Monthly e-news from the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership
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August 2015 - Vol. 1, Issue 4
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.

Bee well (couldn't resist), and see you in the watershed!

Heather Fenyk, President

Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership
 July Meeting Recap: Westons Mill Dam Fish Ladder Feasibility Study

Many thanks to the Lawrence Brook Watershed Partnership and the New York New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program for presenting on findings from their fish passage feasibility study for Westons Mill Dam at the New Brunswick water utility. The bottom line: water flow rates appear more than adequate to support the project, which, If implemented would open up three miles of new habitat for fish such as river herring and eel. 

August 6 Pollinator Count in New Brunswick's Boyd Park, 10AM-Noon
The LRWP and friends have developed a pollinator enhancement overlay zone proposal for New Brunswick and are now preparing to install a pollinator garden in a City park. This will involve pollinator counts to gauge the impact of our installation, growing pollinator plants from seed with Middle School students, and a garden build day in spring 2016. We kick things off on August 6 with a baseline count and presentation by Rutgers entomologist John Cambridge titled "Who? How? Where? Pollinators!" This is a great family event. RSVP required.

Providence, Rhode Island's WaterFire

We visited Providence, RI mid-July for WaterFire, learning about community revitalization through attention to River-focused arts programming. WaterFire Providence® is an independent, non-profit arts organization that brings tens of thousands of visitors into Providence and along the River for spectacular fire and water installations. Could you imagine tens of thousands of folks sharing arts and cultural experiences along the Raritan?

LRWP calendar

August 6 - Pollinator Count, 10AM-Noon, New Brunswick's Buccleuch Park. This is a great family event. RSVP required

August 18 - LRWP monthly meeting, 10AM-Noon, Middlesex County Department of Planning

August 22 - LRWP Watershed Sculpture Project clean-up. RSVP required

August 25 - Water Quality sampling for NJDEP, Queens Bridge in Bound Brook. RSVP required

September 15 - LRWP monthly meeting, 10AM-Noon, location TBD

September 18 - Volunteer to help us take over a parking spot for PARKing Day 2015.

September 20 - Volunteer to help table at the Highland Park Arts in the Park.

September 27 - Volunteer to help table at the Raritan River Festival in New Brunswick

October 29 - Halloween Fundraiser, details to follow

Other News and Updates

Our Central Jersey Stream Team friends have two more clean-ups in the Lower Raritan Watershed this year. Upcoming event dates are 8/22 & 9/13. If you want to pull some tires out of the river, now is your chance! E-mail CJST for more info.

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

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