Newtown Creek Watershed Photo Essay
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network and project partner the Newton Creek Watershed Association trained volunteers to photo-document sources of non-point source pollutants throughout the Newton Creek Watershed. The photos show the good, the bad and the ugly of this urban watershed that stretches from Haddonfield to Camden.
Newton Lake and Peters Creek, a Newton tributary, are both listed as “impaired waterways” by NJDEP because they cannot support a healthy mix of aquatic life. These degraded conditions are primarily due to excessive stormwater runoff, which causes erosion, nutrient enrichment, local flooding and sewage overflows.
The volunteers, nearly all from area high schools, were given an introduction on the urban water cycle and the impacts on local waterways from impervious surfaces, poor stormwater compliance and maintenance. The volunteers were each assigned a segment of the creek and, utilizing their own smartphones, took pictures of excessive erosion, discharge pipes going directly into the waterway, illegally disposed of yard waste and trash. All photos were geo-tagged so the exact locations could be found again and placed on a GIS map.
The photos have already resulted in inspections by NJDEP compliance officers and meetings set up with officials from two town.
The objective of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s photo-documentation project is to show municipal officials and the general public what the source of the problems on the Newton Creek Watershed are and why it’s wasting tax-payer money and bad for the environment to continue to only focus on activities such as dredging, aeration and chemical treatment, which are only symptoms of a bigger stormwater management problem.
View the photo essay below: