November E-News

Recycle or Trash?

By Val Thorpe, Director of Communications & Membership

Most of us have the best of intentions when it comes to recycling. However, if we're not recycling right, it can actually be detrimental to the recycling process. Placing an item in the recycle bin "just in case" is actually a bad idea. And recycling rules are always changing, so...

Every town has its own specific rules when it comes to recycling. But with certain items, it's pretty universal. To achieve significant improvements we need to sort our trash mindfully. It may take a little extra effort but if we all get onboard, the impact can be considerable.  Click here  for basic dos and don'ts for common household items; and check out the links for the safe disposal of some less common items.

The Impact of Plastics on the Passaic
By Alexandra Koeck, Drew University Student/GSWA Intern

The Passaic River is one of the most polluted waterways in New Jersey. (Newsflash, right?) We, in New Jersey, are no strangers to this fact. But you may not know that 299 organic compounds associated with microplastics were found in water samples from the river, according to a recent study by a research team at Rutgers, New Brunswick. Microplastics are small pieces of plastic debris less than 5 millimeters long, or about the size of a grain of rice. These result from the disposal and breakdown of consumer products and industrial waste. The majority of microplastics found in this study were those from larger plastic items such as single use coffee cups, soda and water bottles, and straws. Following these larger plastics were compounds from polystyrene and films from broken down plastic bags and wrappers like those from candy and chip packaging.   Read more
GSWA 2018 Gala - A Night to Remember
By Val Thorpe, Director of Communications and Marketing
L-R: Congresswoman-Elect Mikie Sherrill, Sally Rubin, Gala honoree Former Governor Tom Kean, GSWA Board Chairman, Nic Platt, and Lucy Shurtleff
If success were measured in smiles, this year's gala would be labeled as highly successful. As it turns out, by all means of measurement it was a triumphant event! With over 150 silent auction and 4 exciting live auction items, the nearly 400 attendees enjoyed some playful competition with one another and made this event our most profitable fundraiser on record. The evening's honoree, Former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, thanked the room for supporting the efforts being made by GSWA to protect and preserve the Great Swamp, and urged everyone to continue doing their part to promote a healthy planet. 

Among the evening's magnificant attendees were Senator Thomas H. Kean, Jr., congressional candidates, Mikie Sherrill and Jay Webber, and numerous local and regional elected government officials. Also in attendance were Drew University President, MaryAnn Baenninger, members of her leadership team, current students, and alumni. A special VIP cocktail hour preceded the event for an opportunity to personally meet Governor Kean. Read more

Please Give to GSWA this #GivingTuesday - November 27

Be a Champion of Healthy Water - Support Our Expanded Water Quality Program!

What is...

Simply stated #GivingTuesday is an opportunity for you to support your favorite
non-profit organization and kick off the holiday season.

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that takes place on social media
every year on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving,

#GivingTuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.

Donate to GSWA and your gift will be doubled *
Two anonymous donors have generously offered to match your gift
dollar-for-dollar when you give to GSWA this #GivingTuesday

And more great news...
You don't have to wait to  double your #GivingTuesday donation! Just
click the button below

*up to $15,000 in total gifts  

Ad d a Smile to your Amazon Shopping

Did you know that at no cost to you you can elect to donate 0.5% of your purchase through Amazon to the charity of your choice? It's easy:

1) Visit
Your entire shopping experience is the same as shopping on

2) Sign in and Choose Great Swamp Watershed Association
(or another charity of your choice)
The screen may look slightly different, but don't worry - you're in the right place!

3) Begin shopping!
Once you've selected your charity everything else works the same. Checkout as you normally would, and at no extra cost to you, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to GSWA

4) Share with your friends
After you've completed your purchase you can share this information with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or email. (This option appears on the confirmation page once you complete your order.)

Our thanks to Amazon for their efforts to support non-profits! 

Attention Educators!
Students interact with an "Enviroscape" AKA "plastic town"
This fall and winter soak up some water knowledge with GSWA by booking us to visit your school. We will supplement your students' environmental knowledge (2nd grade through high school) with our exciting, hands-on, water quality programs.

Students will learn more about where their water comes from, where it goes when they are done using it, and what can impact its quality along the way. Through the use of our 3D topographic model of the Passaic River and our "plastic town" model of a community, students will first "pollute" it, and then make it rain to see how pollution gets into our waterways. We also work with high school biology and AP environmental science students on more in-depth water pollution issues. 

Please reach out to Hazel England, GSWA Director of Education and Outreach-Land Steward, for more information, or if you have a specific program that you would like us to tailor to your class' needs. You can also call 973-538-3500, but don't delay, dates book up quickly. We look forward to working with you and your students!

Step Outside with Us: 11/10
Calling all volunteers! Come help us prepare our 73-acre Conservation Management Area (CMA) for the winter. Located in Harding Township, we have all sorts of tasks, big and small. It's always a fun time. Join us!
Come Get the Scoop: 11/13
What's going on  at our Conservation Management Area? Come hear about forest recovery results we've gained and how the small mammals who call the CMA home have responded to these changes.  
Work off that Meal: 11/25
We need to get our CMA in shape for the winter, and we could use your help. After we spruce up the area, we will reward ourselves with a scenic hike through the trails. Wear hiking boots and dress for the weather.
Current Water Quality Issues: 11/28
Ever wonder about the water quality in the streams in your neighborhood? Come and learn about the quality of the water in your community and get ideas on how you can help to protect and improve it.
A Year in Review: 12/12
This is your chance to come out and Learn about the successes we've experienced in our expanded education and water quality programs, our exciting and profitable fundraising events, and our what's in store for next year.   Read more and register
Sweeten-up Your Week: 2/13/19
All you need is love, and wine and chocolate! February is a time for warm feelings and togetherness. Keep the feeling going with your friends at GSWA, as we pair 8 different wines with just the right chocolates.