Case Study: Musconetcong River Cleanup

Warren & Hunterdon Counties, WMA 1, Upper Delaware Watershed

In April of 2022, a land-based clean-up was done along the Musconetcong River and it was realized that there was trash not being picked up because it was in the river. One of the larger items in the river were tires, a very common sight in New Jersey’s waterways.

A plan to organize an in-river tire pull and debris cleanup in the Musconetcong River was developed with collaboration between the grant funded AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador Program and the Musconetcong Watershed Association.

The solution included sending out an email to organizations familiar with the river and making a Facebook post to ask the public for information. The AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador for WMA 1 also developed and shared a Google Form on the WMA Facebook page that allowed residents to report the exact locations of tires and debris sitting in the Musconetcong River. The Watershed Ambassador received multiple responses about tips on where there were tires and debris in the river. The Watershed Ambassador then solicited volunteers for a multi-day effort to visit four sites (see map) along the river deemed problem areas to evaluate the tips about the tires and other debris. With this information, it was determined two days were needed to pull the tires and other debris from the river. The Watershed Ambassador and MWA representative worked together to set up dates for the cleanup.

The AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador, fellow Watershed Ambassadors and an MWA volunteers helped with the riverbed cleanup.

Results and Benefits
During the two-day cleanup, the AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador from WMA 1, other Watershed Ambassadors and Musconetcong Watershed Association staff were able to pull nine tires, a large piece of a fence and half a bag of garbage from the river. It was a rewarding and successful project cleaning the river of tires and other debris knowing that it was one step in making the river cleaner. Also, a process was developed for organizing this type of event. Because of the success of this project, this model could be used by other local organizations in the state to partner with their AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassadors for riverbed cleanups.