CU Reporter October/November 2003

Annual Meeting
Thursday, November 13, 2003
Millville Public Library, Gant Room
6:30-8:30 pm

This will be our annual meeting. Please come out and enjoy.

Rerun Presentation – A number of members have asked, since the showing of Eggs to Flight was postponed by the hurricane, that we present it again. We will do the business meeting first so the folks who have already seen the show can depart earlier and others can stay to view it.

By Jane Morton Galetto, President Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and Its Tributaries, Inc.
Jane recently created an internet photo essay about the maturation of osprey from Eggs to Flight. She will present some highlights of the marvels of these 10 weeks of growth. The drama of both nest failures and successes in the Maurice River Osprey Colony will be the subject of this presentation.

We will also get a glimpse of other additions to the Citizens United website.

Sense of Place Aerial Photographs Distributed – We have continued to distribute the aerial photographs to schools that help students to orient themselves to the area surrounding their schoolyard. The program has been extended to include some local corporations. This enables them to see forests, areas of groundwater recharge, impervious ground cover, streams, lakes, fields, etc. This embodies our belief that pride in place begins in an understanding of the surroundings in which we live. The reception which the photos have received has been incredibly positive. This entire project was made possible through a grant from the National Park Service’s Wild and Scenic River Partnership program. The Natural Lands Trust in conjunction with CU has carried out the logistics of this project. In the last two months some of the organizations have been South Jersey Hospital Systems, Pitsgrove Twp. Middle School, Shalick HS, Cumberland County College, ARC International, Vineland HS 9-10 & 11-12, Alcan, and Reick Avenue School.

Presentations to Organizations – The Dallas Lore Sharp Nature Club enjoyed our most recent slide show, Eggs to Flight. In appreciation the organization was kind enough to make a donation to the CU coffers. Thank you, Nature Club members!

On the Advocacy Front – We are involved in two legal complaints. In the first case we are appealing/ challenging Mountain Union Telecom and the Maurice River Township decision to grant an approval to Mt. Union’s application for a cell tower to be constructed which will have a visual impact on the Wild and Scenic rivers. We shall keep you abreast as to the outcome of this legal action.

Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and Its Tributaries, Inc., Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, New Jersey Conservation Foundation and New Jersey Audubon Society, jointly represented by the Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic, have filed an action challenging Millville Planning Board’s approval of a general development plan proposed for the Conectiv/ Holly Farm property in eastern Millville. In our last newsletter we outlined the situation: on an approximately 1350 acre tract the developer proposes to build 900 homes on 200 acres, a 200-acre golf course, and a 900 acre-preserve. We have had a long history of advocating that this site be preserved in its entirety. The conservation organizations jointly contend that this proposal represents sprawl at its worse. The property has one of the densest populations of threatened and endangered species in the region if not the state, is bordered by two wild and scenic rivers, is surrounded by protected property and lies in the most remote part of rural Millville. It is also part of the same contiguous forest which was delisted from consideration as a hazardous waste entombment facility based on “the impact of development alone” on the unique populations of threatened and endangered species found there.

Members Fred Akers and Steve Eisenhauer seine in Menantico Ponds to share variety of species presence to guests.
Steve Eisenhauer leads Down Township class “Down Jersey: Celebrating Our Sense of Place” field trip at Raven’s Beach, Fortesque, NJJane Morton Galetto examines the anatomy of a Sea Squirt during the Raven’s beach field trip.

Local Conservationist Canoe Trip – A special thank you to Natural Lands Trust Manager/ CU member Steve Eisenhauer for organizing a September 30 canoe trip. A number of conservationists and some StateDEP folks spent a few hours appreciating the wonders of the Menatico. It gave us a chance to catch up on each other’s activities as well as recharge the reason we work so hard in our offices. We hope our members have been taking advantage of the field trips offered by our sister conservation organizations. If you are signed up for our e-mail hotline you know that we pass along numerous offerings for you to go out and explore the great out-of-doors with interesting naturalists.Volunteers Needed – We need volunteers to help with assembling Celebrating Our Sense of Place, teachers’ kits. If you are interested or know of students who need voluteer hours please let us know at 856-327-1161.

Also if you are willing to brave the cold and remove all but about 5 inches of debris from osprey nests please notify us. You will need a boat and a ladder. Simply tell us the nesting platform that you intend to take care of and when you intend to do it. We don’t want to risk heavy snows and rains over the winter. A little maintenance now will save our having to rebuild later.

CU on the River!