GSWA's Across the Watershed...In Brief
August 2014
Look deep into nature, and then
you will understand everything better.

---Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Save the Date!
Bluebird. Credit: A. Kaufman
Bluebird. Credit: A. Kaufman
It's time to reserve some time on your calendar to attend the Great Swamp Watershed Association's (GSWA) 2014 Gala Celebration!

On Wednesday, October 29, 2014 GSWA will mark its 33rd year of service to the to the Great Swamp Watershed region and the local environment.

Festivities will begin at approximately 6:00 p.m. at the Westin Governor Morris in Morristown, NJ. Activities will include a cocktail hour, dinner banquet, fun games, and our always-popular silent auction with lots of fantastic items up for bids.

This year's gala will honor Bill Koch, a 43-year veteran of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and longtime manager of our beloved Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. (Click here to read more about Bill.)

Save-the-date postcards for the 2014 gala are on their way now, and formal invitations will be mailed in September, so remember to keep an eye on your mailbox!

And remember, our silent auction is now online! That means you can bid on items even if you cannot attend the event. Auction bidding will open several days in advance of the gala. Check your email for an auction announcement in the weeks to come.

If you, your business, or your organization would like to support GSWA and the gala by placing an ad in our gala program, becoming a gala underwriter, making a donation, or sponsoring a banquet table, please call or email us right now!

For more information, please call Debbie Rice at (973) 538-3500 x14, or write to
Watershed Moments
GSWA Investigates Bacteria in Local Streams This Summer
by Laura Kelm, GSWA Director of Water Quality Programs

GSWA's Kelly Martin completes a data sheet for water samples collected at Harding Township's Bayne Park Pond. The pond is one of several watershed sites where bacteria monitoring will taking place.
July 15 was the inaugural day of Great Swamp Watershed Association's first summer E. coli monitoring program. E. coli bacteria are found in the gut of warm blooded animals (including people, dogs, and birds). Some strains of E. coli can be harmful, but the varieties found in our local streams likely aren't. However, E. coli indicate the presence of fecal matter, which could contain harmful viruses. Streams and ponds contaminated with fecal matter could make people or pets sick if we come in contact with it through swimming, kayaking, wading, or splashing.

Because of the potential health implications of high E. coli levels, sites were selected where human or pet contact with the water are common. Locations with official swimming beaches were not chosen because those sites are already monitored for E. coli under state regulations. There are a total of 17 sites located in all five watershed streams, several tributaries, and a few disconnected ponds. Click here for a map of sampling sites and here to view the descriptions of locations and results.

You may wonder how fecal matter could get into our streams...Continue Reading

GSWA Hosts Visitors from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Credit: GSWA/S. Rubin
U.S. EPA Region 2 staffers Pat Seppi (left) and Dave Kluesner (right) tour the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
On Tuesday, August 12, 2014, GSWA Executive Director Sally Rubin met with members of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 2 Public Affairs Division to tour several remediated Superfund sites located within the boundaries of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Rubin and EPA Region 2 Community Involvement Coordinators Pat Seppi and Dave Kluesner used the opportunity to discuss the disposition of these site with Acting Refuge Manager Steve Henry, and former Refuge Manager Bill Koch.
What's In A Blog? A New GSWA News Site Launches

WordPress Logo
Across the Watershed Blog
Regular readers of this newsletter may have noticed something new last month.

GSWA's Across the Watershed blog site got a makeover!

For those who don't know, the Across the Watershed blog has provided online access to current information about the organization's activities since 2009. It also supports this e-newsletter by providing additional space for publishing important stories and announcements that deserve more attention and detail than our e-mail format can reasonably provide.

In June, GSWA's all-volunteer Communications Taskforce began the process of shifting the blog from Google's Blogger service to an open-source WordPress platform. We think you will agree that our new site is easier to navigate and search, and quite a bit more attractive to look at than its predecessor.

If you have not had a chance to browse the new-and-improved blog, there's no time like the present! Click the "W" button above to open the blog's home page, or click on the Continue Reading link at the bottom of one of our other newsletter articles.

If you are a regular blog reader, you can receive all our posts via RSS feed. To subscribe, click the RSS button at the top of the blog's home page.

Special thanks go out to Communications Taskforce volunteers Ann Campbell and Jim Northrop for all the hard work they did making these improvements a reality!
Did You Know?
What Do We Need In Order To Be One Step Ahead of the Weather?
by Jim Northrop, GSWA Volunteer

Drought takes its toll on California's Lake Shasta. The lake serves as a major water supply for the state's residents (February 2014). Credit:
The daily weather conditions we experience continue to be beyond our control. We seem unable to cause the weather at a particular moment to bend to our will. Sadly, the forces of weather generally have never responded to our "human" commands.

You may remember when, some years ago, scientists thought they could cause rain in a drought-stricken area of the West using airplanes to sew heavy, gray clouds with dry ice pellets. They tried several times, but it never worked.

Perhaps the best we humans can do is to study weather patterns after they occur, and then try to predict what is coming based on analysis of that past data. In that way, we may be able to "adapt" ourselves to weather challenges in a timely manner. For example....Continue Reading

Want to finish the story? Click here to find the entire article on our blog site.

In Case You Missed It...
'Glorious' $14M open space buy inches toward reality

From Chatham Courier: On July 17, the Chatham Township Committee voted to approve a resolution endorsing submission of an application for $10 million in county open space funds for the purchase of 165 acres of land at Giralda Farms. GSWA Executive Director Sally Rubin spoke out in favor of the purchase at a public hearing prior to voting on the resolution. Read the Article

Tourism to Morristown National Historical Park creates more than $16 million in local revenue

From Independent Press: GSWA's community partners at Morristown National Historical Park report that visitors brought more than $16 million into local communities in 2013. Read the Article

Treasure hunt at Harding Library

From Observer-Tribune: Kemmer Library Harding Township "caches" in on the popular sport of geocaching with help from community partners like GSWA. Read the Article

Lawmakers place open space question on November ballot

From Madison Eagle: On August 4, New Jersey's General Assembly voted to place a state constitutional amendment on open space on the November 2014 ballot. The amendemnt would provide permanent funding for Green Acres and other conservation programs. Read the Article

Modern problem: Wild critters give many the creeps

From USA Today: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service personnel, including Great Swamp N.W.R.'s own Visitor Services Specialist Dave Sagan, report that many members of the general public fear wildlife and the outdoors. Read the Article

In This Issue
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Upcoming Events
Pond Dip Adventure for Kids! 8/28

10:30AM-Noon. If you don't know a pollywog from a crayfish, then this is the adventure for you! GSWA's Director of Education and Outreach Hazel England will guide the way while you use dip nets to discover, catch, examine, and release some of the amazing creatures living in the waters of the Great Swamp Watershed.
Register for Pond Dip, 8/26/2014
Breakfast Briefing: Recreation On The Lower Passaic, 9/9

8AM-9:30AM. Water quality issues stemming from legacy contamination have long interfered with public access and recreation on the Lower Passaic. Debbie Mans, executive director of the NY/NJ Baykeeper, will join us to talk about zoning and regulations that deal with public access and the installation of new waterfront parks.
Register for Breakfast Briefing, 9/9/2014
Back-To-Swamp Hike, 9/28

2PM-4PM. School is back in full swing, so it's time for a little relaxation and some of Mother Nature's best lessons. Brush up on your bird calls, polish your plant identification, and cogitate on all the critters found in our local forests, as Hazel England takes you behind the scenes at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
Register for Back-To-Swamp Hike, 9/28/2014
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Great Swamp Watershed Association
Protecting our waters and our land for more than 30 years
Street Address: 568 Tempe Wick Road, Morristown, NJ  07960 - Map It!
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 300, New Vernon, NJ  07976
For more than 30 years, the Great Swamp Watershed Association has been dedicated to protecting and improving water resources New Jersey's Great Swamp Watershed region. We do this by monitoring and maintaining streams and open space, advocating for intelligent land use and environmental policy, and educating communities about water and its effect on the health and natural beauty of the local environment.

Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved.