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MCCC Students Carry Out Habitat Assessment for
Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association


West Windsor, N.J. – Members of the Mercer County Community College Naturalist Club are doing their part to keep local waterways healthy.

Club members Rachele Weintraub and Cathryn Jolley, along with MCCC Biology Professor Laura Blinderman, currently serve as the Biological Action Team for the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association. On a sunny Saturday in October, the team performed a habitat assessment and evaluated health indicators for the Stony Brook stream in Pennington, NJ.

According to Blinderman, the stream is sampled twice a year for macroinvertebrate diversity and each organism is verified via microscopy. "This fall, water pennies, damsel and mayfly larvae, midges, and scuds (small crustaceans) were the predominant organisms. Students assessed the flow rate, depth, rocky embeddedness, stream bank erosion, algal growth and other stream indicators," she said.

"I am very proud of these students for their contributions to the environmental stewardship of these important aquatic and terrestrial environments. It was a great way fo them to apply their learning while giving back to our community," said Blinderman, who has been a stream sampler for the Watershed for eight years.

The assessment is published on the Watershed Association's website here. The watershed comprises 930 acres and streams across the region The next sampling date is in March.

For more information or to join the MCCC Naturalist club, email weintraubr@student.mccc.edu  or weinberga1@student.mccc.edu.

Students Rachele Weintraub, right, and Cathryn Jolley collect samples from the Stony Brook stream.
Weintraub wades through the stream during her sampling efforts.

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