Monthly e-news from the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership
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November 2015 - Vol. 1, Issue 7
Dear Friends of the Lower Raritan Watershed -

It has been three years since Hurricane Sandy hit our region. Sandy knocked out power, compromised the drinking water supply, and flooded the Middlesex County Utilities Authority's (MCUA) sewage treatment plant, causing the discharge of 1.1 billion gallons of untreated sewage into Raritan Bay. Last month Governor Christie signed legislation authorizing up to $1.94 billion in state financing for projects to improve drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. The funding includes $185 million for the MCUA that will allow for restoration of Sayreville and Edison pump stations, and will help to protect them from future flooding. 

As a watershed association we spend a lot of time thinking about water: the suitability of the water in the Raritan for swimming and fishing, the safety of our drinking water, and how wastewater and stormwater impact our drinking water and water recreation options. We're also fascinated by the advent of wastewater technology expertise in the global energy policy dialogue. Some very smart people are designing ways to improve the resilience of our water infrastructure, ensure healthier drinking water, and make our Rivers safer places to fish and swim while simultaneously producing energy from wastewater treatment. But before we start talking about anaerobic digestion and bioelectricchemistry it wouldn't hurt to improve our understanding of where our water comes from, how it is treated, and what happens to it once it becomes wastewater. As New Jersey moves to invest significant dollars in water and wastewater infrastructure we think a "get to know the local water treatment facilities tour" is timely. **Please note the date change for our November meeting and plan to join us on Monday November 9 for a field trip to the Middlesex Water Company's Carl J. Olsen Water Treatment Plant facilities in Edison located at 100 Fairview Avenue in Edison, NJ 08817. The event is co-hosted by the Middlesex County Water Resources Association, and lunch, courtesy of Middlesex Water, will be served at 1 PM followed by the tour from 1:30-3:00 PM. Please RSVP to by November 4.**

We'll continue the discussion at our Tuesday December 15 meeting when, following a potluck dinner, and joining ANJEC and the New Brunswick Environmental Commission, we are co-hosting a special workshop session on TMDLS and water quality in the Raritan. We are still firming up the time and place, but please save the date and plan to join us for an evening meeting and end of the year celebration in New Brunswick.

Speaking of celebrating - many thanks to all of you who joined us last night to celebrate the second year of the award-winning Watershed Sculpture Project, developed in partnership with coLAB Arts. We had a great time with friends old and new. Info on the event below.

See you in the watershed!

Heather Fenyk, President
Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership
Nov. 9 Field Trip - Middlesex Water Company, RSVP by Nov. 4
The Middlesex Water Company owns and operates regulated water utility and wastewater systems on behalf of several Lower Raritan Watershed communities. The November 9th LRWP meeting will be a field trip to the Middlesex Water Company's Carl J. Olsen Water Treatment Plant facilities in Edison located at 100 Fairview Avenue in Edison, NJ 08817. Lunch, courtesy of Middlesex Water, will be served at 1 PM followed by the tour from 1:30-3:00 PM. As we need a head count for lunch RSVP to lori.kahel AT
Help the LRWP Develop A Comprehensive Monitoring Plan
The LRWP is working to raise $1,300 to participate in the web-based training program “Monitoring That Guarantees Measurable Results” (sponsored by the nationally-known River Network). This program will give us the assistance we need to develop a comprehensive monitoring plan for the Lower Raritan Watershed including a data inventory, a blueprint for monitoring objectives, an information delivery plan and a monitoring program evaluation plan. For more information on the campaign and to donate. No amount is too small.

Watershed Sculpture Unveiling
The 2015 Watershed Sculpture Project unveiling was great fun. More than 50 people enjoyed music by Little Rose, a meet-and-greet with the artists Tobiah Horton, Tammy Knorr and J.P.K, the hospitality of the Robert Wood Johnson Fitness & Wellness Center, drinks from Flying Fish brewery and dinner from Kenny's Corner Cafe. As always, huge thanks to our coLAB Arts partners. Proceeds will help us launch the program in the New Brunswick and Highland Park High Schools in 2016.

Rutgers Environmental Stewards
Rutgers NJ Agricultural Experiment Station is now accepting applications for the Spring 2016 Rutgers Environmental Stewards Program. The program includes 60 hours of training and a 60 hour internship. New for 2016 is a partnership with the LRWP in which Environmental Stewards will learn about watershed health through field study and analysis. Anyone with an interest in the environment and a commitment to volunteer service can participate, no previous environmental training necessary. For more information.

LRWP calendar

November 9 - PLEASE NOTE MEETING DATE AND TIME FOR NOVEMBER! Joint meeting with the Middlesex County Water Resources Association for a tour of the Middlesex County Water Utility Facility. Lunch (courtesy the Middlesex Water Company) from 1:00 -1:30, tour from 1:30- 3:00 PM. 100 Fairview Avenue, Edison, NJ 08817. To ensure an accurate headcount for lunch please RSVP: by November 4.

Directions to Middlesex Water from South, North and East:

Take Route 27 North through Highland Park into Edison. Make a left onto Plainfield Avenue. Go past the Edison Train Station and make a left at Kilmer Avenue. Go past the large post office facility; make a left onto Suttons Lane and then a right onto Fairview Avenue. Fairview Avenue is residential. Drive to the end of the street. Entrance to the Middlesex Water Company is through a gate that a security guard will open. Stay to the left and ride around to the front of the facility. Parking is along the curbs.

Other Watershed News and Updates

New Jersey Audubon Plainsboro Preserve Environmental Education Center is hosting "Across Watersheds," a No Water, No Life Traveling Photo Exhibit. Several images feature the Lower Raritan Watershed. Photos by Alison M. Jones, curated by Jasmine Graf. Runs from October 8th to November 9th. Tuesday to Saturday 9-4 PM.  Sunday, 12-4 PM. 80 Scotts Corner Road, Cranbury, NJ 08512  (609) 897-9400.


Copyright © 2015 Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership, All rights reserved.

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