April 2016
"When the well is dry, we know the worth of water."

-- Benjamin Franklin  
EPA Announces Passaic River Clean-Up Plan
Credit: Flickr, Doc Searls (adapted)

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced their final plan to clean up the lower eight miles of the Passaic River, where a federally designated superfund site has unleashed a plethora of dangerous and toxic substances, including dioxin, mercury, PCBs, and DDT, onto the river bottom.

The plan, which in total is estimated to cost $1.38 billion dollars, consists of two steps to remediate the pollution: dredging the river bottom and then capping what remains.

During the dredging process, 3.5 million cubic yards of sediment will be removed. The lowest 1.7 miles (closest to Newark Bay, the outlet of the river), will be dredged from 5-15 feet, while the remainder of the eight miles will be dredged to 2.5 feet. The dredging will remove 13 pounds of dioxin, 24,000 pounds of mercury, 6,600 pounds of PCBs, and 1,300 pounds of DDT, while simultaneously creating a navigation channel.

Once the dredging is finished, a 2-foot deep bank-to-bank cap, consisting of sand and stone will be installed over the entire eight miles to isolate any remaining contamination.

The entire plan is estimated to take approximately eleven years to complete.    
Want to finish reading this story or any of the other stories in GSWA's eNewsletter?  Click here to visit our blog!
GSWA Swamp Short: Why Beech Trees Keep Their Leaves
GSWA Swamp Short: Why Beech Trees Keep Their Leaves
GSWA Swamp Short: Why Beech Trees Keep Their Leaves

Have you ever walked through the woods in the winter and wondered why some of the trees retain golden-yellow leaves, long after autumn has left the other trees bare? Watch this GSWA Swamp Short to find out why this happens!

If you have a nature question you'd like to see addressed on Swamp Shorts, send us an email at swampshorts@greatswamp.org.
Did you know? 

Sometimes Nature Needs a Little Help, but That Can Also be Harmful 
By GSWA Volunteer, Jim Northrop 
Human interaction with nature can be a mixed blessing. The plight of the beautiful monarch butterfly is a good example of unintended consequences when advances in technology are interjected into the natural world.

Why has the Monarch butterfly population recently decreased so dramatically? Over the past 20 years, the North American Monarch population has dropped from about one billion in the mid-1990's, to less than 60 million today.

In order to understand how this has happened, we must first look... (Read More)
The Stink on Skunk Cabbage
Credit: Nicholas A. Tonelli 
By GSWA Education Associate, Dan Ross

After a cold and seemingly endless winter, spring has finally arrived, and with it the plants and trees are beginning to bud up and leaf out. Early spring emergents like trout lily and snow drops are poking their heads out of the ground, while daffodils and forsythia are starting to bloom in gardens and along hillsides, heralding a change of season.

If you haven't done so already, I urge you to get out and explore the many marshy trails of the Great Swamp and take in all the beauty the area has to offer. As you make your way along the network of boardwalk planks, pausing briefly to appreciate the ballad of the returning song birds and admire the peculiar habits of worm foraging robins, you may notice a small purple and green bulb-like flower emerging from the dark swampy soil in large numbers... (Read More)

Around the Watershed 
Extended Lead Testing

GSWA has extended its discounted lead testing program due to popular demand. Individuals can visit the Madison Library during their normal operating hours between April 4th and April 15th to pick up their self guided sampling kit (you will be asked to leave a $10 deposit, cash or check made out to Great Swamp Watershed Association).

Participants must then take the sample and return it to the Madison Library on April 16th between 1-3pm.

The cost is $30 for a lead test, with the option of adding copper for an additional $20.
Interested in Exploring the Passaic River?

If you're interested in kayaking or walking portions of the Passaic River, but would like a partner in adventure - contact Kelly Martin at kmartin@greatswamp.org, to be connected with other nature-enthusiasts looking for excitement. 
GSWA & the Care2Share Program
Care2Share Ad Graphic

Do you already bank with investors? Sign up for their Care2Share program!

Investors Bank supports GSWA by providing regular donations through its Care2Share program. It's totally free, and with a little help from you and your family, friends, and neighbors, we can grow those donations into something special: special in a way that helps all of our environmental stewardship, education, and advocacy programs!
How does it work?
The Care2Share program allows you to link your personal deposit account at Investors to GSWA. On a regular basis, Investors looks at the number of accounts linked to us, calculates the average balance in those accounts, and makes a donation to us equal to a percentage of that average balance. It doesn't cost you a cent, and your favorite charity get an important financial boost!

Continue Reading...
In This Issue
Donate Now! - https://greatswamp.ejoinme.org/Donate
Do you enjoy reading this eNewsletter?

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 o f support right now!
Upcoming Events
Stream Assessment Training, 4/3

9AM-12PM. If you are interested in becoming a stream monitoring volunteer or just learning more about stream health, this is the training for you! An indoor classroom session helps you learn how to conduct visual and biological stream assessments, and recognize environmental factors that may impact stream health. An outdoor session helps you practice your new-found skills at a local stream site.

Please register by emailing Sandra LaVigne, sandral@greatswamp.org or by calling 973-538-3500.
Breakfast Briefing: Bringing Back the Bees, 4/5

8AM-9:30AM. Join us and Environmental Resource Management Agent Amy Rowe for a special breakfast briefing presentation on how to ensure that honeybees, native bees, and other pollinators thrive in your local environment. Registration Required.

Please click the Register Now! button for location information.
Spring Peeper Party, 4/15

6PM-8PM. The forests and wetlands of New Jersey's Great Swamp are bound to be hopping during this spring hike at the Great Swamp Watershed Association's Conservation Management Area (CMA). Registration Required.

Please click the Register Now! button for location information.
Breakfast Briefing: NJ's Aging Water Infrastructure, 5/17

8AM-9:30AM. There is a long-standing problem of water infrastructure management in New Jersey.  Water supply, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure systems have not received adequate investment for decades in most parts of the state.   Dr. Van Abs will discuss the coming collision between the public interest in sound water infrastructure and the public's interest in low costs. Registration Required.

Please click the Register Now! button for location information.
Great Swamp Home & Garden Tour, 6/1

9:30AM-3PM. Find inspiration for your spring planting and decorating while supporting GSWA at our third annual Home & Garden Tour.  Registration Required.

Please click the Register Now! button for location information.
GSWA Goes Social!
Follow GSWA on these social media sites for breaking news and special posts...

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 
GSWA Thanks our Generous 2015 Gala Sponsors