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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 9/20/01
01/112

CONTACT: Loretta O'Donnell or Amy Collings
(609) 984-1795 or 609-292-2994

DEP GRANTS $84,000 FOR PROJECT TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY
IN THE PEAPACK BROOK (MORRIS/SOMERSET COUNTIES)

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Shinn today awarded an $84,000 grant to the Upper Raritan Watershed Association to improve water quality in the Peapack Brook in Morris and Somerset counties.

"We are targeting the many nonpoint sources, such as runoff from roads, litter, pet waste, fertilizers and pesticides, that require public participation and local partnerships to effectively manage and improve water quality in our rivers and streams," Shinn said.

The Upper Raritan Watershed Association in Bedminster is receiving $83,918.18 to develop strategies to improve water quality in the Peapack Brook, a trout production stream that flows through Chester Borough, Chester Township, Borough of Peapack-Gladstone and Bedminster Township. The stream and its tributaries total 22 miles in length and its watershed covers approximately 12 square miles.

The Peapack Brook is affected by various types of nonpoint source pollution such as soil erosion, inadequate streamside vegetation, stormwater runoff and high nutrient levels that impair a healthy ecosystem. The three-year project will assess causes of water impairments in the brook and design control measures to reduce pollution and increase public participation in watershed protection activities.

"The Peapack Brook sub-watershed is a small enough area that there will be effective involvement with municipalities and other stakeholders, and its size ensures that pollution-reduction measures will have a significant impact on the brook," said Susan Endres of the Upper Raritan Watershed Association.

Project partners include the Natural Resources Conservation Service, North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council, the Somerset-Union Soil Conservation District, the Peapack-Gladstone Environmental Commission, Chester Township, and DEP's Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries.

Funding for the grants is authorized by the federal Clean Water Act (319). For more information, contact the Division of Watershed Management's Raritan Bureau at (609) 633-7020, or Susan Endres at the Upper Raritan Watershed Association (908) 234-1852.

 

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