Watershed Protection & Restoration Plan for the Neshanic Watershed

The restoration planning area of the Neshanic River Watershed is a 31 square mile area of mixed land use within the Raritan River Basin. A majority of the stream reaches are impaired based on New Jersey State standards for surface water quality in the parameters of phosphorus, total suspended solids, copper and aquatic life and listed on Sublist 5 of the New Jersey 2004 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report. A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for fecal coliform has been approved and adopted for the Neshanic River. This TMDL requires 87% reductions in nonpoint source bacteria loads throughout the watershed. Additionally, a TMDL for total phosphorus in the Neshanic River was completed in 2006.

Another concern in the watershed is the increasing occurrences of no/low base water flow during later summer. The goal of this project is to improve the health of the Neshanic River by developing a watershed restoration plan that achieves the required TMDL reductions for fecal coliform and total phosphorus. The goal also calls for proper water quality standards for total suspended solids, removal aquatic life impairments, and evaluate the possibility of restoring the base water flow.

Several team members along with North Jersey RC&D are partnering on the various facets of this restoration plan.

Project tasks include:
– chemical and biological water quality monitoring;
– stream visual assessment;
– stormwater infrastructure inventory;
– development, selection, and effectiveness and economic assessments of stormwater management measures and agricultural best management practices; and
– biophysical and economic modeling.

A watershed restoration planning committee will be established and operated to bring broad public participation into the planning process and to evaluate the project outputs and the final watershed restoration plan.

For more information please contact Grace Messinger!