CU Reporter July/August/September 2006

Updates from Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and Its Tributaries, Inc.

September 13, 2006, 6:30 p.m.

Normal schedule, second Wednesday of odd-numbered months Millville Public Library, Gant Room

Jane Morton Galetto
President of Citizens United
“Seasons on the Maurice”

Seasons on the Maurice presentationThis presentation is a pictorial essay covering the seasons of the Maurice River watershed. Various migrations are highlighted. The show was first unveiled at the recent Purple Martin Migration Spectacular, the annual festival held in Maurice River Township


Volunteer Recognition Dinner – Join us for our first Volunteer Recognition Dinner on October 21, 2006 at the Union Lake Sailing and Tennis Club at 6:30 p.m. We will be celebrating both our twenty years of incorporation and you, the volunteers, who make it all happen. We’ll also be giving special recognition to several of our volunteers. There will be a short auction featuring a botanical sphere created for CU by Paul Stankard, a carving by Wheaton Art Carver Art Parkin, and an opportunity to accompany expert birders Clay Sutton and Jimmy Dowdell on our twentieth annual birding survey. Menu includes salmon and filet mignon.

Tickets are $50. Space is limited, so make your reservations soon! RSVP to Renee Scagnelli.

Maurice River Recollections Campfire – Join us on October 26th around the campfire at the Burcham Farm, featuring historical and cultural recollections of the Maurice River. Time: 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. We’ll supply the marshmallows & weenies. Bring your guitar or other instruments! Representatives from some of the local historical societies will be in attendance to enhance the discussions.

The South Jersey Bayshore Coalition’s grand opening will be Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 5:30 p.m. at the George Luciano Center at the Cumberland County College. The mission of the coalition is to preserve the cultural heritage and environmental integrity of the South Jersey Bayshore. Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River is a member of this group. For more information on the coalition’s grand opening, contact Jody Carrara.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are needed both for planning the volunteer dinner and for helping with the set-up, break-down and food preparation for the evening.

Anyone wishing to help with the campfire recollection event on October 26th please contact Renee Scagnelli @ 856-305-3238.


Millville’s Riverfest – Our thanks to volunteers Donna and Rob Dailey, Sue and Dave Fenili, Pat Moore, and Anne Feinstein who manned the CU table and led the CU Paint-a-Landscape activity at Millville’s Second Annual Riverfest. Art Parkin stopped in to check on the booth as well.

Butterfly GardenEast Point Open House – CU also participated in this year’s East Point Lighthouse Open House, with Renee Scagnelli manning CU’s table. On hand were various artists at work as well as docents who gave tours of the lighthouse, which is open only once a year to visitors.

Area Health Education Center (AHEC) – This summer CU collaborated with South Jersey Hospital Systems’ Garden AHEC effort. CU offered a number of programs:

Butterfly Garden Plantings: Renee led butterfly garden plantings with three groups of 20 – 25 children at 3 locations: Port Norris Elementary School, Cherry Street School in Bridgeton, and the Willow Oak Natural Area in Vineland. Volunteers Kristen and Joseph Scagnelli Jr. assisted at each of these plantings. Joe Scagnelli Sr. assisted in roto-tilling one site and has been tending the plot.

Wood duck thumbs upWood duck boxes: President Jane Galetto and volunteer Roy Kaneshiki spent 2 hours helping approximately 26 children in Vineland build wood duck boxes. The children also enjoyed a PowerPoint presentation on the natural history of wood ducks.

Osprey Predator Guards Workshop: Jane Galetto and volunteer Ryan Dailey worked with approximately 20 teenagers in Millville cutting predator guards for nesting platforms following a PowerPoint presentation on ospreys.

Enviroscape/Watershed: Renee gave a 2 hour presentation on non-point source pollution, watersheds and water quality to a group of approximately 25 children at Giampietro Park in Vineland. Following an Enviroscape presentation, students held a brief discussion on wetland plants of the area. They tested for water temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen, and also seined for benthic macroinvertebrates.

ELEVATE Program Does Annual Fieldtrip – CU also offered a half day program to local children, planned in conjunction with the Word of Life Church’s summer ELEVATE program. CU trustee Steve Eisenhauer supplied the kayaks and taught the children to paddle while CU members Sue Fenili and Irene Bird worked with them on CU Paint-a-Landscape. Tony Ficcaglia mentored the kids in birding, and the children were treated to an interpretive boat ride on the river by Jane Galetto. Renee Scagnelli and Scott Fenili assisted with kayaks; Scott also photographed the event. Helping with the activities were two teenaged Babe Ruth Allstar softball players from California: Tori Sheppard and Jordynn Elwood. As a special treat, Clay Sutton and Jim Dowdell were on scene for osprey counts and spent time assisting visitors with the use of optics. A great time was had by all.

Our thanks to all of the volunteers who made these projects possible, as well as the Great Egg Harbor Watershed for use of their Enviroscape model, and Natural Lands Trust for providing the kayaks.

The Purple Martin Migration Spectacular was well attended. Members Jane Galetto and Allen Jackson each gave a lecture. Kayak and boat interpreters included Leslie and Tony Ficcaglia, Scott, Sue and Dave Fenili, Karen and Brian Johnson, Kathy Michele, Diane Jones, Janet Crawford, Tony Klock, Steve Eisenhauer, Allen Jackson and Renee Scagnelli. The Martins were extremely cooperative, putting on quite a show before settling into the roost site. People really seemed to enjoy themselves; thank you, CU volunteers, for all your hospitality!

Documentary Receives Kudos – Not only has Reflections of a Bayshore Painter – Glenn Rudderow been selected to be aired by nearly 100 stations (states include AL, AR, TX, MO, CA, KS, OK, WA, LA, MS, ND, NH, NJ, SC, NY, MI, TN, FL, IN, MI, KY, WI, OH, PA) but its producers/directors have also been nominated for an Emmy in the Arts Program or Special category by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Mid-Atlantic Chapter. Thanks, NJN!

$$$$$$$ – We would be remiss not to recognize our financial experts. Steve Testa, Dave McCann, Gerry Barsotti and David Schad all spent many hours tracking and planning for the fiscal health of our organization. Dave McCann and Jane Galetto also spent a great deal of time on a grant application. We hope there will be good news to report to you in the next newsletter.

If you generally give in the later half of the year to CU then you should have received a renewal letter. We thank you in advance for your generosity. And if you have already donated for 2006 we salute you.


Outdoor Recreation Alliance (ORA) – Citizens United has joined the Outdoor Recreation Alliance (ORA). This coalition of over 45 statewide environmental organizations and sportsmen’s groups is working to secure a stable source of funding for capital projects; operation, stewardship and maintenance of state and local parks and natural areas; and land acquisition and preservation of historic sites and farmland through the renewal of the Garden State Preservation Trust.

Marking a significant victory for these long under-funded areas, the State Legislature passed a resolution in July that allows New Jersey voters to determine future funding for capital projects at these sites. The resolution places a constitutional amendment on the November 7, 2006 ballot to create an ongoing, stable source of funding. The amendment would reallocate a surplus of existing, already environmentally-dedicated funds from the Corporate Business Tax, in the amount of $15 million a year through 2015 and $32 million a year thereafter, to improving these areas across the state. It would require no new taxes or any other revenue source to be raised or used. It is critical that we send our local legislators the message that we care about our natural areas. A negative vote will convey that we have no problem neglecting our open space areas.

Investing in our parks is an investment in the future of New Jersey’s communities and our natural heritage. Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and Its Tributaries, Inc. urges you to remember this at the polls in November and to encourage your legislators to establish a long-term dedicated funding source for operation, maintenance and stewardship of state and local natural areas by renewing the Garden State Preservation Trust. For greater details go to

We ask you to support this initiative!

CU on the River!