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Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program

New Jersey Map showing Watershed ProjectsSince 1950 local project sponsors (with Natural Resources Conservation Service assistance) have constructed over 11,000 small flood control dams across the nation, in New Jersey there have been nineteen (19) dams built within six Public Law-566 Project Areas (see map for project locations). In addition to flood control, eight (8) dams have permanent pools that provide recreational opportunities such as fishing, boating and swimming.

Many of the dams are nearing the end of their 50-year design life. The first of these dams was built in 1959 and the last in 1986. All structures have performed as designed and have provided flood control and protection for many areas. Periodic inspection of these dams by New Jersey NRCS engineers show that they are generally in good condition. However, eleven (11) of them have reached at least the halfway point of their 50-year design life expectancy. Many of these structures need to be rehabilitated to extend the life of the structures and address any safety and health issues. Rehabilitation of these dams is needed to address critical public health and safety issues in these communities.

The primary purpose of these dams is flood control but many also are multipurpose dams and are used for water supplies, recreation, and wetland wildlife habitat.

Some of the issues that must be addressed for these aging projects include:

  • Replacing deteriorating components.
  • Dealing with unanticipated urban development below or near dams, which increases the potential for loss of life and increased property development.
  • Dealing with sediment that has accumulated in reservoirs to the point that the dams can no longer properly function.
  • Upgrades to meet current state dam safety regulations.
  • Meeting natural resource needs not previously addressed, such as water quality, wetland restoration and wildlife habitat.

The Rehabilitation amendment to the PL83-566 Law was passed in 2000. Assistance from NRCS is available to assess, plan and implement the necessary rehabilitation of structures (dams) where PL83-566 assistance was used in the original planning and implementation. Under the current amendment NRCS can provide rehabilitation planning and financial assistance only for dams. Planning and financial assistance for rehabilitation does not include rehabilitation for dikes, levees, tidegates and pump plants associated with flood protection in coastal areas. Forty percent of the New Jersey PL83-566 projects contain these coastal flood control components.

Rehabilitation assistance is provided in three phases, namely, assessment, planning and implementation. Assessment entails evaluating the status of dams in terms of their hazard class and potential downstream impacts if failure should occur as well as the degree to which sedimentation has taken place within the storage pool behind the dam. Planning requires that all natural resources needs within the watershed be addressed and that all possible scenarios (including removal of the structure) be analyzed. Implementation entails design and construction.


Watershed Projects in New Jersey - Location Map

New Jersey PL83-566 Project Status

Watershed County Sponsor Site Status
Assunpink Creek Mercer, Monmouth NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife Site 2  
Site 4 (Assunpink Lake)  
Site 5  
Site 6  
Hamilton Twp Site 8 (Martin Lake)  
NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife Site 18 (Rising Sun Lake)  
NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife Site 19 (Stone Tavern LAke)  
Mercer County Site 20 (Mercer Lake)  
Mercer County Site 21  
Furnace Brook Warren Twp of Oxford, Warren County SCD, Oxford Furnace Lake  
Middle Neck Salem      




Paulins Kill Sussex Newton Town, Sussex County SCD

Newton Town

Newton Town

Site 2

Site 3

Site 4

Pine Mount-Mill Creek Cumberland      
Repaupo Creek Gloucester      
Silver Lake-Locust Island Salem      
Stony Brook Mercer Mercer County

Mercer County

Mercer County

NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife

Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

Site 2 (Willow Lake)

Site 3 (Rosedale lake)

Site 4 Curlis Lake)

Site 5 (Baldwin Lake)

Site 7 (Hunts Lake)






Stony Brook Mercer Division of Fish & Wildlife Site 11A (Amwell Lake)

Site 14 (Honey Lake)

Tributaries of Maurice River Cove Cumberland      
Town Bank Salem      

* 1 - Assessment Report Complete   2 - Plan Complete   3 - Rehabilitation Complete


Watershed Rehabilitation - National NRCS Information