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MWA: Removing the Warren Mill Dam will restore the Musconetcong River ecosystem and enhance public safety

ASBURY, NJ (Warren County) – The Musconetcong Watershed Association (MWA) has announced a major step forward in efforts to remove the Warren Mill Dam, a critically-important project needed to help restore the Musconetcong River’s natural flow in Holland Township, Hunterdon County and Pohatcong Township, Warren County and enhance the surrounding communities’ safety and recreational opportunities.

This initiative, in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), the Musconetcong Watershed Association, and International Process Plants and Equipment (IPPE), marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing efforts to revitalize New Jersey’s largest tributary to the Delaware River watershed.

Event and Funding Announcement

To advance this project, MWA will present NJDEP with a check for $210,000 on Thursday, Feb. 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the MWA River Resource Center, 10 Maple Avenue, Asbury, NJ 08802.

MWA received this nationally appropriated funding from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for preliminary studies needed to remove the dam, and coordinated efforts with New Jersey Fish and Wildlife, a partial dam owner, to strategize the removal of the dam. These funds will be used to finish an engineering report critical to the execution of the project.

The event will feature remarks from NJDEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette, MWA President Richard Cotton and MWA Executive Director Tom Dallessio, followed by a presentation of the $210,000 check to NJDEP, symbolizing the mutual commitment to this crucial environmental restoration effort. Attendees are also invited to join a tour of the historic Asbury Mill and Musconetcong Island Park, showcasing the direct benefits of the project to the community and environment.

A Commitment to Public Safety and Environmental Restoration

The Warren Mill Dam, a 37.5-foot high-hazard Class I Dam, has been identified as vulnerable to a “Sunny Day” breach, posing a significant risk to downstream residents and properties. Its removal is a critical step in eliminating these dangers and restoring vital migratory fish passages, contributing to the ecological health of the region.

Since 1981, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has classified the Warren Mill Dam as a significant hazard due to heavy siltation and structural weaknesses. Its removal will significantly reduce the risk of flooding and property damage, improving safety for the communities and ecosystems downstream.

The Musconetcong Watershed Association has led the removal of six dams on the river, most recently the Beatty’s Mill Dam in Hackettstown and Washington Township (Morris County),” said MWA President Richard Cotton. “MWA’s strength is we are the local stewards of the Musconetcong River and we bring partnerships that will benefit NJDEP and the State of New Jersey.”

Enhancing Recreational Access and Wildlife Habitat

The project will open up new recreational opportunities for boating, fishing, and hiking in the scenic Musconetcong Gorge, adjacent to the Warren Gorge County Park and the Musconetcong Wildlife Management Area. Furthermore, the removal of the dam will facilitate the restoration of 8 stream miles and 100 acres of migratory fish habitat, crucial for species like the American Shad, and contribute to the resilience of the local ecosystem against extreme weather events.

A Model of Partnership and Community Involvement

This initiative exemplifies the successful collaboration between federal, state, non-governmental organizations, and private stakeholders in environmental restoration projects. The Musconetcong Watershed Association has been at the forefront of these efforts, coordinating with American Rivers, the Musconetcong River Restoration Partnership, and other partners to facilitate the dam removals, serving as a national model for similar projects.

Join MWA in Restoring the Musconetcong River

The Musconetcong Watershed Association invites the community to join us in celebrating this significant milestone in the restoration of the Musconetcong River.

“Together, we can look forward to a future where the river flows freely, supporting a rich diversity of aquatic life and providing enhanced recreational opportunities for generations to come,” said MWA Executive Director Tom Dallessio.

For more information about the event, contact Steven Gransky at or 908-537-7060. For further details about the Warren Mill Dam project, email Tom Dallessio at or call 609-647-1538.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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