Dear Friends of the Lower Raritan Watershed -
2015 has been a good year for New Jersey's state bug, the honey bee. Recognizing the tremendous economic value of pollinators, and in the face of dramatically declining pollinator populations worldwide, in May the Obama Administration released a new National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators. And this past Friday the Garden State's Acting Governor Kim Guadagno signed three bee-related bills into law.
Research has established links between herbicide use on lawns and the decline of pollinator species. In that our wetlands, riparian habitat, and (perhaps counter-intuitively) our heavily urbanized landscapes are infrequently treated with herbicides, they hold great promise for the re-population of our native pollinator friends. Managing our watersheds to enhance life requisites for native pollinators will require new policies and practices. The LRWP and community partners have developed plans for a pollinator habitat demonstration project in New Brunswick through which we will examine the influence of rain garden habitat enhancements on pollinator communities in our watershed. We invite you to join us on Thursday August 6 for the project launch - a pollinator count - details below.
July saw us hunkered down developing comments on NJDEP's Flood Hazard Control Acts Amendments Proposal, the New Jersey Coastal Management Program Section Assessment and Strategy for 2016-2020, and NJDEP's approach to Green Infrastructure. We have also been busy organizing some exciting events for the rest of 2015. Let us know if you want to help generate material for our sculptor friends during an August 22nd stream clean-up, join us in the field on August 25 for a macroinvertebrate sample at Bound Brook, or volunteer to table at one of our fall events. Save the date of October 29 for a Halloween Fundraiser at the New Brunswick Wellness Center when we'll be raising funds for the Watershed Sculpture Project.
Finally, please join us for our August meeting on Tuesday the 18th at 9:00 AM in the Middlesex County Department of Planning's First Floor Meeting Space. Rutgers Professor and Landscape Architect Richard Alomar will present on Perth Amboy's Second Street Park Project along the Raritan River waterfront in Perth Amboy. Professor Alomar will give an overview of the project, which included a participatory design process that engaged a wide variety of stakeholders, residents and government and business entities.
Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership
Bee well (couldn't resist), and see you in the watershed!
Heather Fenyk, President