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Restoring the Lower Musconetcong River

Musconetcong River Restoration Partnership awarded for Musky successPartnership Effort Awarded

NRCS joined other members of the Musconetcong River Restoration Partnership on September 13, 2013, to accept the Coastal America Partnership Award for their efforts to restore connectivity and improve the health of the Musconetcong River.

The group assembled for this photo at the event held riverside at the Finesville site. From left to right: Beth Styler Barry - Musconetcong Watershed Association, Carrie Mosley - Natural Resources Conservation Service, Eric Schrading - U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Grace Messinger - North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development, Brian Cowden - Trout Unlimited, U.S. Representative Scott Garrett, U.S. Representative Leonard Lance, Laura Craig - American Rivers, Paul Kenney - National Park Service, Russ Furnari - Corporate Wetland Restoration Partnership, Dave Chanda - NJ DEP Div of Fish & Wildlife.

Local coverage of the event included:


Finesville Area - Project Archives

USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service has been working with several conservation partners, including other Federal and State agencies and non-profit groups, to develop an environmental assessment for river restoration in the Finesville Dam area. Public input was received at a 2008 public meeting and during a comment period that ran through January 30, 2009. Comments received were used to identify local concerns regarding the restoration and incorporated into the final draft environmental assessment.

Prepared by NRCS in cooperation with several Federal and State agencies and non-profit groups, the Environmental Assessment considers the impacts of river restoration alternatives on the human environment relative to air quality, noise, water resources, sediment, vegetation, aquatic resources, wetland resources, threatened and endangered species, cultural resources, environmental justice, hazardous waste and materials.

This document requires Adobe Acrobat.
Final Draft Environmental Assessment for the Restoration of the Lower Musconetcong River at the Finesville Dam (3,571 kb)
Finding of No Significant Impact for the Environmental Assessment on Musconetcong River Restoration at the Finesville Dam (68 kb) - December 29, 2010
Memorandum of Agreement with New Jersey Historic Preservation Office (77 kb)

Supporting Documents referenced in Environmental Assessment document

Feasibility Study (Draft Final) Finesville Dam Removal Musconetcong River - prepared for Musconetcong Watershed Association by Princeton Hydro, LLC (4,457 kb)

Stage 1A Cultural Resources Survey Finesville Dam - Pohatcong Township, Warren County and Holland Township, Hunterdon County New Jersey September 2009 prepared by Richard Grubb & Associates, Inc. Cultural Resources Consultant (very large file 52 mb)

Stage 1B Cultural Resources Survey Finesville Dam - Pohatcong Township, Warren County and Holland Township, Hunterdon County New Jersey October 2009 prepared by Richard Grubb & Associates, Inc. Cultural Resources Consultant (16,402 kb)

Public Meeting- December 1, 2009

The Final Draft Environmental Assessment for the Restoration of the Lower Musconetcong River at the Finesville Dam, was presented at a public meeting on Tuesday, December 1st at the Bloomsbury Fire Company RiverView Banquet Facility, 91 Brunswick Ave., Bloomsbury, NJ, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Public Comments from the meeting and written comments received by December 29, 2009, will be summarized and included in the Final Environmental Assessment.

These documents require Adobe Acrobat (3262.21 kb)
Meeting Agenda for December 1 (17 kb)
Presentation of Final Draft Environmental Assessment presented on December 1, 2009  (17 kb) also available as Microsoft Power Point file - 11,300 kb) 
Press Release: Final Draft Environmental Assessment for the Restoration of the Lower Musconetcong River at the Finesville Dam to be presented at public meeting (November 19, 2009) (25 kb)
Flyer Announcement of December 1 Public Meeting (16 kb)

Final comment period open until December 29, 2009

Send written comments by December 29, 2009 to:
Barbara Phillips, Public Affairs Specialist
USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service
220 Davidson Avenue 4th Floor
Somerset, NJ 08873
barbara.phillips@nj.usda.gov


Meeting Minutes and Presentations from December 2, 2008

A public meeting regarding the issues, alternatives and impacts of restoring fish passage on the lower Musconetcong River was held on Tuesday, December 2 at Bloomsbury Fire Company RiverView Banquet Facility, 91 Brunswick Ave., Bloomsbury, NJ. Those who were unable to provide comment at the public meeting were invited to submit written comments through January 30, 2009.

These documents require Adobe Acrobat.
Minutes and notes from December 2 public meeting (44 KB)
Musconetcong Watershed Association (1377 KB) presented by Beth Styler Barry, Executive Director
USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (1956 KB) presented by Gregory Westfall, Water Resource Planner and Robert Snieckus, National Landscape Architect

Pre-Meeting Information

These documents require Adobe Acrobat.
Agenda for December 2 meeting (31 kb)
Fact Sheet - Musconetcong River Restoration Partnership (135 kb)
Poster Meeting Announcement (26 kb)


Lower Musctonetcong River Watershed - Study Area

map of Lower Musconetcong WatershedMost common river restoration efforts focus on stream bank stabilization, enhancing riparian buffers by adding trees and natural grasses, enabling fish passage, the removal/modifications of dams and other man-made structures, adding meanders, and stocking the river with fish or other living organisms.

Initially restoration alternatives in the Lower Musconetcong watershed will be considered. This area is shown in the map and can be roughly defined as the area below Route 78 to the confluence of the Delaware River. In this area the river runs through Bloomsbury, Greenwich Township, Holland Township and Pohatcong Township. Four dams span the river in this section of the watershed at Finesville, Hughesville, Warren Glen, and Bloomsbury. The dam at Finesville is in the focus area of the environmental assessment being conducted by NRCS.

A 4 MB JPG of the map of watershed can be downloaded.

Musconetcong River Restoration Partnership

Participants in the Musconetcong River Restoration Partnership include the Musconetcong Watershed Association, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service, the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), American Rivers (AR), North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development (RCD) Council, New Jersey Trout Unlimited (TU), the NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW), National Park Service (NPS), Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), private landowners and others.

Contact for Meeting Information and Submittal of Comment:

Barbara L. Phillips, Public Affairs Specialist (732) 537-6044
USDA-NRCS, 220 Davidson Avenue 4th Floor, Somerset, NJ 08873