CU Reporter July 2002

Wednesday, July 10, 2002
Wheaton Village Crafts Building, Millville 7:30 p.m.

Guest Speaker: 
Eric Schrading, Private Lands Coordinator
Private Lands Program
US Fish and Wildlife Service, New Jersey Field Office

The US Fish and Wildlife Service offers two Private Lands Programs for landowners within the State of NJ: the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Programand the Coastal Program. Both are similar in that they offer a proactive, voluntary initiative that provides technical and financial assistance to landowners to improve fish and wildlife habitat on their lands. The primary differences are that the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program is available throughout the State (including non-coastal areas) but is not available on State lands. The Coastal Program can be use on State land, but must involve habitat restoration associated with coastal resources. Neither program can be applied on federal lands.

The restoration project area is differentiated into three categories: wetland, riparian, and upland. Wetland projects involve restoration of palustrine wetland (through the construction of small berm and water-control structures and the reestablishment of hydrology in drained wetlands) and estuarine wetland (through common reed –Phragmites australis – control and ditch plugging). Riparian restoration typically involves riparian revegetation or streambank fencing for livestock control. Finally, upland restoration typically involves reforestation or establishment of warm-season grasses. The Coastal Program also works to reestablish anadromous fish runs within the state by removing fish blockages or providing fish passage (fish ladders).

The Programs require that the landowners sign an agreement with the Service for a minimum of 10 years. Most projects require a 50% match by a non-federal entity (typically the landowner); however the match can be made via in-kind services. In addition, the Service has the ability to provide 100% cost-share depending on the value of the project and the expected net benefits.

CU Continues To Have Good Fortune Securing Grants. Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and its Tributaries recently received approval from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for its Federal Clean Water Act Section 319 (h) Nonpoint Source Grant proposal, “Parvin Branch and Tarkiln Brook Assessment and Monitoring,” for the amount of $56,450. The ultimate goal of this project is to improve the water quality of the Maurice River by working with two of its headwater tributary streams, Parvin and Tarkiln Branches.

Both of these tributaries to the Maurice River near Vineland have water quality that is listed as moderately impaired on the Federal 303d list, which makes them eligible for Federal funds. In the letter of approval from NJDEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell, he stated: “The Department is committed to working with local groups and communities to improve the quality of New Jersey’s waters. This grant program is an integral part of the Department’s effort to restore and preserve the State’s water resources by addressing the impacts of nonpoint source pollution”.

Citizens United will be adopting the entire sub-watershed in this area, in partnership with the Upper Maurice River Watershed Association, the Boy Scouts of America, Cumberland County College, Sierra Club South Jersey Group, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Landis Sewerage Authority, TRC Omni Environmental Corporation, Perks Reutter Associates, and other local organizations interested in helping to address water quality issues in the Maurice River and these tributaries. A comprehensive water quality monitoring program will be implemented

This phase of the project is anticipated to take two years to complete, and many citizen volunteers will be needed from the community to assist with the gathering of physical, biological and chemical water quality data, and carry out stream side cleanups. Citizens United members Fred Akers and Tim Jacobson will be the project managers. Contact Fred at 856-697-6114 if you would like to join the partnership and participate in this local community stream restoration project.

Citizens United Takes Top Honors! On May 14, at the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection’s Watershed Symposium, Commissioner Bradley Campbell presented CU with the First Place NJ Department of Environmental Protection Watershed Management Award 2002 in Education – Learning Institution, for CU’s interpretive program “Down Jersey.” This program includes a documentary co-produced with NJN entitled “Down Jersey”, and the Down Jersey: Celebrating Our Sense of Place Teacher’s Curriculum (hard cover version and website). Over 250 teachers have participated in curriculum workshops and another 50+ have received the lesson plans. Countless others have availed themselves of the lesson plans and activities on the website. Over 120 teachers participate in our teacher e-mail hotline that provides a variety of opportunities to interpret the natural world, including information about grants, workshops, earth watch, osprey tracking, The Nature Conservancy’s local field trips, and more. A couple of schools have had or plan on having “Down Jersey” theme weeks and one Bridgeton art teacher has had a theme year! A special thank you to Jennifer Lookabaugh for having nominated us for this award. Congratulations to all the fine Southern New Jersey educators who made the curriculum possible. And as always we salute our partners at NJN for their steadfast support.

How did the river’s reaches get those colorful names? Mud Haul, Bone Yard, Jawbone, Coal Shute, No Man’s Friend, Horseshoe Bend, Yawp Shore and more- it looks like we may have qualified for a grant from the National Park Service which will enable us to explore these in greater detail. It is further rumored that a recently retired friend of our organization is willing to be the lead in this investigation. Stay tuned for further details.

CU on the River!