Monthly e-news from the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership
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November 2016 - Vol. 2, Issue 11
Dear Friends of the Lower Raritan Watershed-

Water Protectors in Standing Rock, North Dakota - the folks protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline - have brought attention to serious flaws in the federal environmental review and approval process for crude oil and natural gas pipeline projects. The Water Protectors argue that all infrastructure projects need to include a truly comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that evaluates impacts to our natural and cultural assets.

While the federal oversights that effect Standing Rock are particularly egregious, the legacy of compromised Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) environmental review processes should be of concern to New Jersey residents as well. Oil and gas pipelines already fragment our environment as they crisscross the state. Our Lower Raritan Watershed communities may be impacted further by the proposed Williams Transco Northeast Supply Enhancement Pipeline. This project includes a 3.4-mile-long, 26-inch-diameter pipeline loop in Middlesex County, and a 23.4-mile-long, 26-inch-diameter pipeline loop (called the "Raritan Bay Loop") beginning at the Middlesex County coast and crossing New Jersey and New York State marine waters. Critics of the Williams Pipeline argue that the pipeline would have irreversible impacts on our communities, watershed ecology and marine habitat.

The Standing Rock Water Protectors caution us to be watchful and active participants in environmental review processes in order to better protect our natural and cultural resources. But these activists also give us hope as they remind us that we are changing the way we think about energy as we better understand the impacts of energy extraction and energy use on our environment and our communities, and they remind of how, as a society, we are coming to understand the potential of alternative energy.

The LRWP will focus on this positive message from the actions at Standing Rock when we meet next on November 15, 9:30-11AM at the Middlesex County Office of Planning. At that time we will welcome special guest Ed Clerico (Natural Systems Utilities) to discuss the potential for an alternative energy derived from wastewater. Mr. Clerico will guide us in a conversation on the idea of a "reimagined" infrastructure and how man-made infrastructure can mimic ecological infrastructure to create renewable energy.

Read below for highlights of our activities in October, and for details on upcoming events in November and December. And please donate to help us continue to do the work we do!

See you in the watershed,

Heather Fenyk, President
Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership
Watershed Sculpture Project Gallery Opening: December 6
The delay in the LRWP-coLAB arts sculpture gallery opening will be worth the wait! Join us December 6 for music, beer, wine, snacks, the unveiling of the 2016 sculptures, and for a special Augmented Reality experience. Bring your smart phones for a virtual tour of the watershed. More information and advance tickets available here. Image: sculptures by Highland Park High School students, created from trash collected during stream clean-ups.
Stream School 2016
We had a blast at Stream School this year. Many thanks to NJDEP and Stroud Water Resources for the opportunity to learn about the 6-legged insects that live on the bottom of our streams. This picture of a Hellgrammite (Dobsonfly Larvae) was captured by WMA9 Watershed Ambassador Katee Meckeler during training. Check out the Hellgrammite video on our website, and learn more about our monitoring activities and how you can get involved.
Rutgers Environmental Stewards
The Rutgers Environmental Steward certification program, offered through Rutgers Cooperative Extension, provides training and experience which equips participants to contribute to the process of finding solutions for environmental problems in their communities. Over the next few months the LRWP blog will highlight our successful Steward partner projects. Class of 2017 recruitment is underway. Image credit: Michele Bakacs
October 2016 Clean Ups
Thanks to Edison's Middlesex Academy for cleaning up Mill Brook in Heller Industrial Parks, and also to our New Brunswick-based Esperanza Project Resident Team for helping to coordinate a clean-up of One Mile Run Brook. TY to the Edison and NB DPWs for garbage bags, gloves, tools and cartage. We start up with clean-ups again on January 21 in Piscataway's Johnson Park.
October 2016 blog posts
Read about the snowy November woods in Joe Mish's monthly piece. Learn about the endangered American Bittern in an essay by Maya Fenyk. Michele Bakacs highlights Rutgers Environmental Steward Susan Edmunds and her work on Highland Park's Mill Brook. We also share information on how to provide comment on the Westons Mill Dam removal. Photo by Joe Mish.
November-December Calendar

November 1 - Pollinator Garden Installation
November 5 - Pollinator Garden Installation (10-2, same place as Nov 1)
November 15 - LRWP monthly meeting
December 6 - Watershed Sculpture Gallery Opening

Volunteers Needed!
The LRWP needs help with: grant-writing, tabling and outreach at events, and spearheading a monofiliament recycling station installation project (perfect for a Girl/Boy Scout Troop) and much more. Please contact Heather: hfenyk AT lowerraritanwatershed DOT org

Partner Events

Central Jersey Stream Team, 2016 clean-up dates:
November 12
December 3

Edison Greenways Group, 2016 Eco-Tours:
November 5 
November 13
November 20
December 4
Copyright © 2016 Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership, All rights reserved.

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