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Northeast Regional Office Receives 2012 Coastal America Partnership Award

National Park News

The National Park Service received a 2012 Coastal America Partnership Award for its conservation work and participation in the Musconetcong Wild and Scenic River Restoration Partnership, last Friday.  The Partnership is an 11 member work group comprised of Federal, State, and local governments and Non-Governmental Organizations.

The Coastal America Partnership Award, the highest level award granted by the Coastal America Program, was awarded by NOAA to all 11 members of the partnership in recognition of their efforts in removing the Finesville Dam and enhancing the natural values of the Musconetcong River, in Northwestern New Jersey.  Only four other programs received the award in the U.S. in 2012, and the Musconetcong Partnership was the largest assembly of agencies to ever win it.  The vote by Coastal America’s Committee to award the Musconetcong Partnership was unanimous.

The NPS’s Dave Lange, Chief, NERO Conservation and Recreation Assistance Division, and Musconetcong River Manager Paul Kenney, received the award for the NPS. “Removing the Finesville Dam is important, but even more critical is the work the River Restoration Partnership accomplished in framing a river restoration administrative infrastructure in the State of New Jersey,” said Kenney. “Such an administrative infrastructure paves the way for more dam removals and restoration work for the Musky, and for other rivers in the state.”

Featured speakers were Congressmen Scott Garrett (NJ-5) and Leonard Lance (NJ-7).  The two Representatives reflected on what the Musconetcong River meant to them as children, and how protecting the river in a partnership was a more effective way of protecting the river for today’s children, and future generations.

The removal of the Finesville Dam, which was located just three miles upriver from the Delaware River, will aid river herring, shad, striped bass and American eel in finding tributaries to spawn and feed in.  The dam’s removal will also improve water quality and decrease water temperature and sedimentation, and improve trout habitat.  The Musconetcong River was designated a National Wild and Scenic River in December, 2006.



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