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Local Students Combine Efforts With the WRWMG to Conduct Watershed Clean-up Along the Paulins Kill

Friday, March 30, 2012

On Friday, March 16, 2012 eighty (80) sixth grade students from the Town of Newton’s Halsted Middle School combined efforts with the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority - Wallkill River Watershed Management Group (SCMUA - WRWMG) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program to conduct a Watershed Clean-up Along the Paulins Kill in Lafayette and Frankford Townships. The event was organized as part of a week long Delaware River and Bay Blitz clean-up program referred to as the “Dash for Trash”.

 

“Dash for Trash” was planned and coordinated by the AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program and the New Jersey Clean Communities Council with the intent of having numerous watershed clean-ups conducted throughout the entire Delaware River Watershed, ranging from

Sussex to Cape May counties, during the week of March 10th through March 16th. 

 

The Paulins Kill Clean-up also represented a unique partnership effort of the SCMUA-WRWMG, the AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program, Ideal Farms of Lafayette, NJDEP Division of Parks and Forestry -

KittatinnyValleyState Park, Lafayette Township, Sussex County Clean Communities Program, and The Nature Conservancy. On this day, all the clean-up participants worked along the Paulins Kill from access points along the Sussex Branch Trail as well as the property of Ideal Farms. Sussex County Clean Communities provided all the garbage bags, work gloves, and other necessary tools and equipment that were used by all the participants in the event. LafayetteTownship and KittatinnyValleyState Park handled the pick-up and disposal of the collected litter and debris. The Nature Conservancy was instrumental in connecting the students of HalstedMiddle School with the WRWMG to serve as the primary group conducting the actual clean-up work.

 

Furthermore, this clean-up effort was a crucial first step in preparing the this one-mile stretch of the Paulins Kill for a significant watershed restoration project that is currently being planned for this coming spring, summer, and fall. The SCMUA – WRWMG has been actively pursuing an exciting opportunity, on behalf of Ideal Farms, to partner with The Nature Conservancy and the Pinchot Institute for Conservation - Common Waters Fund (

http://www.commonwatersfund.org) to receive funding to implement a riparian forest buffer planting and streambank stabilization project on approximately ten (10+/-) acres of agricultural lands owned by Ideal Farms.  Over time, this restoration project is intended to improve water quality, restore and strengthen the existing riparian corridor, stabilize the eroding streambanks, enhance the wetlands and wildlife habitat, and increase biodiversity. In addition, the project offers a unique opportunity to demonstrate a successful public community watershed restoration effort that will raise awareness, encourage active environmental stewardship, and lead to the strengthening of stakeholder partnerships.