Mission: The musconetcong watershed association is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and improving the quality of the musconetcong river watershed, including its natural and cultural resources, through:public education and awarenesswater monitoringsustainable land management community involvement
Programs: Dam removals and riparian restoration: the mwa provides project leadership for the removal of dams impeding the free flow of the musconetcong river, thus improving water quality, wildlife habitat, and recreational use. The mwa has managed the removal of four dams and is working with owners on the removal of a fifth. For these projects the mwa works with landowners to secure agreements, communicates with local municipalities and stakeholders, and is the applicant for all local and state permits. Mwa works with engineers, partners, and the state of new jersey during feasibility studies and uses information garnered during those studies to make decisions that result in successful dam removals. The mwa holds outreach and education forums for communities during these projects, and also works to restore and maintain riparian buffers along the river banks to prevent erosion and protect against pollution.
environmental education & outreach: the mwa watershed education program reaches hundreds of students each year, from fifth graders to college aged students, providing experiential environmental education and learning opportunities to all ages. Our "meet the river" program is designed to introduce very young children to the river by allowing them to get into the water, turn over rocks, and use nets and magnifying glasses. "camp musky," a summer day camp for children aged 5 to 12, offers an outdoor, hands-on, river-based program. In the spring and fall, we offer a program for elementary schools that meets the nj core curriculum content standards for science, and includes a classroom program as well as in-stream field experience. Our river watcher water monitoring program includes an intensive 6-hour training with both classroom and field sessions and is appropriate for those high school aged and older. We also offer a series of "river talks," which are educational seminars that address various aspects of river ecology and restoration, as well as current issues in the musconetcong watershed. In addition, the mwa offers many recreational and interpretive outdoor activities to suit all interests and skill levels.
river water quality monitoring and river cleanups: mwa works to maintain and improve water quality through several programs and events. The mwa river watcher program is a group of citizen scientists trained and led by the mwa water quality monitoring coordinator. River watchers conduct quarterly water testing at four locations on the musconetcong river and work on special tasks such as monitoring restoration projects and spills. Data provided by the program helps mwa maintain water quality and improve ecological conditions in the musconetcong watershed to ensure that it remains a great place to live as well as fish, swim, and boat. Annually, mwa volunteers collect hundreds of bags of garbage, recyclable materials, and truckloads of large miscellaneous debris from the river banks and streambed.
Musconetcong Watershed Association, Asbury, NJ, has been around since the early '90's. The stated mission of the Association is public education but within the last few years they have built a LEED Platinum headquarters and removed four dams. The organization was also instrumental in securing Federal Wild and Scenic status on a good portion of the river. Current projects include renovating a 150 year old grist mill adjacent to their headquarters and removing two of the largest obsolete dams in New Jersey. The staff performs their work with a dedication and determination that consistently achieves a high level of success. This story might make a great book.