dams on the Musconetcong River and its tributaries that are abandoned/obsolete/dangerous or where dam owners are seeking removal.
Farming has a long history of contributing positively to the watershed’s character, beauty, food supply and economy. We believe that sustainable, regenerative agriculture is needed to protect water quality and it has a constructive place in the future of our watershed.
Development in the watershed is not inherently bad but should be balanced to maximize environmental protection, social good and economic success. We oppose development where degradation of water quality is probable. Special scrutiny of projects in areas with carbonite bedrock (Karst terrain) is warranted because surface water is more likely to connect rapidly to groundwater.
MWA recognizes the impacts that municipal zoning rules can have on watershed health. Development and conservation can co-exist, and the MWA can be a valued partner to municipalities and other stakeholders in early planning discussions to achieve both. We oppose any development within 300’ of the Musconetcong River or its headwater streams.
Lake Hopatcong is a critical part of the Musconetcong Watershed. Its water management plan should fairly balance the needs of both lake and river communities while allowing no decrease in river quality.
Invasive species represent a disruptive threat to the ecological health of the watershed. All reasonable, effective measures should be taken to remove them and/or prevent their expansion.