Monday, May 11, 2009

Rivers Can Be Endangered Too

Here's a list we don't want New Jeresy to make it onto - the ten most endangered rivers in the U.S. as selected by

The list we do want to be on is for green infrastructure projects involving our waterways which are part of stimulating the economy. American Rivers and its partners have identified some ready-to-go projects in New Jersey.

These projects would be worth over $53 million in jobs and materials, but, more importantly to this blog, they would also improve clean water and boost natural flood protection.

“Clean water is our nation’s most vital resource, but our water infrastructure is outdated and crumbling, unable to cope with our drinking water, wastewater, and flood protection needs,” said Betsy Otto, vice president of strategic partnerships for American Rivers. “The good news is, investments in green solutions to these water infrastructure problems will create jobs, save money, and protect public health and safety.”

A wetland restoration project in Oxford, NJ could restore 225 acres of failing agricultural lands and a failing private levee along Furnace Brook to forested and floodplain wetlands. Nearly one mile of levees would be removed, ditching would be backfilled, and the land would be planted again to forested and marsh wetland vegetation. This project would restore natural flood protection and reduce downstream flood damage, improve wildlife habitat and expand an adjacent state wildlife area.

In Trenton, the Assunpink Creek restoration project would remove a culvert and improve the health of this Delaware River tributary. The effort would also include construction of a multiple-use trail for public recreation.

Flooding from the Millstone River

The Lower Millstone River Fish Passage Project is another project. The Millstone River, a tributary to the Raritan River, is near the townships of Franklin and Hillsborough, NJ. The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association will conduct a study to examine the feasibility of restoring American shad and other fish in the lower Millstone River in central New Jersey. Among other potential restoration strategies, the project will explore the possibility of removing two dams on the lower Millstone River which would open an additional 14.1 miles of the river to fish. The study will assess potential positive and negative effects of dam removal as well as other potential methods for providing fish passage on the river.

More about New Jersey rivers

American Rivers is the leading national organization standing up for healthy rivers so communities can thrive. American Rivers protects and restores America’s rivers for the benefit of people, wildlife and nature. Founded in 1973, American Rivers has more than 65,000 members and supporters nationwide, with offices in Washington, DC and the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, California and Northwest regions.

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