Resilience and the Raritan
Friday, June 7, 2019
Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Piscataway, New Jersey
11th Annual Sustainable Raritan Conference and Awards Ceremony
The theme of our 2019 annual conference was Resilience and the Raritan and was a joint program with Rutgers Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience Program, Rutgers Climate Institute, and the New Jersey Climate Change Alliance.
The event was held in the new Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering on Rutgers Busch Campus and took advantage of the building’s beautiful atria for exhibitor space, networking, poster session, meals and reception. Just under 200 attendees from state, local and federal government, non-profit organizations, businesses, philanthropic organizations, academia, and entities committed to a more sustainable Raritan participated in this year’s event.
Conference presentations and panel discussions explored the impacts of climate change on Raritan basin communities and environs, with the intent to advance renewed watershed planning efforts that will promote resilience throughout the Raritan River, Basin and Bay. (Copies of all presentations and posters are linked below.)
The morning session laid the foundation with an overview of changing climate conditions followed by panel presentations and discussion about what those changing conditions will mean for the physical, ecological, socio-economic, and engineered systems in the Raritan region. A series of ten lightning talks completed the morning session. Lightning talks covered a broad range of topics with the central theme of work in and around the Raritan River with a majority of them addressing the conference’s central theme of resilience (see presentation PDFs below).
The lunch program included tours of four of the building’s new labs (see descriptions below) and culminated in presentation of the 2019 Sustainable Raritan River Awards to recognize outstanding achievements in efforts to revitalize, restore and protect Raritan River resources and to make the Raritan region a premiere place to live, work and raise a family. Six recipients were recognized. Follow the link below to learn more about the recipients and their good works for a more sustainable Raritan.
The afternoon session started with a cell phone Mentimeter poll where participants answered five brief questions related to perceptions about climate change and the responsibilities of private citizens versus the public sector to address climate change impacts. At the end of the conference, participant survey results were compared to recent statewide results (see results below). Two afternoon panel and discussion sessions addressed strategies and interventions that are being implemented in the Raritan region to reduce the risks posed by climate change as well as how deliberate and collaborative hazard mitigation planning can reduce vulnerabilities and risks across the region.
The event closed with our popular poster session and networking reception.
Thank you to our Sponsors
Bald Eagle Sponsor
Blue Heron Sponsor
Somerset County Business Partnership
The Sustainable Raritan River Initiative is independently funded. For information about how to support our efforts, contact Sara Malone at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 848.932.2720. Thank you!
Links to more information
- Speaker Biographers
- Poster Session
- Continuing Education Credits ~ Pending final approvals
- 2019 Sustainable Raritan Award Recipients
- Changing Climate Conditions
- Dr. Anthony J. Broccoli, Department of Environmental Sciences, SEBS
- What do Changing Climate Conditions Mean for the Raritan Region?
- Jeanne Herb, Environmental Analysis and Communications Group, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers – “Social Vulnerability”
- Dr. David Robinson, Department of Geography, School of Arts and Sciences, and New Jersey State Climatologist, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers – “Flooding Impacts”
- Dr. Ali Maher, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering – “Infrastructure Impacts”
- Dr. Richard G. Lathrop, Jr., Department of Ecology, Evolution & Natural Resources, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and Johnson Family Chair in Water Resources and Watershed Ecology, Rutgers – “Impacts to Natural Landscapes”
- Lightning Talks
- Meredith Comi, NY/NJ Baykeeper – “Living Shoreline at NWS Earl, Raritan Bay”
- Dr. Subhasis Giri, Department of Ecology, Evolution & Natural Resources, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers – “Assessing the Potential Impacts of Climate and Land Use Change on Water Fluxes and Sediment Transport in a Coupled Natural and Human System”
- Dr. Monica A. Mazurek, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, Rutgers – “Understanding the Raritan HUC-08 Hydrologic Dynamics and Flow Responses Using an Integrated ArcGIS/USGS National Map Modeling and Geospatial Analysis Framework”
- Dr. Zeyuan Qiu, New Jersey Institute of Technology, with Dr. Steve W. Lyon and Ellen Creveling, The Nature Conservancy – “Defining a Threshold for Delineating Hydrologically Sensitive Areas in a Landscape: A Regional Perspective”
- Dom Wirkijowski, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, Rutgers – “Identifying Raritan River Basin Bridges Vulnerable to Hydraulic Failure”
- Carrie Martin, Master of City and Regional Planning Candidate, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers – “A Watershed-Based Approach to Flood Hazard Mitigation in the Raritan Region”
- Kathy Hale, New Jersey Water Supply Authority – “A Watershed Control Plan for Cryptosporidium”
- Philip Sontag, Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation, Rutgers – “Development of Point-of-Use Trace Metal Sensor and In-situ Extraction in New Jersey and New York Sediment”
- Dr. David A. Robinson and Mathieu R. Gerbush, Department of Geography, School of Arts and Sciences and New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers – “Monitoring Weather and Climate in the Raritan Basin”
- Mehdi Rahmati and Dr. Dario Pompili, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering, Rutgers – “Near-real-time Water-quality Monitoring in the Raritan River using a Hybrid Network of Autonomous Vehicles and Static Stations”
- Good Things Happening in the Raritan Region
- Joe Ruggeri, State NFIP Coordinator’s Office, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection – “Community Rating System”
- Michael Kolber, Office of Coastal and Land Use Planning, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection – “Resilient NJ Planning”
- Nicholas Tufaro, Comprehensive Planning & the Environment, Middlesex County – “Resilient NJ Middlesex County”
- Walter Lane, Planning Division, Somerset County – “Land Use Planning”
- Hazard Mitigation Planning as an Opportunity to Advance Resilience
- Mentimeter Phone Poll Results – comparing conference attendee responses to results of recent statewide poll
- Meredith Comi, NY/NJ Baykeeper, “Living Shoreline at NWS Earl, Raritan Bay”
- Subhasis Giri, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution & Natural Resources, SEBS, “Assessing the Potential Impacts of Climate and Land Use Change on Water Fluxes and Sediment Transport in a Coupled Natural and Human System”
- Monica A. Mazurek, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, SOE, “Understanding the Raritan HUC-08 Hydrologic Dynamics and Flow Responses Using an Integrated ArcGIS/USGS National Map Modeling and Geospatial Analysis Framework”
- Zeyuan Qiu, Steve W. Lyon and Ellen Creveling, New Jersey Institute of Technology and The Nature Conservancy, “Defining a Threshold for Delineating Hydrologically Sensitive Areas in a Landscape: A Regional Perspective”
- Dom Wirijowski, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. Candidate, SOE, “Identifying Raritan River Basin Bridges Vulnerable to Hydraulic Failure”
- Carrie Martin, Master of City and Regional Planning Candidate, EJB, “A Watershed-Based Approach to Flood Hazard Mitigation in the Raritan Region”
- Kathy Hale, New Jersey Water Supply Authority, “A Watershed Control Plan for Cryptosporidium”
- Philip Sontag, Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation, SOE, “Optimization of Exoenzyme Sediment Extraction for Point-of-Use Trace Metal Sensor”
- David A. Robinson and Mathieu R. Gerbush, Dept. of Geography, SAS, “Monitoring Weather and Climate in the Raritan Basin”
- Mehdi Rahmati and Dario Pompili, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, SOE, “Near-real-time Water-quality Monitoring in the Raritan River using a Hybrid Network of Autonomous Vehicles and Static Stations”
- Deepika Slathia, Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis students, SEBS, “Lead distribution in drinking water of some areas in Raritan Water Region: Understanding health implications and increasing public awareness”
- Isabelle Stinnette, NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program, “Protecting Wetland Migration Pathways in New Jersey”
- Kate Douthat and Jordan Plaut, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution & Natural Resources, SEBS, “Drivers of plant communities in stormwater detention basins”
- Kelsey Mattison, Princeton Hydro, LLC., “Exploring (and Breaking) Binaries in American Environmental Thought”
- Krista Parker, Karli Sipps, Georiga Arbuckle-Keil, Nicole Fahrenfeld, Depts. of Bioenvironmental Engineering and Civil & Environmental Engineering, SOE / Dept. of Chemistry, Rutgers-Camden, “Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of microplastics in river bed sediments”2
- Margaret Christie, Jennifer L. Clear, Christopher H. Vane, Jennifer Walker, Timothy A. Shaw, D. Reide Corbet, et al, various departments and schools, “Anthropogenic Changes to the Raritan River, New Jersey from Pre-European Settlement Through the Present”
- Nazia Arbab, Office of Research Analytics, SEBS, and Dr. Jean Marie Hartman, Dept. of Landscape Architecture, SEBS, “Impact of scale variation on watershed runoff concentrations in the Raritan River Watershed”
- Sanja Martic, Dept. of Landscape Architecture, SEBS, “Revealing the Unseen River, a River-centric Landscape Exploration”
- Sophia Blanc, Alessia Eramo, and Nicole Fahrenfeld, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, SOE, “End of pipe treatment and regrowth of sulfonamide resistant E. coli in combined sewer overflow effluent”
- Zikai, Zhou, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, SOE, “Hydrological Performance of Rain Gardens: Balance between Ponding Time, Soil Moisture, and Runoff Reduction
- Abdul Nasir, Jackie Cavaliere, and Laura Vogel, Advanced Environmental Geomatics students, SEBS,” Working with the Raritan River Real-Time Hydrological Observatory”
- Alvin Chin, Justin Martinez, Donna Climent, and Eva Tillett, Advanced Environmental Geomatics students, SEBS, “New Brunswick Raritan River Conservation Area Drone Survey”
- Liza Chang, Kiera Malone, Hannah Adickman, and Greta Donato, Advanced Environmental Geomatics students, SEBS,” Raritan River Basin: A Flood Inundation Analysis”
- Sayra Reyes, Ryan Cooper, Amanda Lowell, and Morgan Crooks, Advanced Environmental Geomatics students, SEBS, “Flood Modeling of the Raritan River Using LiDAR”
- Joe Mish, Eagle Banding
- Lawrence Brook Watershed Partnership
- Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership
- Middlesex County, Office of Planning
- Princeton Hydro, LLC
- Raritan Headwaters Association
- Rutgers Facilities & Capital Planning, Green Infrastructure Around Weeks Hall
- Rutgers Raritan River Consortium – 2019 Mini-Grant Recipients
Laboratories on Tour
- The Rutgers Environmental Engineering lab focuses on applied microbiology and chemistry to improve water quality. Current and recent projects include microbial source tracking, advancing tools to monitor antibiotic resistant bacteria, end-of-pipe treatment for combined sewer overflows, biofiltration for drinking water treatment, monitoring opportunistic pathogens in drinking water, nitrogen removal in landfill leachate, and determining sources and sinks microplastic pollution. To achieve these aims an array of tools for molecular biology and organic chemistry are used.
- Urban and Coastal Water Systems Laboratory (Fluid Mechanics Lab, Hydro-environmental Informatics Lab). Urban and Coastal Water System Laboratory, consisting of fluid mechanics lab and hydro-environmental informatics lab, is dedicated to addressing water resources engineering challenges through fundamental and applied research taking the advantage of our advanced lab, field, and computational facilities. The Fluid Mechanics Lab is equipped with a hydraulic, wave, and sediment flume, hydrology apparatus, volumetric hydraulic benches with a variety of experimental modules, various field flow and water quality monitoring devices, and a stormwater green infrastructure testing platform. The Hydro-environment Informatics Lab houses environmental modeling and informatics facilities with access to the leading-edge computational clusters, a real-time environment monitoring center, and a sensor fabrication space with testing equipment.
- Urban Systems Decision Theater. The urban systems decision theater is an immersive visualization facility for visualizing and analyzing large urban/natural data sets and for visioning future smart and resilient communities.
Image of Landing Lane Bridge on May 1, 2014 by Mathieu Gerbush