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Middlebush Farms Stream Crossing and Buffer


Incised channels, lack of vegetative cover on banks, and repeated stream crossing by cows, caused substantial erosion of nutrients and sediments into a tributary of Raritan River. North Jersey RC&D, with NRCS EQIP funding and producer contributions, stabilized the streambank erosion and planted a 35 foot forested buffer on either side of the wetland. A livestock exclusion fence and stream crossing was also installed to restrict access to the waterway.


A heavily eroded tributary of the Middlebush Brook crosses a heavily used pasture, northwest of the Middlebush Farm dairy barn and farm buildings. Banks of the brook were and highly incised and subject to excessive bank recession rates; without vegetative buffers, sheet flow from the surrounding pasture and farm fields, flowed into the stream during storm events.

At certain times of the year, the farm’s dairy herd crosses this brook several times a day to access pasture farther northwest, accelerating erosion and exposing cows to deleterious waterborne pathogens. These erosion events contribute to the impairment of the Raritan Basin by excess nutrients and suspended solids.

Highly eroded streambanks with incised banks on Middlebush farm


A STREAM CROSSING (96’ long, 8 feet wide) In the fall of 2016, RC&D used rock riprap and erosion control mat to stabilize the eroding bank. A stream crossing was constructed across the tributary to the Middlebush Creek to allow the Middlebush farm dairy herd safe and reliable access to the pastures across the stream. The crossing is constructed using durable precast concrete panels. The crossing was fenced along the length and has gates along either side to restrict access to the stream during grazing events.

RIPARIAN RESTORATION (35’ wide, 1.49 acres) In 2017 North Jersey RC&D installed a 35-foot wide buffer on either side the stream, encompassing 1.49 acres. The area was prepared for vegetation, seeded with warm season grasses, and planted with 90 trees and 90 shrubs to provide long-term erosion control on the streambanks, and improve water quality. A 1500-foot livestock exclusion fences was installed to protect the riparian forest buffer and restrict cattle’s access to the waterway.

Partners and Funding

North Jersey RC&D worked closely in the implementation of this project with NRCS, NJ DEP, FSA, and the landowner.

  1. The conservation plan, and project design, permits were completed by NRCS staff with EQIP funding.

  2. The funding was provided through the NJDEP by means of a Section 319(h) implementation grant. Additional funds were supplied by NRCS EQIP contract and the producer, Middlebush Farm.

  3. Farm Services Agency, (FSA), NRCS, and North Jersey RC&D staff planted the buffer.


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