Saw Mill Creek

Category: Waterbodies & Other Wetlands

Location: Located in the southwestern portion of the HMD, flowing along and through the Saw Mill Creek Wildlife Management Area and under the New Jersey Turnpike – Western Spur before it outlets into the Hackensack River. The creek runs along the border of Kearny and Lyndhurst in Hudson and Bergen Counties respectfully.

Current Land Use: Open Water

Site Description: Saw Mill Creek is strongly influenced by the tides, and has several mosquito ditches that stem off the main creek channel. The creek opens up to large mudflat areas that are frequented by many waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds. Two tide gates, constructed in the 1920′s, were destroyed by storm events in the 1950′s, re-opening the site to the tides Since then, the established common reed (Phragmites australis) monoculture in the surrounding areas has been steadily replaced by smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora).

Existing Site-Specific Data Inventory

A. Survey, Maps, and GIS

HMD data exists inclusive of this site.

B. Real Estate/Ownership

N/A

C. Site History & Land Use

General site history and land use contained in 1978 ecological resource plan for the HMD and 1983 Saw Mill Creek Basin reports.

D. Biological Studies – Fauna

Various general HMD and site-specific bird, macroinvertebrate, and fish studies completed between 1973 and 2000.

E. Biological Studies – General Environmental

General wetland data collected for the 1978 ecological resource plan for the HMD. Environmental impacts assessed for the Saw Mill Basin in a 1984 EIS.

F. Geotechnical

A soil and foundation investigation was completed for the Saw Mill Basin in a 1984 EIS.

G. Hydraulics and Hydrology

General baseline data collected for the Saw Mill Basin for a 1983 hydrology report and a 1984 EIS.

H. Water and Sediments

General baseline data collected for the HMD and Saw Mill Creek Basin in 1973, 1978, 1983, and 1984. Site- specific studies conducted in 1980, 1992, 1994, and 2001.

I. Historical/Cultural Resources

No data obtained.

J. Restoration/Remediation Design Plans

No data obtained.

Site Reports

Site #42 – Saw Mill Creek

Category: Waterbodies & Other Wetlands

Location: Located in the southwestern portion of the HMD, flowing along and through the Saw Mill Creek Wildlife Management Area and under the New Jersey Turnpike – Western Spur before it outlets into the Hackensack River. The creek runs along the border of Kearny and Lyndhurst in Hudson and Bergen Counties respectfully.

Current Land Use: Open Water

Site Description: Saw Mill Creek is strongly influenced by the tides, and has several mosquito ditches that stem off the main creek channel. The creek opens up to large mudflat areas that are frequented by many waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds. Two tide gates, constructed in the 1920’s, were destroyed by storm events in the 1950’s, re-opening the site to the tides Since then, the established common reed (Phragmites australis) monoculture in the surrounding areas has been steadily replaced by smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora).

Existing Site Specific Data Inventory

* – Report repeated under multiple data categories and/or sites.

A.  Survey, Maps, and GIS

Relevant survey, mapping, and GIS data for the Meadowlands can be found in the Meadowlands-wide site report under data category A.

B.   Real Estate/Ownership

Not applicable.

C.  Site History & Land Use

1.      *BSC Engineering. Sawmill Creek Basin Water Quality Management: Basin Hydrology and Pond Hydraulics Report. July 1983. [2a] One of five reports prepared for the HMDC as part of an overall Water Quality Management effort that was part of the DeKorte Park planning process. This report details existing hydrologic and hydrology data for the Sawmill Creek Basin and the proposed recreation pond components.

2.      *BSC Engineering. Sawmill Creek Basin Water Quality Management: Recreation Pond Design Report. HMDC. 1983. [1a] One of five reports prepared for the HMDC as part of an overall Water Quality Management effort that was part of the DeKorte Park planning process. Discusses background and existing hydrology of the site of a proposed 160-acre pond between present day Harrier Meadow and 1-E Landfill.

3.      *BSC Engineering. Sawmill Creek Basin Water Quality Management: Wastewater Treatment Design Report. HMDC. 1983. [1a] One of five reports prepared for the HMDC as part of an overall Water Quality Management effort that was part of the DeKorte Park planning process. Proposed a wetland-based leachate/wastewater treatment system, which was never built. Covers purpose, goals, problems, background, and current conditions. Contains a map of sampling sites. Analyzed surface water, landfill leachate, and sediment. Focused on area west of turnpike (i.e. in and around present day Kingsland Impoundment, Harrier Meadow, and the 1-E landfill).

4.      *Mattson, C. P. Ecological and Resource Management Plan for the Hackensack Meadowlands. 1978. [1a]A synopsis of what the then eight-year-old HMDC had learned about the Hackensack Estuary. Section 1 is an ecological primer, Section 2 provides information on the state of the estuary, and Section 3 presents natural resource management strategies for wetlands, water quality, open space, and land use planning.

D.  Biological Studies – Fauna

5.      *The Academy of Natural Sciences Benedict Estuaries Research Laboratory & HMDC Environmental Operations Research Laboratory. Interim Report: Accumulation of Chromium in Blue Crabs (Callinectes sapidus) from the Hackensack River, Hudson County, New Jersey. November 1991. [1] Interim report of study (March 1992 study cited with Konsevick as author) designed to characterize the levels of chromium in the claw, body muscle, and hepatopancreas of blue crabs. The samples were collected during three seasonal events at three Hackensack River sites chosen to depict conditions throughout the estuary – Diamond Shamrock, Sawmill Creek, and Berry’s Creek.

6.      *Anonymous (HMDC). Biological Water Quality and Field Sampling Survey of the Hackensack Meadowlands. 1980. [1a]During a one-day sampling event, water quality was measured at 11 sites for temperature, salinity, DO, and TSS. Also set fish sampling nets in Berry’s Creek Canal and Sawmill Creek.

7.      *Bragin, A. Brett, W. Frame, M. Kraus, D. Smith, A. Goeller, J. Graviec, & E. Konsevick. Inventory of Fisheries Resources of the Hackensack River within the Jurisdictional Boundary of the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission from Kearny, Hudson County, to Ridgefield, Bergen County, New Jersey. May 18, 1989. [1] A two-year survey (2/1987 to 12/1988) initiated by HMDC of the lower Hackensack River to ascertain the fisheries values of the river and help guide intelligent decisions on development applications.

8.      *EA Science and Technology & PSE&G. Kearny Generating Station Supplemental 316(b) Report. NJDEP. 1988. [1a] Evaluates the effects of the cooling water intake of the Kearny Generating Station on the ecology of the Hackensack River and adjacent waters, based on entrainment and impingement data collected from June 1987 to April 1988, and on biological data collected from the vicinity of the Kearny station since August 1986. Studies of macrozooplankton, ichthyoplankton, and juvenile and adult fish were conducted in vicinity of the station and the full length of the estuary. Includes background information on the Hackensack Estuary.

9.      *Jack McCormick & Associates, Inc. Collections of Aquatic Organisms from the Hackensack Meadowlands, Bergen and Hudson Counties, NJ. 1977. [1a]Study undertaken to obtain a large number of biological samples from the waters and wetlands at eight stations in the central meadowlands. Samples were collected during three days in October 1976. Specimens were identified, labeled, packaged, and frozen. The concentrations of mercury in the samples collected were to be determined at a later date under a separate contract.

10.  *Konsevick, Edward. Accumulation of Chromium in Blue Crabs from the Hackensack River, Hudson County, New Jersey. March 1992. [1] Designed to characterize the levels of chromium in the claw, body muscle, and hepatopancreas of blue crabs. The samples were collected during three seasonal events at three Hackensack River sites chosen to depict conditions throughout the estuary – Diamond Shamrock, Sawmill Creek, and Berry’s Creek.

11.  *Kraus, Mark L. Bioaccumulation of Heavy Metals in Pre-fledging Tree Swallows, Tachycineta bicolor Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 1989. [1a] A total of ten sediment, nine adult midge, twelve swallow eggs, and six pre-fledgling swallows samples were analyzed for Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Ni. The study demonstrated that heavy metals can move from contaminated estuarine sediments through midges and bioaccumulate in pre-fledgling tree swallows. The accumulation of metals in bird tissues is dependant on the tissue and metal type.

12.  *Lo Pinto, R. A. (HMDC). Biological Assay Procedure for Determining the Effects of Industrial Effluents on Some Key Aspects of the Hackensack Meadowlands Estuary. 1973. [1a] Procedure to the HMDC in establishing guidelines to regulate the admission of certain pollutants into the ecosystem. Examined the program of introducing bivalves and other consumer population into the system.

13.  *Turner, Joe. Chromium Concentrations in the Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus): An Independent Study Project Conducted at the Hackensack Meadowlands Environmental Research Laboratory. May 1990. [1] Blue crabs were analyzed for total chromium concentrations to determine extent of contamination. The NJDEP and the HMDC supplied samples collected over a two year period from the Hackensack River near the Laurel Hill, from Sawmill Creek, and from Berry’s Creek Canal.

14.  Weis, J.S., L. Windham, and P. Weis. Patterns of Metal Accumulation in Leaves of the Tidal Marsh Plants Spartina alterniflora Loisel and Phragmites australis Cav. Trin ex Steud. Over the Growing Season. 2000. [6] Previous studies found that upper leaves of P. australis and S. alterniflora have lower levels of metals than lower leaves. Two hypotheses were tested: (1) leaves produced earlier in the season contain more metals and/or (2) individual leaves continue to accumulate metals during their lifespan. Results supported only hypothesis 2; individual leaves are not representative of a plant as a whole so several leaves should be collected and pooled.

E.   Biological Studies – General Environmental

15.  *HMDC. The Environmental Impact Assessment for the Sawmill Creek Basin Water Quality Management Plan. March 1984. [1] Details the environmental impacts of the Sawmill Creek Basin Water Quality Management Plan, including the following five design reports: 1) Report of Soil & Foundation Investigations; 2) Basin Hydrology & Pond Hydraulics Report; 3) Recreation Pond Design Report; 4) Leachate Collection Design Report; and 5) Wastewater Treatment Design Report. Accounts for the environmental setting and the innovative natural treatment system design concept, describes the existing conditions within the site, gives a detailed project description by element, and discusses the environmental impacts.

16.  *Mattson, C. P. Ecological and Resource Management Plan for the Hackensack Meadowlands. 1978. [1a]A synopsis of what the then eight-year-old HMDC had learned about the Hackensack Estuary. Section 1 is an ecological primer, Section 2 provides information on the state of the estuary, and Section 3 presents natural resource management strategies for wetlands, water quality, open space, and land use planning.

F.   Geotechnical

17.  *HMDC. The Environmental Impact Assessment for the Sawmill Creek Basin Water Quality Management Plan. March 1984. [1] Details the environmental impacts of the Sawmill Creek Basin Water Quality Management Plan, including the following five design reports: 1) Report of Soil & Foundation Investigations; 2) Basin Hydrology & Pond Hydraulics Report; 3) Recreation Pond Design Report; 4) Leachate Collection Design Report; and 5) Wastewater Treatment Design Report. Accounts for the environmental setting and the innovative natural treatment system design concept, describes the existing conditions within the site, gives a detailed project description by element, and discusses the environmental impacts.

G.  Hydraulics and Hydrology

18.  *BSC Engineering. Sawmill Creek Basin Water Quality Management: Basin Hydrology and Pond Hydraulics Report. July 1983. [2a] One of five reports prepared for the HMDC as part of an overall Water Quality Management effort that was part of the DeKorte Park planning process. This report details existing hydrologic and hydrology data for the Sawmill Creek Basin and the proposed recreation pond components.

19.  *HMDC. The Environmental Impact Assessment for the Sawmill Creek Basin Water Quality Management Plan. March 1984. [1] Details the environmental impacts of the Sawmill Creek Basin Water Quality Management Plan, including the following five design reports: 1) Report of Soil & Foundation Investigations; 2) Basin Hydrology & Pond Hydraulics Report; 3) Recreation Pond Design Report; 4) Leachate Collection Design Report; and 5) Wastewater Treatment Design Report. Accounts for the environmental setting and the innovative natural treatment system design concept, describes the existing conditions within the site, gives a detailed project description by element, and discusses the environmental impacts.

H.  Water and Sediments

20.  *Anonymous (HMDC). Biological Water Quality and Field Sampling Survey of the Hackensack Meadowlands. 1980. [1a]During a one-day sampling event, water quality was measured at 11 sites for temperature, salinity, DO, and TSS. Also set fish sampling nets in Berry’s Creek Canal and Sawmill Creek.

21.  *BSC Engineering. Sawmill Creek Basin Water Quality Management: Wastewater Treatment Design Report. HMDC. 1983. [1a] One of five reports prepared for the HMDC as part of an overall Water Quality Management effort that was part of the DeKorte Park planning process. Proposed a wetland-based leachate/wastewater treatment system, which was never built. Covers purpose, goals, problems, background, and current conditions. Contains a map of sampling sites. Analyzed surface water, landfill leachate, and sediment. Focused on area west of turnpike (i.e. in and around present day Kingsland Impoundment, Harrier Meadow, and the 1-E landfill).

22.  *Bopp, R. F. Radionuclide Analysis of Mill Creek and Saw Mill Creek Sediment Samples. 2001. [1a] Pb 210 and Cs 137 dating of four sediment cores from Mill Creek and one from Sawmill Creek, ranging from 18 to 26 centimeters deep, were collected in 1999. All data from Mill Creek supported the trace-metal-based hypothesis that the more consolidate clay mud is old (pre-industrial) sediment, and organic-rich upper layers represent recent deposition that occurred since site manipulation. In the Sawmill Creek core, no Pb or Cs isotopes were found.

23.  *Gunawardana, Vajira K., Po-Shu Huang, Tavit O. Najarian, & Rhomaios V. Ram. Impact Analysis of Sewage Treatment Plant Discharges of the Water Quality of the Lower Hackensack River. June 1992. [1] Analyzed the impacts of discharge from BCUA treatment plant on the dissolved oxygen regime of the lower Hackensack River. The three tributaries that were selected for this study were Sawmill Creek, Berry’s Creek, and Mill Creek.

24.  *HMDC. The Environmental Impact Assessment for the Sawmill Creek Basin Water Quality Management Plan. March 1984. [1] Details the environmental impacts of the Sawmill Creek Basin Water Quality Management Plan, including the following five design reports: 1) Report of Soil & Foundation Investigations; 2) Basin Hydrology & Pond Hydraulics Report; 3) Recreation Pond Design Report; 4) Leachate Collection Design Report; and 5) Wastewater Treatment Design Report. Accounts for the environmental setting and the innovative natural treatment system design concept, describes the existing conditions within the site, gives a detailed project description by element, and discusses the environmental impacts.

25.  *Konsevick, Edward, Christine Cheng Hobble, & Paul Lupini. Monitoring Effects of Urban Land Use of Esturine Water Quality, Hackensack Meadowlands District, New Jersey. November 1994. [1] In 1993, the USGS, in cooperation with the HMDC, established a network of 14 ambient water monitoring sites, including the Hackensack River, Berry’s Creek, Penhorn Creek, Sawmill Creek, Mill Creek, and Cromakill Creek, to characterize the current status of water quality in the HMD. Salinity, DO, fecal coliform, pH, TSS, turbidity, total phosphorous, ammonia, sulfate, BOD, COD, heavy metal concentrations were measured at each of the monitoring sites.

26.  *Lo Pinto, R. A. (HMDC). Biological Assay Procedure for Determining the Effects of Industrial Effluents on Some Key Aspects of the Hackensack Meadowlands Estuary. 1973. [1a] Procedure to the HMDC in establishing guidelines to regulate the admission of certain pollutants into the ecosystem. Examined the program of introducing bivalves and other consumer population into the system.

27.  *Mattson, C. P. Ecological and Resource Management Plan for the Hackensack Meadowlands. 1978. [1a]A synopsis of what the then eight-year-old HMDC had learned about the Hackensack Estuary. Section 1 is an ecological primer, Section 2 provides information on the state of the estuary, and Section 3 presents natural resource management strategies for wetlands, water quality, open space, and land use planning.

I.    Historical/Cultural Resources

No data obtained.

J.   Restoration/Remediation Design Plans

No data obtained.

K. Bibliographic Updates                   

Site #42: Saw Mill Creek

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