CU Reporter August/September 2005

Meeting September 14, 2005 6:30
(Normal schedule, second Wednesday of odd-numbered months)
Millville Public Library, Gant Room

Getting the Big Picture on New Jersey’s Coastal Zone A Presentation by Richard Lathrop, Ph.D.

Remotely sensed imagery and geographic information systems (GIS) provide for a big-picture view of New Jersey’s dynamic coastal landscape. The talk will describe how these technologies are being used to inform ‘on-the-ground’ natural resource management and land use planning in New Jersey’s coastal zone. Richard (Rick) G. Lathrop, Jr., is Director of the Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis, and Associate Professor for the Rutgers University, Cook College Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources. His doctorate is in Environmental Monitoring, he holds a master’s in Forestry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BA from Dartmouth. His research attempts to integrate insights of landscape ecology and geography with the application of geo-spatial technology to improve our understanding of the structure and function of coupled human-environmental systems at broader landscape-to-regional scales and then translate that understanding into effective and appropriate techniques to improve ‘on-the-ground’ natural resource management and land use planning.

ElevateThe Elevate Youth Church Group from Vineland came to the Maurice River to partake in a wide variety of activities. They had a grand introduction to canoeing, kayaking, landscape painting, bird watching, and a powered boat tour. Everyone seemed to have a super time. A special thanks to the members, officers and trustees who made the day possible: Renee Scagnelli, Steve Eisenhauer, Pat Witt, Irene Bird, and Leslie and Tony Ficcaglia, and to church member Pricilla McCoy for setting up the day. On August 26 the students presented an award to Citizens United at their end-of-the-season wrap up. The students made the award from portions of some of their paintings, and Renee Scagnelli received it on behalf of our organization.

NJN/ CU documentary movie premiere of Reflections of a Bayshore Artist: Glenn Rudderow is Friday, November 4, 2005 at Cumberland County College, Frank Guaracini Jr. Fine & Performing Arts Center/ George P. Luciano Sr. Theater. It should be a super turn out so mark your calendar and get your reservation in as soon as you receive your invitation.

On July 29, 2005 CU member Julie Akers won a Governor’s Award for Volunteerism. There were a number of State categories and Julie won for her long term efforts in environmental education and activism. She was very gracious in her remarks, acknowledging that she felt humbled by the other recipients. If fact the field of honorees was fantastic and Julie was every bit as deserving. Many of you know Fred Akers who she referred to as her “soul mate.” Fred is our Water Quality Project Manager and administers a Federal 319 Clean Water Grant for CU in Vineland. Anyone who knows Julie won’t be surprised to hear that she sometimes accompanies Fred in his monitoring efforts.

Show Biz! Ryan Dailey, our student assistant from this past year, had a key role as Jewish immigrant Tateh in Ragtime, a production by the Downtown Company of Performing Artists (a regional group). He really did a splendid job in this social comment production. Congratulations, Ryan.

Kayaker at Martin FestPurple Martin Migration Spectacular! On August 19th CU was involved in making the annual Purple Martin Festival happen for 2005. Because the county could not assist this year due to staffing shortages, Maurice River Township and Deputy Township Clerk Linda Costello reached out to MRT’s Environmental Committee. Jody Carrara and Leslie Ficcaglia worked with her, Purple Martin Mentor Allen Jackson, and many of the other people from previous years to pull together an event at virtually the last minute. Activities included a dinner cruise on the Bodacious, platforms erected by the bridge thanks to the Cumberland County Improvement Authority, and kayaks supplied by CU Trustee and Natural Lands Trust Assistant Director of Stewardship and Protection Steve Eisenhauer. Jody Carrara and President Jane Galetto organized volunteers at the platform, and CU members Tony Klock, Karen Johnson, and Sandra Keller were on hand there, bringing scopes and binoculars for ease of viewing. Allen Jackson provided commentary on board the Bodacious, with Linda Costello registering and overseeing and Leslie Ficcaglia helping to i.d. some of the many neat birds seen along the route. In spite of the rain, the purple martins put on a wonderful show and everyone seemed to have a grand time. Next year we’re aiming for a Saturday event with a few more activities, but the organizers did a fantastic job on very short notice!

The Annual Donation drive letters went out recently. The response from the first half of the year donors was fantastic. A striking 44% of members responding increased their gifts, with 64% of the respondents exceeding the family membership cost of $30 by significant amounts. Of those that did not exceed the previous year’s gift, over a third are donating anywhere from $50-$1000 already. This indicates that our members feel the work we do is important. If you haven’t responded as yet, please take the time to do so. Thank you!

You may wish to check out a new website addition. Ryan and Rob Dailey have provided instructions for making and affixing predator guards to osprey platforms. This will enable people to make and use the same guards that we use here on the Maurice River. We have had numerous requests for this information and now it will be very easy to access. Rob’s engineering skills will also allow PC users to enjoy a 3D mechanical drawing of the osprey platform, this is a nice complement to our existing drawings.

New Jersey Canoe and Kayak Trips 2005 Explore the waterways of Southern New Jersey! The ever-popular South Jersey Canoe Trips are back, conducted in partnership with Citizens United to Save the Maurice River. This year we are also offering kayak trips, thanks to grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the National Parks Service. New Jersey Natural Lands Trust Manager and CU Trustee Steve Eisenhauer will lead the trips, sharing natural science and human history while introducing you to the public waterways of this area. Trip dates and locations are listed below. Sign up early as space is limited. You will be sent directions upon registration.


CU on the River!