Green infrastructure & nj stormwater management

Join us for our webinar on Green Infrastructure & NJ Stormwater Management on 10/23 from 12-1:30 PM! 


Learn more about Green Infrastructure, Non-Point Pollution Control, Stormwater Utility, & have some FAQ’s be answered. 

We will be exploring the implications and implementation of new statewide rules that call for the use of green infrastructure to reduce pollution and flooding caused by stormwater runoff. 

A huge thanks to our partners: Clean Ocean Action, Jersey Shore Group – New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club, Long Branch Green Team, Urban Coast Institute, and Deal Lake Watershed Alliance. We hope to see everyone there : )

September Ross Lake Journal

We are excited to show our Ross Lake Journal for the month of September! Written by Carin Sharp, this journal details the parks transition into the fall, the different people we have met at the park, and their stories. We encourage & welcome everyone to come and enjoy the beauty of the park while the weather gets cooler!

The parks address is: 19 Elinore Avenue, Long Branch NJ. We hope to see new/ returning visitors at the park & if anyone takes any pictures of the park send it to us on instagram @whalepondwatershednj to have your picture featured on our account!


Please register for the event on the Urban Coast Institute’s website by clicking hereAttendees will be provided a link to the webinar upon registering.

Please join us for a free expert panel discussion on how stormwater pollution and flooding affects the health of local water bodies. The event is being hosted by the Whale Pond Brook Watershed Association in partnership with Clean Ocean Action, the Long Branch Green Team, the Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute, and the New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Sophie Glovier, municipal policy specialist for the Watershed Institute, will discuss steps residents can take to combat stormwater runoff pollution in their towns.

Dr. Jason Adolf, Monmouth University endowed associate professor in marine science, will share observations from current research on the linkages between rainfall and microbial pollution at surfing beaches near outflow pipes and storm drains in Asbury Park, Deal and Long Branch.

For more information or questions, contact Faith Teitelbaum at

To register, click here.

The Future of Stormwater Management


Kansas City has become a national leader in stormwater management by combining green infrastructure and digital technology! Read about why we should push for Stormwater Utility near us!


Sewers are buried 8 ft underground which creates the perfect out of sight out of mind illusion. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are 748 U.S. cities with combined sewer systems, totaling more than 9,000 raw-sewage outfalls, discharging an estimated 850 billion gallons of untreated sewage into U.S. waterways annually (Features, Sidewalk Talk. “The Future of Stormwater Management Runs through Kansas City”). 


During heavy rainfalls, stormwater runoff enters the city’s aging combined sewer system, where it mixes with raw sewage, fills the pipe beyond its capacity, and discharges its overflow through those outfalls and straight into the Blue River. It pollutes riverbanks, parks, beaches, marine life, and drinking water on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.


Kansas City created the unique solution called Smart Sewer Program. Smart Sewer Program: combining green infrastructure to soak up excess rainfall and monitor the rain flow using digital technology. The solution lies in working with the water and not against it. As Kansas City is experiencing more extreme rainfall than it did 10 years ago, the sewer discharge is declining thanks to this program!


To help alleviate the amount of rainfall flowing into sewage systems above ground installations such as rain gardens, bioswales, planted medians, curb bump-outs, and street tree plantings with deep soil cells were introduced. This helped to gather, retain, and use stormwater while also keeping it from overwhelming the sewer system. These solutions  soak up rainfall like a sponge.


Kansas City controls the volume of water in the Gardner Reservoir by using a valve that’s controlled by cloud connected sensors and local weather forecasts. If the reservoir is full and a storm is coming, the technology opens the valve to drain some water and closes it before the storm comes.



Ross Lake Journal: Early July


We are going native with our garden at Ross Lake Park.  Local pollinators, such as butterflies, bees and birds are all adapted to native New Jersey plants.  Their flowers are as varied as the pollinators that visit.  This time of year brings scarlet bee balm, purple coneflowers, and moonbeam tickseed.  Blazing stars send up flower covered spikes and the drooping white flowers of the sweet pepperbush attract with their sweet fragrance. 

  1. Purple coneflower  (Echinacea)
  2. Scarlet beebalm. (Monarda)

3. Moonbeam tickseed (Coreopsis)

4. Blazing star (Liatris)








5.  Sweet pepperbush  (Cethra)








What We Have to Offer

What We Have to Offer

Whether it be trails, parks, brook preserves, a lake or a beach… we got it all! Check out all the awesome places to explore.

  • Takanassee Beach
  • Takanassee Lake
  • Ross Lake Park
  • Tak Trestle Trail
  • Weltz Park
  • Whale Pond Brook Preserve

Watersheds: What are they and why are they important?

What are watersheds? 

Watersheds are areas of land that channels rainfall and snowmelt to streams, creeks, and rivers eventually to outflow areas such as oceans, bays, or reservoirs. These bodies of water supply our drinking water, water for agriculture and manufacturing, and hosts some of our favorite recreational actives such as canoeing or fishing.

Why We Need Clean and Healthy Watersheds

Watersheds play an important part in sustaining life. Various forms of pollution, including runoff and erosion, can interfere with the health of watersheds. They are important to everyone and everything that uses and depends on water. Watersheds can provide critical services such as clean drinking water, productive fisheries, and outdoor recreation that support our economies, environment, and quality of life.

What you can do to help

  • Conserve water; take shorter showers, fix leaks, and turn off the water when not in use
  • Don’t over apply fertilizers; go organic or use slow release fertilizers
  • Pick up after your pets and dispose of waste properly
  • Drive less; try walking or biking more
  • Make an effort to teach others how they can conserve and help protect local watersheds
  • Attend local clean ups/pick up any trash you may see along your way.

Facts and Figures

A national water quality survey of the nation’s rivers and streams showed that 55% of the nation’s flowing waters are in poor biological condition (U.S. EPA, 2013).

Nearly 40% of fish in North American freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes are found to be vulnerable, threatened,  or endangered; nearly twice as many as were included on the imperiled list from a similar survey conducted in 1989 (Jelks et al., 2008).

Champions of Green Infrastructure


Scott and Carin Sharp have completed the Champions of Green Infrastructure Course with Dr Chris Obropta, Rutgers Water Resources Division.  Just in time to help run our new storm water campaign.  Our goal is to have each town adopt the most stringent requirements of the NJDEP Storm Water Rules by March 2021.  This will go a  long way to help us stop the property runoff that floods our streets and ruins the water quality of our lakes and streams.


Ross Lake Volunteer Job List – May 2020


Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3 are expected to be beautiful days.  Now is the time to prepare the gardens for even more beautiful days in the future.  Routine garden maintenance is a great way to get out of the house, enjoy the weather and lift your mood.  So, head to Ross Lake with a sharp pair of bypass pruners and your favorite weeding tools.  Come when you feel like it.


Even though there is no volunteer time schedule, a logical sequence of work is important to think about.  The following tasks are listed by seasonal importance.  In other words, these are the things that need to be done at this particular time of the year.  They are listed in order of most important to least important.

  1. Finish pruning the Red Twig Dogwood at the east and west entrances to the trail.The ones at the west end are in the most need of pruning.  Start by removing some of the “runners” that grow horizontally along the ground.  Then, remove all dead stems.  These are easy to spot now.  The stems are brown or grey, without buds or leaves.  Nothing else on the dogwood should be pruned.  They are getting ready to bloom!
  2. Remove all leaves, grass and weeds underneath shrubs.Clear the area to about one foot past the outer branches, especially around those shrubs that are nearest to the street.  Long Branch DPW mows the grass between the curb and the garden.  Most maintenance crews like to have a “margin of error” so that the they don’t have to bring their mowers too close to the shrubs.
  3. Remove any invasive vines or plants growing in the grasses between the path and the lake.They are easy to spot now, but they will be hidden soon.

4.  Remove all plants growing in the path.



Butterflies lay their eggs on the dead flower stems in the pollinator garden.  They also serve as markers for emerging plants we want to keep.  Let’s leave them for now.


If you want to do some digging, some of the grasses need to be replanted at the end of Red Oaks Drive, across the lake.  The soil around the roots may have eroded during the winter, exposing the root ball.  They are beginning to grow, however, in spite of root exposure.



Please be considerate of any visitors by wearing a face covering.

Practice social distancing while gardening.


The Ross Lake Garden Committee

Neighbors working together to restore our watershed.