Watershed Protection & Restoration Plan for the Musconetcong Watershed from Hampton to Bloomsbury

The restoration area for the Musconetcong River watershed area is approximately 19.6 square miles in size. It includes Lebanon Township, Hampton Borough and Bethlehem Township in Hunterdon County and Franklin and Washington Townships in Warren County. The Musconetcong River at the Route 31 USGS monitoring station is currently identified as not meeting surface water quality standards for aquatic life. The monitoring station downstream has also been identified as not meeting water quality standards for fecal coliform and pH.

North Jersey RC&D is working to identify sources of concern for the Musconetcong River from Hampton to Bloomsbury. Identification of fecal coliform loading sources will drastically help improve water quality. Rutgers University is able to identify bovine and human fecal coliform through DNA testing. Through North Jersey RC&D’s sampling, restoration efforts and management techniques can be focused directly on the cause of the problem.

North Jersey RC&D was awarded funds by the State of New Jersey and the DEP’s Division of Watershed Management to evaluate the potential pollution sources within this watershed. North Jersey RC&D has partnered with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Water Resources Program, and the Musconetcong Watershed Association (MWA) to complete this project. This effort includes determining the sources of fecal coliform and other pollutants that are contributing to the river’s failing water quality. It also includes designing a plan for the watershed so that water quality standards may once again be met in the Musconetcong River.

This project will include visual, chemical and biological sampling of the Musconetcong River. Together the collected data will aid in characterizing water quality and in identifying specific sources of pollutants impairing this river system. Identification of fecal coliform loading sources will drastically help improve water quality. Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program is able to further identify bovine and human fecal coliform sources through DNA testing.

The final plan will define projects with the most cost-benefit advantage that will restore water quality to the Musconetcong River when implemented. The Watershed Restoration Plan will include Best Management Practices, both structural and nonstructural, that can be used to repair this ecosystem. Guidance from landowners in the watershed and support from the municipalities will ensure that the projects defined for this area are both welcomed by the community and in support of our common goal, an improved Musconetcong River.

For more information, contact Grace Messinger or call us at 908-441-9191.