With climate change and local development poised to create major changes in the amount, timing, and location of flooding from stormwater, towns are looking for guidance and information on how to prepare for a changing world.
As water transcends municipal boundaries, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) encourages municipalities to adopt a regional approach for addressing issues like stormwater flooding and water quality. The Watershed Institute planned and hosted the first Assunpink Roundtable to support the communities of the Assunpink Watershed, which encompasses 11 towns over 2 counties. In late September, representatives from the communities of the Assunpink Creek Watershed were brought together.
Local officials and Environmental Commission members from Lawrence, Hamilton, Trenton, Millstone, East Windsor, and Roosevelt gathered to learn not only about the health and history of the Assunpink Creek, but also about the challenges and successes experienced by their neighbors. Additionally, representatives from both the Mercer County Planning Department and the Monmouth County Planning Division joined the conversation to provide county-level perspectives.
Although landscapes and demographics change across these municipalities, everyone shared similar concerns. Flooding was the biggest issue brought up by the group, which also raised concerns about how warehouses and development within the watershed will impact their communities.
Participants used watershed-level maps to communicate areas marked for development or preservation as well as indicated where flooding was a common problem.
Although the next steps are still being decided, the group left the roundtable with an understanding of their role in Assunpink Creek’s health and a desire to keep these connections active along via The Watershed Institute. We are excited to be on this journey with the Assunpink Watershed.