February 2016
"A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself."

-- Laura Gilpin
It's Too Wet Here - Can I Fill in Wetlands?
Credit: Flickr: Tambako the Jaguar
A Guide to What You Can and Can't Do in a Wetland Area
By Laura Kelm

Over the last few years, GSWA has encountered some questionable activities occurring in and near streams in the Great Swamp Watershed.  When appropriate, we have involved NJDEP, who can issue a notice of violation to the property owner or other violator, and then follows up to ensure that any violations are corrected.

The activities noted below as either allowed or not allowed in a freshwater wetlands are meant as guidance so that you know the basics of what you can and can't do.  View the full text of the New Jersey Administrative Code regarding wetlands and wetland transition areas here

The following activities are not allowed in a freshwater wetland or freshwater wetland transition area (buffer) without a permit from NJDEP:

* Removing, excavating, grading, or disturbing soil
* Dredging or grading a stream bank
* Filling or dumping with any material
* Erecting any structures, including in a stream

Want to finish reading this story or any of the other stories in GSWA's eNewsletter?  Click here to visit our blog!
 Around the Watershed

Check out this video that one of our volunteers, Sue Kessel, created on our recent Winter Wildlife Hike at our Conservation Management Area (CMA).

Interested in learning more about the fascinating Passaic River?

Then you won't want to miss author Mary Bruno when she comes to our area for a series of talks and selected readings from her novel "An American River: From Paradise to Superfund, Afloat on New Jersey's Passaic River." Join Mary as she tells her story about her adventure kayaking along the Passaic River from its headwaters in Mendham all the way to where it empties out in the Newark Bay. Part natural history, and partially an introspective look into her personal past, Mary's riveting memoir invites readers to lose themselves in the Passaic's storied and troubled past. 


Where can you see Mary? Find out here.


 Did you know?
Credit: Flickr, Beverely Goodwin

Cats Cats Cats!
By GSWA Volunteer, Jim Northrop
People seem to have strong feelings about whether to own a dog or a cat as a pet.  While I was growing up, my parents always had a pet dog, so I thought that must be the norm.  They never would have considered bringing home a pet cat.  But several summers ago, my youngest daughter brought home a sweet little kitten from a neighbor cat's litter, and begged for us to keep it.  How could I say "No"?

That started a surprising new learning experience for me.  For starters, I learned that the domestic cat is part of a huge worldwide family, which includes the jaguar, leopard, lion, ocelot and the puma, as well as a genus Lynx, which includes the Canada lynx and the bobcat.

I did not know that the common pet cat probably was originally a native of Egypt.  It was an object of worship and was frequently mummified.  However, apparently it was not known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who used domesticated martens to destroy rats and mice.

Start Using Amazon Smile!

When you link your already existing Amazon account to Great Swamp Watershed Association, Amazon starts donating .5% of your purchases to us. Although that may not sound like much, if all of our Amazon using members switched over to Smile, it would really add up!

Here's how you do it:

1. Visit smile.amazon.com
2. Sign in to your already existing amazon account (or create a new one)
3. In the "Pick Your Own Charitable Organization" section, type Great Swamp Watershed Association and click the search button. Then click the select button next to our name.
4. You're all done! Now shop away :)

A helpful tip - Amazon only donates when you shop through the smile website. Change your regular amazon bookmark to smile.amazon.com (your shopping experience will be the same). That way, you'll always be donating while you shop!

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!

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In This Issue
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Upcoming Events
The Flavor of the Wild, 2/17

7PM-8:30PM. We've all heard "take only photographs, leave only footprints". A noble sentiment, but it limits our interaction with wild plants to a visual one only, if that. Learn about the cultural uses of native plants with Jared Rosenbaum, proprietor of Wild Ridge Plants, LLC. Registration required.

Please click the Register Now! button for location information.
Moonlit Owl Prowl, 2/21

6PM-8PM. Want to learn more about New Jersey's owls?  Then you don't want to miss this early-evening hike with conservation biologist Dr. Emile DeVito. 

The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge after dark - a time when most people do not have access - is prime owl-spotting habitat and a perfect spot for Dr. DeVito to demonstrate his owl-calling expertise.  With a little luck, you might just hear (or even see!) some of these stealthy night flyers as they move in to investigate the mysterious sounds. Registration required.

Please click the Register Now! button for location information.
Build Your Own Rain Barrel, 3/15

6PM-8PM. Why should you get a rain barrel? Use a barrel to capture and store the rain running through your home's downspout and you'll routinely have 55 gallons of free water to use around your property. GSWA and Green Mojo Eco Consulting will help you build your own water-saving rain barrel. Using a recycled, food-grade barrel and a spigot adapter kit, we will walk you through the simple construction process. Each registered participant will leave with the workshop with their very own handcrafted rain barrel that is ready to be hooked up to a household downspout. Cost: $80. Registration required.

Please click the Register Now! button for location information.
Spring Begins Hike, 3/20

10AM. There's no better way to celebrate the first day of spring than to get outside and explore. Join GSWA's Dan Ross as he guides you in identifying the first signs of spring - skunk cabbages peaking through the snow, new buds forming on trees, and spring migrants returning from their winter destinations. Although it may feel as though winter will be with us forever, these signs of spring will be sure to brighten your day. Registration Required.

Please click the Register Now! button for location information.
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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 
GSWA Thanks our Generous 2015 Gala Sponsors