DEP AND DVRPC SIGN WATERSHED CONTRACT TO PROTECT CROSSWICKS
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Shinn
today signed a contract with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
(DVRPC) to develop a comprehensive management plan for clean and plentiful
water for the Crosswicks Creek watershed, which covers parts of Monmouth,
Mercer, Burlington and Ocean counties.
The DVRPC will receive $600,000 for the four-year scope of work to complete
the plan. The plan will encompass the 253 square-mile watershed, which
covers parts of 26 municipalities and includes the Assicunk, Doctors,
Blacks, Crafts and Lahaway creeks. The Crosswicks Creek extends 25 miles,
emptying into the Delaware River at Bordentown.
Commissioner Shinn presented an advance check of $120,000 to DVRPC's
Assistant Executive Director Barry Seymour at a ceremony held at Walnford
County Park in Allentown Borough (Monmouth).
Governor Whitman, who initiated the statewide watershed management program,
said, "Water is one of our most fundamental and precious resources and
must not be taken for granted. Watershed management planning will help
to protect water quality in the Crosswicks Creek area and throughout New
Jersey for years to come."
"Working together, we will produce a plan that will protect the Crosswicks
Creek watershed's many valuable natural resources by identifying strategies
to reduce various sources of non-point source pollution. Experience has
shown that money for watershed planning is a wise investment in our future,
because clean water is no accident," said Shinn.
"Successful watershed planning requires a sense of partnership and collaboration
across all levels of governments and between the public and private sectors,"
said Barry Seymour, Assistant Executive Director at DVRPC. "As we begin
the plan for the Crosswicks Creek watershed, we will look to create an
inclusive and participatory process, where all interests will be welcomed
and all voices will be heard".
The county will seek input from other local groups and interested citizens
in developing the plan at the partnership's meetings. Task committees
will conduct public outreach and other technical and support work. Upon
completion of a draft plan, DEP will seek formal public comment and review
prior to adoption.