Monthly e-news from the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership
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JUNE 2015 - Vol. 1, Issue 2
Dear Friends of the Lower Raritan Watershed -

Welcome to the June issue of the Raritan Watershed Register! Our June general meeting will be held from 1-4 PM on the 16th (note the time change). We are looking forward to hearing from wetlands scientist Bill Young who will present on the wetlands remediation work at the Fords brownfields site. Also in June we will host our first "Stream Restoration Workshop." Details for both events below.

In May we prepared for summer stream assessments, hosted our 2nd annual Visual Habitat Assessment training, and signed up four new stream monitoring teams. Moving forward our goal is to develop monitoring teams in each of the LRW sub-watersheds. Let us know if you would like to adopt a stream in your area. Also in May we said goodbye to our Raritan Scholar interns who presented final reports on our "Walks in the Watershed" oral history program and our snow/ice melt method database project. And as the semester wrapped up, our Rutgers Collaborative Center partners delivered a wonderful interim white paper on our ongoing pollinators study.

Great news this week from the Obama administration announcing finalization of the "Clean Water Rule," which clarifies both the definition of "the waters of the United States" under the 1972 Clean Water Act and the EPA's authority under the Act. For residents of the Lower Raritan Watershed, the Clean Water Rule ensures EPA oversight of potential impacts to our primary sources of drinking water: seasonal, rain-dependent and headwater streams.

See you in the watershed,

Heather Fenyk, President

Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership
"Adopt a Stream" Training
We had a great time last Saturday learning how to conduct habitat assessments in area streams. Many thanks to our Americorps Watershed Ambassador who led the training.

There is still time to register for the FREE family-friendly macroinvertebrate training tomorrow, Saturday May 30, 9AM-Noon at Duke Farms. Participants will learn to identify and collect freshwater macroinvertebrate samples using NJDEP protocol - register here.
LRWP on "ethics of food" panel
On Saturday May 31 at the Better World Market in Somerset, the LRWP will join area experts at a coLAB Arts panel discussion on the ethics of food. The LRWP perspective considers the natural resource base as component of food security, and the effects of food production on water quality. The event costs $25, runs from 3-5 PM, and includes a curated seasonal lunch. Register at theTABLE.

Stream Restoration 101
On June 21 the LRWP is hosting its first Stream Restoration Workshop in partnership with the Highland Park Environmental Commission.

Join us from 9-12 at the Highland Park Senior Center as stream restoration expert Steve Barnes presents an overview of approaches to recover stream function in this classroom + field session. RSVP required.

June Calendar and Other Updates:

LRWP June Meeting **Please note time change!**

At our June meeting, scheduled for 1:00-4:00 PM on Tuesday the 16th, Wetlands Scientist Bill Young will speak about his work coordinating the wetlands remediation component of a major brownfields remediation project in Fords, an industrial section of Woodbridge, for the site’s new owners. The Fords site, a contaminated 200-plus-acre patch of mostly wetlands, sat abandoned and off-limits for years. It had once been home to a chemical plant with concomitant sludges and lagoons. Today, after eight years of remediation it would be hard to find a more positive example of environmentally sensitive brownfields remediation in the Lower Raritan Watershed.

The June presentation starts at 1:00 PM, the organizational part of our meeting will start at 2 PM, followed by the Board of Directors meeting at 3 PM. Our monthly meetings are held in the Middlesex County Office of Planning First Floor Meeting Space, 40 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ  08901.

Central Jersey Stream Team Clean-ups

On Sunday May 31 the LRWP will join our Central Jersey Stream Team friends for a Raritan River clean-up that they and the Somerville Flood Commission are organizing. The goal is to clear a mile long stretch of the Raritan from Duke Parkway down to the Main Street Bridge in Manville.

CJST is going to be working their way downstream for the next few months, with monthly clean-ups starting in Raritan Borough and continuing 6 miles south to the discharge pipe from American Cyanamid. Event dates are 5/31, 6/27, 7/26, 8/22 & 9/13. If you want to pull some tires out of the river, now is your chance! Contact CJST for more info.

7th Annual Sustainable Raritan River Conference
Registration is open for the 7th Annual Sustainable Raritan River Conference and Awards Ceremony to be held June 12, 2015 at Rutgers’ Douglass Student Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The theme of this year’s conference focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing the bi-state waters of the Raritan Bay. This event is sponsored by the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative and the New York—New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program. For more information or to register.


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