Restoration of the Musconetcong River (New Jersey)
The Musconetcong River is a New Jersey gem, draining the rural, northwestern part of the state. With a 158 square mile watershed, and at nearly 46 miles in length, it is one of the largest tributaries to the Delaware River. The river is an undeniably beautiful part of New Jersey’s landscape, and portions have been federally designated as part of the National Wild & Scenic River System. The Musky, as it’s known locally, is a popular stream for kayakers and canoeists, as well as anglers drawn in by world-class fly-fishing opportunities.
A hardworking, Successful Partnership
American Rivers is a member of the Musconetcong River Restoration Partnership – a multidisciplinary team of state and federal resource agencies, non-profit organizations and individuals working to improve and restore the Musconetcong River. The partnership includes: American Rivers, Musconetcong Watershed Association, New Jersey Trout Unlimited, North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
One of the primary goals of the Partnership is to restore a free-flowing Musconetcong River through the removal of obsolete dams. The Partnership led the removal of both the Riegelsville Dam remnant and Finesville Dam in 2011. Several members of the Partnership also worked under the leadership of the Musconetcong Watershed Association to remove the Gruendyke Dam in 2008 and the Seber Dam in 2009. These dam removals have restored free-flowing conditions, reconnected access for migratory fish including American eels, alewife and blueback herring, and improved habitat for trout, bass, and other local fish populations.
In 2013, the Partnership received the Coastal America Partnership Award for our efforts to remove the Finesville Dam. This award recognizes outstanding collaborative, multi-agency and multi-stakeholder efforts that leverage and combine resources to accomplish coastal restoration, preservation, protection and education projects.
American Rivers is honored to be recognized with this award and we are proud to be part of such a hardworking, successful partnership. From a Wild and Scenic designation to the removal of outdated dams, the Musconetcong River and its communities have seen great successes. But our work isn’t done, and American Rivers looks forward to continuing our restoration efforts with the partnership to ensure a healthy, vibrant river for future generations.
Restoration in Action
Project partners are currently working with an experienced engineering firm to study and design the removal of two of the largest dams on the Musky –the 18 foot-high Hughesville Dam and the 37 foot-high Warren Glen Dam. Partners are also working towards the removal of the Bloomsbury Dam, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers having completed a feasibility study and environmental assessment in 2013.
Momentum continues along the Musky as project partners work to restore the river, one reach at a time, working upstream from the confluence with the Delaware River.
For more information, contact Laura Craig with American Rivers at (856) 786-9000.