GSWA's Across the Watershed...In Brief
November 2014
There is such solace in the mere sight of water. It clothes us delicately in its blowing salt and scent, gossamer items that medicate the poor soul.

-- Sebastian Barry, On Canaan's Side, 2011 
Urgent! Giralda Farms Needs Your Help
An aerial rendering of developed and undeveloped land at Giralda Farms.
An aerial rendering of developed and undeveloped land at Giralda Farms.
Please join GSWA and other open space stakeholders at a public meeting of the Morris County Freeholders on Wednesday, November 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Public Meeting Room on the 5th floor of the Administration & Records Building on Court Street in Morristown.

We will be attending this meeting in order to support the Morris County Open Space Trust Fund's recommendation to approve seven grant applications for open space funding totaling $12,130,000.

The meeting will include a very important discussion about funding for the preservation of open space at Giralda Farms.

Located within the Great Swamp Watershed region,  Giralda Farms straddles the border between Chatham Township and the Borough of Madison. Although a portion of Giralda Farms (the former Geraldine R. Dodge estate) has been developed into an office park, another 136 acres of adjacent land remains undeveloped. In fact, this is the largest tract of undeveloped land in Morris County east of Interstate 287.

Funding from Morris County is critical as we race to protect this parcel by the end of the year.

Once protected, the rolling fields, forest, streams, and wetlands of Giralda Farms will enhance the natural splendor of 744 acres of land preserved next door at Loantaka Brook Reservation.
Please attend and show our freeholders
how much you care about this issue!

Watershed Watch
Each year GSWA closely monitors a number of local issues and activities of significance to the health and beauty of water and land in the Great Swamp Watershed region. New information about these "environmental hot spots" is published in Across the Watershed (print) and Across the Watershed...In Brief (electronic) as short updates under the Watershed Watch heading. Here are some of the latest updates--
Vote YES on #2

Credit: Laurel Monks Public question #2 on New Jersey's November 4 election ballot passed with nearly 65% of voters approving the measure.

Green Acres, Blue Acres, and other statewide open space programs will now be funded over the long term through a reallocation of corporate tax revenue, rather than a series of temporary bond measures.

This is a genuine victory for an electorate that has clearly demonstrated...

Watershed Moments
Gala Success!

Credit: C. Mezzacappa
Gala honoree Bill Koch, GSWA Board Chairman Michael Dee, and GSWA staff member Kelly Martin pose for a photo during cocktail hour. Credit: C. Mezzacappa
If you're a sucker for exclamation points, you need to keep reading!

To all the guests, committee members, volunteers, staff, and everyone else who helped make the Great Swamp Watershed Association's 2014 Gala Celebration such an overwhelming success, we cannot thank you enough!

With your generous support, GSWA netted
more than $120,000 in support of our environmental stewardship, education, and advocacy programs.

We are speechless! You are amazing!
More About the Gala

If you were unable to attend the gala, or just want a reminder of the evening, check out the In Case You Missed It section below to read reporter Susan Bloom's article about the festivities in the Daily Record.
Pingry Students Give Back
by Hazel England, Director of Education & Outreach

Pingry School students pose with rain barrels they constructed.
High school students from the Pingry School pose with rain barrels they worked to clean and construct for GSWA as part of their 2014 Rufus Gunther Community Service Project on October 31.
For the third year running, Pingry high school students could be found helping out Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) staff on the last Friday in October. Over the years Pingry pupils have helped GSWA grapple with a variety of tasks as part of the school's Rufus Gunther Community Service Project. Those tasks have included the decoration of trails at GSWA's Conservation Management Area in preparation for our Halloween-themed night walks. They've put their creativity to the test positioning skeletons, witches, and many miles of spider webbing to scare our guests, and they've honed their artistic talents by carving some uniquely designed jack-o-lanterns.

Although our Halloween hike was on hiatus this year, the kids and their advisers returned to engage in not one, but two important service projects on our behalf.

One group joined GSWA volunteers and staff members to...

New Trailer for Great Swamp Documentary Debuts at GSWA Gala

Jetport impact area map
Closeup of a map demonstrating how many towns and neighborhoods would be disrupted by the construction of a major jetport in New Jersey's Great Swamp region.
On October 29, guests attending the Great Swamp Watershed Association's  2014 Gala Celebration were treated to an exclusive glimpse at the first trailer for an important new documentary about New Jersey's Great Swamp. Although the film is still in development, the final production will chronicle the grassroots movement that sprang to life in the 1950s and 60s as area residents sought to prevent the construction of a massive jetport on lands now occupied by the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

As GSWA Executive Director Sally Rubin introduced the four-minute trailer, she noted that the creative spark for this new project was struck at...

Continue Reading...
Measuring Rainfall Matters! Here's Why
by Laura Kelm, Director of Water Quality Programs, GSWA

Rain gauge. Credit:
As a water quality specialist, past weather, particularly precipitation patterns, have broad implications for my daily work. From a practical perspective, a lot of recent rain may make streams inaccessible for monitoring (referred to as
unwadable in my field because the water is too deep or too fast to wade into). Additionally, rain and snow melt lead to stormwater runoff, which can change the quality of the water in streams by carrying pollutants deposited on land into our local waterways.

Rain also causes soil erosion. High flows erode stream banks, depositing the eroded material directly into the stream. Land farther away from streams, such as hiking trails or construction sites, can also be eroded where bare soil is exposed to falling rain. This eroded material is transported to our streams by stormwater runoff.

There is no magic amount of rainfall that causes stormwater runoff; it depends on...

Did You Know?
by Jim Northrop, GSWA Volunteer

Credit: William H. Majoros ( - CC Share Alike)
An American robin (Turdus migratorius) sits on her nest. Credit: William H. Majoros (
This past summer, I was walking to work through a nearby park. It was very early in the morning and I could see the first rays of sunlight peeking over the eastern ridge. I began to feel the warmth of those sun rays as I walked. Yes, another beautiful summer day was unfolding, and it was being greeted by a chorus of singing birds.

My eye followed the sound of the birds' songs, and I could see several nests in the tree above me. I notice one particular bird peering down at me from her hideaway. I don't know what prompted this, but I said hello to the bird. To my great surprise, she answered me, and began what would turn out to be an amazing conversation.

"I am an American robin," she said with pride.

"I will spend this day sitting in my nest, incubating three eggs ---- my third brood this summer!" she exclaimed.

"I can do this because my male robin friend forages food for me, but later I'll go out foraging myself."

"I'll need to sit here on these eggs for 12 to 14 days," she continued, "but once they hatch, they'll...

Want to finish reading this story?
In Case You Missed It...ICYMI
GSWA Celebrates 33 Years Of Service At Annual Gala

From Daily Record: Correspondent Susan Bloom chronicles all of the festivity and ceremony of the Great Swamp Watershed Association's 2014 Gala Celebration held on October 29 in Morristown. Highlights include a short interview with gala honoree Bill Koch and some thoughts from honorary gala chairman Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen.

Telling The Story of NJ's Great Swamp

From Bernardsville News: Staff writer Mike Condon talks with Harding Township Mayor Nicolas Platt about "the classic David and Goliath story" behind the grassroots movement to keep NJ's Great Swamp from becoming an international jetport in the 1950s and 60s. Platt is working with historian Larry Fast and filmmaker Scott Morris to develop his historical research on the topic into a documentary film.

Support GSWA and Get a Professional Landscape Design Consultation with Eldrige Design, Mt. Tabor

Award-winning landscape designer John Suply, of Mt. Tabor-based Eldridge Design, has generously donated two-hours of landscape design consulting to GSWA. Proceeds from the sale of this one-time service will go to support our environmental stewardship, education, and advocacy programming. (Cost: $100)

Professional Photographs Available Too!

Credit J. Sulpy
Winter Light, a framed and matted photograph by John Sulpy, is available for $200. Proceeds from the sale of Sulpy's two photos and landscape design consultation will benefit GSWA programming. Credit: J. Sulpy
John has also donated two beautiful, professionally framed and matted photographs immortalizing the natural essence of the landscape here in the Great Swamp Watershed region.

The first photo, entitled Red Gate Road, captures the contrasting light and shadows of adjacent field, marsh, and forest habitats near Harding Township's Silver Lake. (Cost: $200)

The second photo, entitled Winter Light, decodes the moodiness of a wintertime sky as twilight falls over a portion of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. This image was captured at a location off of Meyersville Road in Harding Township. (Cost: $200, see image above)

Either photo (previews available) would make an excellent addition to any home's living room or parlor, especially if you love Harding and our wonderful Great Swamp.

* * *
If you are interested in purchasing this landscape design service for $100, or either of these photographs for $200, please contact GSWA's Debbie Rice by phone at (973) 538-3500 x14  or by email at
In This Issue
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Do you think we're doing a good job of protecting the waters and the land of the Great Swamp Watershed? If so, then please help us continue our work by sending in your gift of support right now!
Special Event!
**Film Premiere**
November 12

River's Journey: A Documentary About the Whippany River

6:30PM.  River's Journey, a new documentary film about the cleanup of the Whippany River, will have its Morris County premiere on Wed., November 12, at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum located at 353 East Hanover Ave. in Morris Township.
Created by Oscar-nominated producer and director Glenn Silber, the documentary features voice-over narration by veteran actor Peter Coyote and highlights the strong community partnerships that flourished as government, businesses, schools, and volunteer organizations joined forces to clean up the Whippany.

Upcoming Events
Insider's Tour of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, 11/16

3PM-4:30PM. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Ranger Dave Sagan will take you on a special tour of designated wilderness areas at Great Swamp NWR. See some spectacular wildlife and and get the scoop on the Refuge's future management plans!

Please register for meeting location.
To register, please visit
Deer & Deer Management in NJ, 11/20

7PM-8:30PM. If deer are eating your favorite bushes, annuals, and more, then you are already aware of the effects of deer overpopulation in your yard. What you may not be aware of are the many other ecological and socio-economic impacts caused by the high number of deer here in NJ. Join GSWA and Dr. Michael Van Clef as we discuss the ramifications of deer overpopulation on a large scale.

Takes place at GSWA Headquarters, 568 Tempe Wick Rd., Morristown.
To register, please visit,
Breakfast Briefing: Are There Drugs in Our Water Supplies? - 12/9

8AM-9:30AM. John Dyksen, special consultant at United Water will visit to discuss the issue of pharmaceuticals in our water supplies. We'll find out more about the classes and types of pharmaceutical chemicals showing up in our water; begin to understand the potential dangers to human health and the health of wildlife; and learn how water companies, individual homeowners, and nonprofit organizations can equip themselves to deal with the issue before it becomes a threat.

Takes place at GSWA Headquarters, 568 Tempe Wick Rd., Morristown.
To register, please visit
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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.