CU Reporter June/July 2004

Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 6:30 p.m.
(normal schedule; second Wednesday of odd-numbered months)
Millville Public Library, Gant Room

Presentation by
Fred Akers

Wetlands have been referred to as “nature’s kidneys” because of their filtering and nutrient-processing functions. They are also called “nature’s supermarkets” because of their astounding productivity. Taken as a whole, wetland environments are an important factor in maintaining global health. Slowly, we are beginning to recognize the value of these long unappreciated environments as havens for animal species, buffers against storms and floods, cleansing agents in the nutrient cycle, storage reservoirs for aquifer recharge, and interesting places to visit and to learn about. Fred Akers, our CU Water Quality Project Coordinator, with the virtual assistance of Bill Nye the Science Guy, will present some basic concepts about wetlands and how we can help to protect and maintain our wetlands resources.

Ospreys Galore! – This year’s new platforms all have occupants. One of the new couples is even raising young; the other two inexperienced pairs are simply “playing house.” In 2002 we had a banner year banding a record 60 chicks. This was followed by the dismal productivity of 2003 in which a mere 33 chicks survived the cold spring. This year appears to be going very well. Thus far we have counted over 77 eggs and banded 44 – we have 10 nests where the young chicks’ legs are still too small to hold a band.

Bay Days – Table Captain Joanne Murphine once again organized a willing group of volunteers to help with the fielding of questions at our CU outpost. It was a nippy, wet weekend and volunteers are to be cheered for having endured the chill. A special thanks to Mary Lou Barbose, Ashley Galetto, Leslie Ficcaglia, Renee Scagnelli, Ethan Aronoff, Ed Pio and of course Joanne. Jane Galetto conducted the boat tours for the event.

Concerns – Regarding the Proposed Raceway/ All Terrain/ Motorcross Track – The officers and trustees of Citizens United voted to sign on to a joint letter to the Millville City Commission outlining concerns about a 700-acre proposed raceway. Those groups signing on were New Jersey Audubon Society, Sierra Club, American Littoral Society, New Jersey Environmental Federation, New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, Association of NJ Environmental Commissions, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Pinelands Preservation Alliance and Delaware Riverkeeper. Some anticipated impacts of concern were noise, traffic congestion, habitat destruction, impacts to endangered species, proximity to protected lands, confidentiality provisions of the City’s agreement with the developer possibly being a circumvention of land use law procedures, and general deterioration in quality of life for our area which could result from a motor sports complex of such magnitude and intensity.

Leadership Cumberland County Tours River – Michael Loyle made arrangements for Cumberland County College’s Leadership Cumberland County to tour the river aboard the Bodacious. Jane Morton Galetto was asked to come along and help in the narrative. The group was treated to the banding of an osprey. They were most gracious and said they really enjoyed their experience so much they wanted to come back. We think it was the barbecue and weather that Mike ordered for the event.

martin in flight
Martin in flight

Martin Festival – CU members continue to assist in the planning for the Martin Festival. Be sure to come out and enjoy an afternoon of presentations and Purple Martin viewing on Saturday, August 21, 2004 2:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. Lecturers, exhibits, vendors, field observations, for $5 admission. A boat trip is available for an additional fee. A dinner cruise is also being held August 20th for a guided tour of the river and the martin roosting phenomenon.New Jersey Audubon Society – Spring Weekend – Our slideshow on osprey maturation, “Eggs to Flight,” was one of the featured presentations at this event.

Woodland Country Day School once again had an auction item donated by Citizens United – a chance to go on an osprey banding venture. The Reese family of Woolrich enjoyed a day of river fun! Seven-year-old Taylor especially enjoyed watching the banding process.

Damsel fly
Damsel Fly

Pitcher Plant
Pitcher Plant

Parvin’s Branch Expedition – Renee Scagnelli and Fred Akers had a chance to put their botany class skills to the test on a survey of Parvin’s Branch. Fred continues his on-the-waterway walk of the stream segments along Parvin’s and Tarkiln creeks. He has found everything from endangered plants to shopping carts. Man and nature continue in their struggle to see which will leave the more lasting mark.How About Your Own Expedition? Sign up for a Citizens United 2004 Canoe/Seining event – Trustee Steve Eisenhauer will be running a number of canoe trips this year; the schedule is below. These trips are informative and enjoyable so don’t miss out! A modest donation may be requested for these trips. All events start at noon. If you plan to attend please call 447-3425 by 5 PM on the preceding Thursday. Also if you need to cancel after reserving be sure to call ASAP because there is usually a waiting list. The first two trips were reported to be most enjoyable.

July 31: Meet at the Menantico Ponds Wildlife Management Area boat launch

August 28: Meet at the municipal boat launch near the public beach on Union Lake (an alternative for this is to meet at Cumberland Pond on Manumuskin River if the construction work is finished)

September 25: Meet at NLT’s Peek Preserve on rte. 47 across from Lilac Avenue for a paddle of the tidal Maurice River

October 30: Meet at the floating dock below Union Lake dam in Millville on the Maurice River

CU on the River!