Friday, February 17, 2012

Local Volunteers Keep Pollution Out Of NJ’s Great Swamp

Morris Township, NJ— On February 2, 2012, a group of local volunteers completed construction of one hundred feet of silt fence at Seaton Hackney Stables off of South Street in Morris Township, NJ.  The new fence is designed to protect Loantaka Brook from receiving excessive amounts of pollution during and after storms when rainwater carries animal waste, bacteria, nutrients, and sediment away from the nearby Equine Center.

Loantaka Brook is one of 5 major streams feeding New Jersey’s Great Swamp—home of the United States’ first national wildlife refuge east of the Mississippi River and a critical resting place for migrating birds along the Atlantic Flyway.

Installation of silt fencing is the first in a series of environmental restoration projects planned for the stable grounds.  The Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA), a non-profit group dedicated to protecting the waters and land of the 55-square mile Great Swamp Watershed, has been tasked with overseeing each project in partnership with experts from the Morris County Park Commission, Rutgers University, and the environmental consulting firm Princeton Hydro.  Future work at the site will address the relocation of livestock quarters away from Loantaka Brook, the restoration of a natural buffer of vegetation along the streambank, and the installation of rain gardens and other stormwater and bioretention improvements.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection awarded $300,000 in federal funds for environmental remediation at Seaton Hackney Stables—site of the Morristown Race Track at the turn of the 20th century—following a joint grant application filed by GSWA and the Morris County Park Commission.  A GSWA volunteer first identified problems with stormwater pollution at the stables while visiting a flooded pony corral at the location on a rainy day in 2010.

See photos of our GSWA volunteers and partners at work in this slideshow or at


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