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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 11/29/00
143/00
CONTACT: Loretta O’Donnell or Amy Collings
609-984-1795 or 609-292-2994

DEP AND DVRPC SIGN WATERSHED CONTRACT TO PROTECT CROSSWICKS CREEK AREA

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.

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