Current Projects

The Bureau of Environmental Analysis, Restoration and Standards is responsible for conducting and coordinating environmental stewardship, water quality analysis and restoration, water quality standards development, water quality management planning and other activities designed to protect, maintain and enhance water quality for all waters of the State in accordance with the federal Clean Water ActNew Jersey Water Pollution Control Act, and New Jersey Water Quality Management Planning Act.

BEARS provides the scientific foundation for restoration and protection of New Jersey’s water resources so that all of the state’s rivers, lakes and coastal waters are fishable, swimmable and support healthy ecosystems and so all of the freshwater resources are clean sources of drinking water.

Green Infrastructure Improvements in CSO Areas: Stormwater Retention Planter Boxes


Grantee: North Hudson Sewerage Authority

Funding amount: $300,000

The North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA) provides wastewater treatment services to four communities in Hudson County: Hoboken, Union City, Weehawken, and West New York. Each of these communities contains combined sewer overflow (CSO) discharges into the Hudson River operated by NHSA. Additionally, West New York has been identified by the DEP as an environmental justice community.

To advance its goals of improving water quality in the North Hudson watershed by reducing CSO overflow outfalls, restoring natural hydrology, and educating the public through demonstration programs and volunteerism, NHSA will install three 900 square-foot stormwater planter boxes for trees and other cover plants in the towns of West New York and Weehawken.

Each planter box will provide a minimum of .058 million gallons of annual recharge, remove ten or more pounds of total suspended solids per year, and divert approximately 4,300 gallons of precipitation per storm event. Together, these projects will reduce the volume of stormwater entering the combined sewer systems of Weehawken and West New York and serve as green infrastructure demonstration projects through their placement at schools and areas of public access

Nutrient Reduction Measures in Belcher Creek to Reduce HABs in Greenwood Lake


Grantee: Greenwood Lake Commission

Funding Amount: $52,800

Greenwood Lake is a 1,920-acre waterbody located in both Passaic County, New Jersey and Orange County, New York. The watershed encompasses approximately 16,036 acres and most of the development within the watershed occurs on the northern (New York) and southern (New Jersey) ends of the lake. Belcher Creek is the main tributary of the lake and empties into the southern end of Greenwood Lake in New Jersey.

The lake is a highly valued ecological and recreational resource for both states and has a substantial impact on the local economies. In addition, the lake serves as a headwater supply of potable water that flows to the Monksville Reservoir and eventually into the Wanaque Reservoir, where it supplies over 3 million people and thousands of businesses with drinking water.

This project will follow the progress made to date on decreasing factors that contribute to HABs in Greenwood Lake, including data collection to establish the proper location for an innovative ferric sulfate injection system on Belcher Creek and the installation of Floating Wetland Islands to further decrease TP loading

Ultrasonic Algae Control Treatment – Water Supply Reservoirs Serving the Pequannock Water Treatment Plant (WTP)


Grantee: City of Newark Department of Water and Sewer Utilities

Funding Amount: $475,000

The City of Newark owns and operates the Pequannock Water Treatment Plant (WTP), located in West Milford, which provides more than half of the City of Newark’s water supply and serves over 500,000 residents. The WTP draws water from the Pequannock Watershed, which is approximately 35,000 acres and situated within portions of six separate municipalities in Morris, Passaic, and Sussex counties. The City of Newark owns approximately 86% of the Watershed. Raw water is drawn from the Charlotteburg Reservoir, which is the downstream terminus for runoff within the Watershed.

Four other reservoirs present within the Pequannock Watershed include the Canistear Reservoir, Oak Ridge Reservoir, Clinton Reservoir, and Echo Lake. Echo Lake is impacted by water quality issues and is rarely used as a supplemental potable water supply. Currently, Echo Lake is primarily used for recreation including swimming, fishing, boating, and camping for local youths. A cyanobacteria bloom was observed and quantified by the NJDEP in October 2019; Due to water quality and recreational usage considerations, this project will be focused on addressing HABs specifically within Echo Lake, with the flexibility to implement solutions in the other four reservoirs throughout the course of the project if deemed necessary.

The project proposes the use of ultrasonic technology deployed in clusters across the surface of the target reservoir, forming a “sound barrier” on the water’s surface to block cyanobacteria from photosynthesizing. This method is intended to reduce the intensity and duration of (or potentially eliminate) the cyanobacteria bloom, minimize potential impacts on human and animal health and aquatic resources, and control the harmful bloom itself within the water body.

The primary focus will be to address HABs first within Echo Lake, with the ability to deploy additional units to other reservoirs over the course of the project. In addition to ultrasonic treatment, a monitoring plan will be employed each year in order to ensure the effectiveness of the ultrasound solution and to assess potential impacts on animal health and aquatic resources.

Mechanical removal of HABs in lakes using air micro nano bubbles from a specialized floating platform


Grantee: New Jersey Institute of Technology

Funding Amount: $500,000

This proposal will implement a mobile floating platform to mechanically remove HABs by air flotation using air micro-nano bubble generators. This project aims to deploy a customized multifunctional floating platform in Branch Brook Lake and Deal Lake, two of the HABs-affected lakes in New Jersey in 2019. The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) will implement a 3-year project to install and study a mobile floating platform to mechanically remove HABs by air flotation using air micro-nano bubble generators.

This project will deploy a customized multifunctional floating platform in Branch Brook Lake and Deal Lake, two of the lakes affected by HABs in the summer of 2019. This in-situ algal removal technology aims to clarify HAB-affected waterbodies, including the surface and water columns as deep as 4-6 ft. Additional objectives include a long-term HAB strategy for Branch Brook Park Lake and evaluation of additional water quality improvements achieved by the platforms for parameters such as dissolved oxygen and turbidly.