The William Penn Foundation Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI) projects give MWA the opportunity to build on our strengths in outreach, education, and water quality monitoring in ways that are fully aligned with our mission, but would not have been possible without this funding. These projects allow us to deepen our connection within the communities that we serve and work more closely with our partners. The DRWI created new and important connections such as that with Montclair State University and new resources for technical information at the Academy of Natural Sciences.
About a half million dollars of the total $14.1 million dollars awarded in 2014 under the Delaware River Watershed Initiative will be used by Musconetcong Watershed Association, North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development and Trout Unlimited to work on projects along the Lower Musconetcong River and its tributaries. Restoration projects will focus on reducing bacteria in the Musconetcong River to protect drinking water sources, recreational users and aquatic life.
Funded projects include:
• Sampling storm drains and stormwater outlets and testing for the presence of cleaning compounds or septic material.
• Encouraging better septic system maintenance through education and a free water test incentive program to prevent bacteria from entering groundwater or surface water.
• Conserving water by keeping rainwater on-site.
• Working with local farmers to incorporate conservation practices into their operations.
The William Penn Foundation has identified eight subwatersheds or “Clusters” where they are focusing grant awards. The Musconetcong River is in the New Jersey Highlands Cluster.