Improving Water Quality
A study released more than a decade ago recommended various ways to reduce longstanding fecal contamination in the Musconetcong River. While many of those management efforts have been in place since then, until now there has been little to no follow-up monitoring. Montclair State Biology Professor and Passaic River Institute Director Meiyin Wu recently received a two-year, $340,000 award from the Delaware Watershed Research Fund/William Penn Foundation to revisit the Musconetcong River.
“The project will replicate the 2007 water monitoring study to investigate the changes in water quality after 10 years of efforts implementing best management practices in the Lower Musconetcong watershed,” Wu explains. “We’ll be monitoring the Delaware River tributary for fecal coliforms and E. coli from May to October this year and seeking to determine the origins of the fecal contamination.”
Wu’s goal is to fully evaluate the effectiveness of earlier remediation efforts. “Restoration really does make a difference. We expect to find a reduction in pathogens and an improvement in the water quality of the river from what was reported a decade ago,” Wu says.
Through stakeholder meetings supported by the grant award, Wu hopes to start a conversation between regulatory agencies and local residents. “We hope to learn what prompts resident participation in restoration and provide opportunities to coordinate regional water quality management efforts.”