Proposed by: Salvatore Mangiafico

Presenters: Mangiafico, S., Environmental And Resource Management Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Woodstown, NJ 08098
Bell, K., Environmental Health Coordinator, Cumberland County Department of Health, Millville, NJ 08332
Hetzell, N., Principal Registered Environmental Health Specialist, Cumberland County Department of Health, Millville, NJ 08332

Like many watersheds in New Jersey, the Upper Cohansey River has a history of being impacted for phosphorus and fecal bacteria, including a TMDL for fecal coliform bacteria in the uppermost reach proposed in 2003. Of local importance was the regular closing of the swimming beach at Sunset Lake in Bridgeton for exceedances of fecal indicator bacteria. Mixed land use in the watershed suggested the possibility of any of a variety of sources of fecal contamination including human, livestock, or wildlife, and results from a Rutgers Cooperative Extension Data Report in 2009 indicated some human contribution in some sub-watersheds. Partnerships of county government, local government, non-governmental organizations, and university educators undertook concerted efforts to address the fecal contamination in the watershed, including the elimination of human sources in violation of standards, education programs, and wildlife management actions. In 2012 and 2013, the Cumberland County Health Department, in partnership with Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the Cohansey Area Watershed Association, initiated an expanded sampling program in the watershed in 2012 and 2013 to determine the sources and extent of fecal contamination. Results indicated that exceedances could occur throughout the watershed, particularly in summer months or in response to precipitation events. Microbial source tracking indicated no contamination of human origin, suggesting wildlife is the likely source.

All Accepted Proposals