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SECTION 319(H) SUCCESS STORIES

Belcher's Creek
Mary Jane Pond
Bee Meadow Pond
The Stony Brook

Belcher's Creek
West Milford, New Jersey
Watershed Management Area 3

The Township of West Milford received a 319(h) grant in 1999 for $90,000 to achieve water quality improvements through nonpoint source pollution abatement, provided by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The Township of West Milford provided an in-kind match of $94,220, focusing on maintenance and education.

This grant had three main components: stormwater retrofits for storm drain catch basins in the Pinecliff Lake area, macroinvertebrate monitoring and analysis, and public education and outreach regarding the issue of nonpoint source pollution in Belcher Creek Corridor. The West Milford Engineering Department and Public Works Division designed sedimentation basins to capture increased amounts of sediment. This design was conducted for the purpose of capturing increased amounts of sediment that would have otherwise entered Pinecliff Lake through stormwater runoff. Sediment carried in by stormwater has two negative functions, carrying in nutrients and also increasing the rate of sedimentation in lakes. Nineteen sedimentation basins were installed and in six locations cross-drains were also installed connecting two sedimentation basins further increasing the drains' capacity to capture sediment from stormwater runoff. The estimated sediment removal is 2,452 ft3/yr based on the capacity of the stormdrains and the volume removed. Each sedimentation basin can hold approximately 1.1 yd3 and each cross-drain can hold 7.1 yd3.

Water quality monitoring of the macroinvertebrate community was performed by Allied Biological to provide an understanding of the overall water quality of Belcher's Creek. The sampling was conducted for four years (2000-2003) at four sampling locations. Water samples for chemical parameters were collected at each site. The parameters included Total Phosphorus, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Total Dissolved Solids, Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen, Fecal Coliform Bacteria and Total Suspended Solids. At each sampling location the macroinvertebrate community was evaluated based on: taxa richness; number of EPT taxa; Percent EPT; Percent Dominance; Family Biotic Index; Rapid Bioassessment Score; a Shannon-Weaver diversity Index was calculated along with a Normalized H'. All sites improved in their overall biological integrity since spring 2002, except BC04. Pinecliff Lake was lowered while repair work was completed on Pinecliff Lake Dam and the corresponding erratic discharge, and probable increase in sediment to the downstream BC04 site were listed as probable causes to the reduced water quality indicated by the macroinvertebrate community (Allied Biological 2003).

A total of 340 hours have been devoted to one component of the education part of the project. The High School Environmental Club (20 students) along with Chemistry classes (20 students) and faculty have set up monitoring for 20 sites. A website has been developed which allows the uploading of all the data. The High School faculty will continue to include this monitoring, which will provide information for both the students and township along with other interested parties. The information can be found at www.gismpa.us/wmilford. The data is also being incorporated into the Township's GIS database. Other significant educational components include working in coordination with the Township Planning Board Master Plan Subcommittee to assist the Planning Board in the preparation of a new Master Plan. This plan incorporates water quality as a goal of the Master Plan. The Environmental Commission also maintains a website for the purpose of disseminating information on environmental issues. The Commission has public information regarding the importance of septic maintenance on water quality (www.westmilford.org). There have been yearly presentations to the science classes from elementary to high school. Overall, there has been a significant effort to provide the residents of the town with important nonpoint source information since 1999.

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Mary Jane Pond
Linwood, New Jersey
Watershed Management Area 15

The Mary Jane Pond Restoration Project was successfully completed as a result of the combined efforts of the Mary Jane Pond Restoration Citizens Group; the City Council of the City of Linwood; the City of Linwood Board of Education; and the NJDEP Division of Watershed Management. A Diagnostic Feasibility Study was commissioned and paid for by the City Council. The study was undertaken by Environmental Consultant, Francis Pandullo.

Pre-Restoration view of pond
with adjoining residence
Pre-Restoration view of pond
with sediment in the foreground
Pre-Restoration view of pond
with sediment in the foreground
Dredging Operation

The study concluded that the pond was impacted by stormwater runoff from an upstream detention basin on the Seaview School Property and the upstream introduction of twenty-three stormwater inlets. These conditions caused the pond to overflow and erode its banks, causing the banks to collapse, and fill the pond with sediment. The effects of the unmanaged runoff not only caused the pond to fill with sediment to the point where it was only several inches deep, but also caused wildlife as well as resident and migrating birds to abandon the pond as a habitat.

A four phased plan was presented to the NJDEP in an Application for a $100,000 grant to dredge the pond; to manage the stormwater discharge from the upstream detention basin; to control the debris and contamination from entering the stormwater management system at the twenty-three stormwater inlets; and to stabilize the pond embankments. The total project cost was underwritten, in part, from the Department's Grant of $100,000; a contribution of $37,000 from the Linwood Board of Eduction; and "in-kind" services from the City's Department of Public Works to install drain guards at the upstream inlets.

Approximately 800 cubic yards of material was dredged from the pond to bring the pond back to its original condition. The material dredged from the pond was transported to the City's Public Works yard. The cooperation of the City's Public Works Department in this regard, assisted in controlling the cost of dredge removal and transport.

Conversion of the "detention" basin at the nearby Seaview School to a combination "detention/retention" basin was designed to attenuate peak stormwater runoff from the school property in order to reduce the impoundment and "swelling" of stormwater within the pond contributing, in part, to the erosion of the pond banks. The work was successfully accomplished as observed during the course of storm events.

Dredging Operation
Stormwater detention basin
under construction
 
Stormwater detention basin
under construction
 

Stormwater inlet drain guards are part of the City's Plan to comply with the new Stormwater Management Rules pertaining to point discharge contamination as defined in the Low Impact Development (LID) Checklist. This work is undertaken as an "in-kind" contribution to the overall project. Bank stabilization through the planting of vegetative species was completed during the month of October 2006 under favorable weather conditions.

The Department's Grant of $100,000 toward the defined "in-scope" of work served as a catalyst to encourage participation in a number of "out-of-scope" endeavors. For example, the Linwood City Council authorized and paid $10,000 for the Diagnostic Feasibility Study; the Linwood Board of Education contributed $37,000 toward the project costs; the City's Public Works Department facilitated a reduction in the dredging and disposal costs by allowing the use of the city yard for storage of the dredged material; the installation of drain guards at the upstream stormwater inlets as "in-kind" services by the City's personnel will not only benefit the project, but will also comply with the intent of the new Stormwater Management Rules regarding point discharge; and finally, the City approved a change order by which the contractor provided enhanced bank stabilization plantings in compliance with recommendations from the Department's Land Use Regulation Program.

Completed conversion
of the School "detention/retention" basin
Completed conversion
of the School "detention/retention" basin
Completed pond restoration

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Bee Meadow Pond
Hanover Township, Morris County, New Jersey
Watershed Management Area 6

The Bee Meadow Pond Shoreline Restoration Project was successfully completed as a result of the combined efforts of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension/Department of Environmental Science - Rutgers University, the Whippany River Watershed Action Committee, and Hanover Township. This 319(h) Federal grant was awarded by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to the Rutgers Cooperative Extension/Department of Environmental Science - Rutgers University to reduce the sedimentation of Bee Meadow Pond and the excessive concentrations of fecal coliform brought into the pond from storm water runoff.

The objective of this project was to re-vegetate and restore Bee Meadow Pond, one of a series of three ponds, located in Bee Meadow Park in Hanover Township. Bee Meadow Pond is the last in a series of three ponds that ultimately discharge to the headwaters of the Westbrook Lake, a tributary to the Troy Brook within the Whippany River Watershed. The ponds are stocked for fishing, but boating and swimming are not allowed. The three ponds total 22.5 acres of the total 89-acre park, with a drainage are of 136 hectares, or 0.525 square miles.

This project re-vegetated and stabilized 1,100 linear feet of degraded shoreline around Bee Meadow Pond mitigating the effects of the waterfowl population; the deposition of droppings laden with fecal coliform on turf areas adjacent to the lake. Thus, the project addressed the Whippany River's TMDL for fecal coliform which mandated a 58% reduction in this pollutant (see Table 1). Approximately 500 feet of eroding slopes along the lake shore were re-graded and stabilized. The project improved the water quality of the lake and provided public access in a highly visible and heavily used community park in Hanover Township. All work was completed using native plantings and bioengineering techniques and materials. The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program, along with Hanover Township, and the Whippany River Watershed Action Committee aided in this process and provided staff and volunteers to complete the restoration project.

This restoration project was completed in three separate phases. Phase I was to establish a 50-foot wide riparian buffer along 300 feet of shoreline near the entrance to Bee Meadow Park. Phase II was to re-grade and stabilize approximately 500 feet of shoreline adjacent to the park entrance road. This included the construction of a pervious walkway along the road and informal access points to the pond using natural boulders. Phase III was to work with utility and local officials to establish a riparian buffer along an additional 300 feet of shoreline currently disturbed by construction and vegetation management activities.

All project partners and the community at large expressed positive feedback when viewing the improved shoreline buffer. Various native species that together bloomed throughout the year were not only aesthetically pleasing, but were also working to break up long compacted soils to provide a higher level of infiltration around the site. In addition to that, water quality goals for the reduction in fecal coliform counts were achieved. This was expected due to a reduction in overland runoff and creation of vegetated land that was a less desirable habitat for the Canada goose population. Table 1 provides the before and after geometric means of the data collected to give the reader an idea of the benefits achieved.

Table 1: Bee Meadow Fecal Coliform Reduction

Given a water quality standard of 200 org/100ml (geometric average of at least five samples taken within 30 days) or a one time of 10% of samples exceedance of 400 org/100ml, it is readily recognized that many measurements taken during this study prior to the restoration exceeded the standard. Five of the ten site geometric means, (minimum of five samples within 30 days) of fecal coliform concentrations taken before the shoreline restoration installation by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension's Water Resources Program fell above the water quality standard.

In evaluating the data collected by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension's Water Resources Program, the reduction of the fecal coliform concentrations at all sites showed a significant reduction. In addition, all sites also showed a reduction in Total Suspended Solid concentration from pre-installation to post-installation dates, with a range in percent reduction from 0.3% to 75.9%. A significant reduction was found in two of the four sites that more clearly represented the positive effects of the restoration project. The watershed partners anticipate collecting additional water quality data to further evaluate and assess the performance of this completed restoration project.

Pre-installation:
Bee Meadown Shoreline pre-planting.

Early post-installation:
Bee Meadown Shoreline after first year planting.
Bee Meadow Shoreline second year after restoration,
including re-planting as necessary by Rutgers and Hanover Township.
 

The Stony Brook
Hopewell and Princeton, New Jersey
Watershed Management Area 10

The Stony Brook, located in the Piedmont region of New Jersey, is a major tributary of the Millstone River. The watershed contains a variety of urban, forest and agricultural land uses. The Stony Brook is classified as Fresh Water 2-Non-Trout (FW2-NT), with portions designated as Category One based upon the exceptional ecological and water quality significance of the waterway. Extensive development over the last two decades converted significant rural portions of the Stony Brook watershed to commercial and residential land uses. The increases in stormwater runoff volume and intensity resulted in severely eroded stream banks and compromised floodplain habitats leading to increased total suspended solids (TSS) concentrations. The TSS impairment was first identified by the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association (SBMWA) who conducted a watershed-wide characterization and assessment of all streams and riparian habitats in 1997. The TSS impairment was confirmed by concurrent and continuing monitoring under NJDEP’s ambient monitoring network. TSS concentrations exceeded the NJ Surface Water Quality Standard of 40 mg/l, with a maximum recorded value of 152 mg/l. Therefore, in 2002, NJDEP added the stream segment ‘Stony Brook at Princeton’, a total of 3 HUC 14 assessment units, to the 303(d) list of impaired waters for TSS.

The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), in partnership with the SBMWA, initiated numerous watershed management action and educational projects throughout the watershed in the mid -1990s. Building on these stewardship activities, the SBMWA worked with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Townships of Hopewell and Princeton engineering departments to identify sites throughout the watershed in need of restoration, erosion control, and reforesting. In 1998, working with these partners, the SBMWA was awarded $132,000 under the Section 319(h) grant program. The 319(h) grant funds were used to undertake six streambank restoration/stabilization and floodplain reforestation projects. Volunteers were trained by the SBMWA with assistance from the NRCS, the NJ Forestry Service, and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. The partners provided in-kind services valued at $54,000 in the form of labor and equipment. Four restoration projects were implemented in Mountain Brook and two within the Upper Stony Brook portion of the watershed and completed in 2000. Bioengineering technologies were employed to stabilize streambanks, minimize erosion, and provide a substrate for native species planting. The TSS reductions resulted in the attainment of the TSS surface water quality standard in these assessment units.

The six stream bank restoration projects addressed several problem locations resulting in measurable water quality improvement according to data collected by the SBMWA and NJDEP. Stream monitoring data from 2003-2005 and 2005-2006 from downstream monitoring stations showed TSS concentrations consistently attaining the TSS surface water quality standards. Based on this data, NJDEP removed TSS from the 2008 303(d) list as a cause of impairment.

Continuing efforts are currently underway in the SBM watershed under an EPA targeted watershed grant for the Raritan Basin. The NJ Water Supply Authority, the SBMWA and NJDEP were awarded $1 million for restoration, pollution prevention, and reforestation projects in the Lower Raritan Basin. This federal grant was matched by an additional $1 million from other funding sources.

Click here for more detailed PDF version of this success story.

Mountain Brook, Pre-implementation

Mountain Brook, July 2003, Post-implementation

 

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Last Updated: June 25, 2010

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