CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: NJ-7
APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Continuing Authorities / Feasibility
AUTHORITY: This project is authorized under the Water Resources Development Act of 1996, Section 206, Aquatic Restoration. Work under this authority may carry out aquatic ecosystem restoration projects that will improve the quality of the environment, are in the public interest, and are cost-effective.
LOCATION: The dam is located on the Musconetcong River between the Borough of Bloomsbury, Hunterdon County, NJ and Greenwich Township, Warren County, NJ.
DESCRIPTION: This project investigates the removal of the Bloomsbury Dam in an effort to restore the connectivity of 8 miles of a Federally-designated National Wild and Scenic River. This project would restore natural river ecological functions and would re-establish the free passage of aquatic species including resident fish, amphibians, freshwater crustaceans, and macro invertebrates. It would also remove a hazardous impediment and improve kayaking and canoeing conditions on a river that has been identified by the NJDEP Office of Natural Lands Management in its New Jersey Trails Plan as a Waterways Trail.
PROJECT GOALS: The purpose of this project is to investigating the removal of the Bloomsbury Dam in an effort to restore the connectivity of 8 miles of a Federally-designated National Wild and Scenic River.
STATUS: The Corps completed the feasibility study and environmental assessment in April 2013 recommending partial dam removal. The Project Partnership Agreement was executed in May 2015 with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). Survey and design efforts and cultural resource coordination are currently underway. This project is part of a larger, river-wide effort to remove dams along the Musconetcong River and restore the passage of migratory fish (shad, alewife, and herring) from the Delaware River. The Musconetcong River has been federally designated as a National Wild and Scenic River that has outstanding ecological value in free-flowing condition. Bloomsbury Dam is one of three remaining dams on the lower Musconetcong River that acts as an impediment to migratory fish from the Delaware River. A partnership of federal and state agencies and non-profit organizations is currently conducting feasibility studies for removal of the other two dams. When all three of these dams are removed, it will restore 13.3 miles of the Musconetcong River to its natural, free-flowing condition and allow migratory fish to access spawning habitat which they have not been able to reach for over 200 years.
An Fiscal Year 2020 construction contract award is targeted.
SPONSOR: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Natural Resource Restoration.
DATE OF PROJECT AGREEMENT: May 2015
PROJECT MANAGER: Valerie Whalon