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Our address is:

Citizens United
to Protect the Maurice River and Its Tributaries, Inc.
P.O. Box 474
Millville, NJ 08332

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Sincerely,
Jane Morton Galetto
President, Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and Its Tributaries, Inc.


On September 14, 2010, Glenn Rudderow gave the following speech at the Winfield's fundraiser for Citizens United:

When I was thinking about what I wanted to say tonight, I realized that what I really wanted to do, was just talk about how I feel about the East Point Light House, the Maurice River and Citizens United, and how they are all connected and relate to each other.

We can all probably agree that the East Point Lighthouse is a symbol for South Jersey, as well as an icon. And that the same could be said for the Maurice River. We would probably also agree that the East Point Lighthouse is a guardian for the river and the bay, and for all of those people whose lives and livelihoods have depended, and depend, on the river and bay.

I would like to talk about some of my memories of the Maurice River and the East Point Lighthouse.

When I was seven or eight years old, my oldest brother got his driver’s permit, and on Sunday afternoons the five of us kids would pile into the family car, a 1955 plymouth station wagon, if you remember, the kind with the really huge fins in the back. When cars were cars. We children always felt especially lucky because our car had rust holes in the floor, which allowed us to see the road as we passed over it.

At any rate, my brother would drive us, leaving Newport, down to Dividing Creek, over to Haleyville and Mauricetown. And of course, the Maurice River, and the Mauricetown Bridge. The real Mauricetown Bridge. We were all so excited to see the bridge and especially in crossing it, to hear the clackety, clack, clack our tires made as we crossed the wooden planks of the bridge. It was also always exciting, if when we got to it, the bridge would be open, allowing an oyster boat to go upriver or down. To see that structure moving in its arc on its pivots as it opened or closed was thrilling.

After crossing, of course coming to the Delsea Drive, turning south, following the road as it paralleled the river and coming to the Delaware Bay. I still remember the excitement and anticipation I always felt when on crossing the marshes, we would make that last turn and see the lighthouse across the meadows. Standing majestic against the horizon and bay. I still have the same feeling of excitement and anticipation, some fifty years later, on first seeing the lighthouse across the marshes.

In those days the lighthouse was painted a creamy white, with the roof and tower a brilliant red. This is still the way I see the lighthouse in my mind, even today.

This brings back so many memories of all the times spent there and along the Maurice River.

Painting trips with Morris Blackburn, a teacher from the Pennsylvania Academy, who taught his landscape painting classes along the river, at the various boat yards, and at the lighthouse for many years.

Painting there with Pat Witt, when we would paint and watch the sunset across the bay, and wait for the full moon rise across the marshes. Pat and I would have our picnic suppers and listen to the waves and seagulls as we ate and talked.

All of the times painting there with Louis Sloan and his students from the Pennsylvania Academy. When we would help him look for the prickly pear cactus that grew wild along the road as you approached East Point.

And how can I forget watching the turtles climbing up the beach, through the sand, to lay their eggs, and then a few weeks later, the newly hatched babies, no bigger than a nickel, making a mad dash for the bay and the safety of the water.

These memories bring me to the painting that is on auction tonight. This painting is titled, “Autumnal Equinox, East Point Light.”

As we know the autumnal equinox is just over a week from tonight, when the length of the day equals the length of the night.

On this particular evening I was fortunate to be able to witness the wonderment of the setting sun in the west, and the full moon rising, directly opposite, in the east, with the lighthouse and me in the middle. Anyone familiar with Stonehenge would appreciate this. I will never forget seeing and feeling the warmth of the setting sun on the western wall of the lighthouse and looking further, seeing the full moon rise in the east. This is what this painting is all about, a very real, special, and magical moment.

Now, some of you might be wondering, why is he telling us all of this, and what does it have to do with Citizens United.

Well, I’m taking the long way around, something I’m fond of doing. For instance, going to my studio in the morning. My studio is two tenths of a mile from our house, and yet most mornings it is a ten mile or more, drive to get there. That’s because it involves a trip to the bay to make sure the tides are still coming in and going out.

So here we are. We have the East Point Lighthouse, the Maurice River, and Citizens United. Symbols, icons, and guardians.

When I think of the East Point Lighthouse, I think of those people that a hundred and fifty years ago, give or take, envisioned, built and commissioned this lighthouse. And I think that these people did a good thing. That these people did a right thing.

I think of the thousands and thousands of people that this lighthouse has shown the right direction.

The countless number of tired travelers that it has shown a safe place to rest.

And I think of the hundreds upon hundreds of oystermen, fishermen, watermen, hunters, trappers, crabbers, and in fact, all of those that have earned, and earn, their livelihood on the Maurice River and the Delaware Bay, along the Bayshore and in South Jersey. That this lighthouse is a guardian, a watch, and a companion, to all of them.

What an incredible analogy, the East Point Lighthouse and Citizens United, linked together by the Maurice River.

When I think of Citizens United, I think of the many projects and programs they are involved with; actively promoting or participating in; whether it’s the protection of our birds and wildlife, the environment or sensitive fragile lands and waterways; whether it’s the participation in state and national programs to educate and inform all of us about our environment; or even the support and promotion of film projects featuring local artists.

Citizens United always seeks to give us a good direction. Citizens United always seeks to give us a safe place to rest. And it always seeks to watch over our best interests.

Because here we have an organization that is, of course, a guardian of the Maurice River and its tributaries, and is, of course, a guardian of the Delaware Bay and Bayshore, and South Jersey, but much more importantly it is a guardian for all of us, and for all of our futures.

I think how wonderful it will be when in a hundred and fifty years from now, give or take, people will look back at tonight, and look back at us, and look at Citizens United, and say, “These people were and are our guardians. They did a good thing. They did a right thing.”

In conclusion, let me say, Thank you, to all of you for listening. And thank you to Citizens United for being a light.

September 14, 2010           Glenn Rudderow


We received this email after the 2010 Purple Martin festival:

My husband and I went on the Purple Martin Bodacious boat trip Friday night and what an AWESOME night!! We’ve gone before but this time we met Alan Jackson and “got informed.”

The boat was full for Saturday night but my husband charmed Linda just enough to get him and our granddaughter back on for Saturday’s trip. Isabella (10 yrs old) thought that that was the greatest sight she’d ever seen and wants to go every year!!

Sincerely,

Cheryl Healey


Trustee emeritus Joanne Murphine sent this letter upon her retirement from the board:

To the CU Members,

Thank you so much for the beautiful painting by Verna McClain and the garden arrangement by Bob Schwartz. The gifts were very much appreciated and really a surprise.

I enjoyed being on the board of CU for many years. I have met and worked with many people who I am proud to call my friends.

Our organization has done many things to educate and guide people to help preserve our environment. I know this will continue with our new leadership.

Thanks again.

Joanne Murphine

P.S. I will always try to help when needed.


After visiting our Osprey Nest Anecdotes and osprey pages we received this great compliment from the International Osprey Foundation: (September 2009)

WOW!! Thanks! This probably the BEST Osprey website ever . . . !

Tim
The International Osprey Foundation


Citizens United received the following letter from Clive Minton of Australia in response to our "Host the Shorebird Scientist" effort this spring. (June 2008)

Dear Jane,

This is just a brief note to thank Citizens United's members again for all your kindness and generosity during our latest visit to Delaware Bay. Everything you do for us makes life so much easier and even more enjoyable than ever and your contribution is very very much appreciated. The gourmet "Meals on Wheels" was a wonderful idea and took an enormous load off team members. An indirect benefit was that we were able to make a much greater contribution to the flag scanning efforts this year than ever before(Editor's note: these are the identification tags that the scientists place on the birds). And the walks and other outings and the most enjoyable get-together at the Galettos' was also another highlight of the visit. Prue and Peter were very proud of their glass blowing efforts and I certainly hope that Susan and I can be next year's participants in this activity (Editor's note: shorebird team members had an opportunity to make a glass paper weight at Wheaton Arts).

I'm always amazed at how different each year has been at Delaware Bay. There's no such thing as "the norm". This year was the most disastrous of all for the two weeks in mid-May as a result of the storm followed by two weeks of windy, cold and sometimes wet weather. Thanks goodness everything improved for the last week of May. When we left on June 2nd it did look as if most birds would get away to the Arctic eventually, though 7-10 days later than normal. It remains to be seen how much this negatively affects their breeding success.

It was wonderful that Citizen United's volunteers care so much about the birds and their environment and that your members do so much, directly and indirectly, to help the Delaware Bay situation. We all love participating with all of you from New Jersey each year and we do enormously appreciate that and especially the things you all do.

Best wishes
Clive

note: Clive Minton, Ph.D., Melbourne, Australia Clive has been studying shorebirds for 55 years, especially in England and Australia, where he has lived for the last 27 years. He was part of the initial Delaware Bay Shorebird Project team in 1997 and has returned as a volunteer every year since. His particular area of expertise is catching shorebirds by cannon-netting and collecting associated data on weights and migratory movements of banded birds. Professionally, he is a metallurgist, with a career mainly in the engineering industry, and latterly in human resources.


October 3, 2007

Dear Jane:

It was with unexpected pleasure when you informed me of Citizens United decision to support work banding purple martins by reimbursing money I spent buying colored leg bands this year. Even more exciting was that financial support will continue in future years. This comes at a good time as increasing costs were making me reconsider my involvement in the banding program. Ironically, those costs are directly associated with the success of the martin program. Your assistance allows me to continue at a level I believe is necessary to keep the program progressive.

Significant success in New Jersey is being achieved thanks to conscientious landlords who have subscribed to proper management techniques which are a key factor to increasing martin populations. Martin populations in the northeast are in a slow but steady decline. However, ongoing efforts to educate the public to proper management has led to significant increases, especially in southern New Jersey. The response to proper management not only helps the specific landlord but all other landlords in the area.

The history of banding in NJ has progressed steadily since my initial year banding in 1999 when I banded 390 martins. That was the year I became an official martin mentor in the Purple Martin Conservation Associationís (PMCA) martin mentor program. Each year banded numbers grew as existing colonies were managed better, more colonies were started and more birds fledged. In 2002 I entered into the PMCAís banding program which encouraged banders to use colored leg bands to help follow martin movements more easily. With the use of a spotting scope and some diligence the band numbers can be read. As landlords contact me or the Bird Banding Lab with bands they are able to identify, we learn more about martin biology in our area. One highlight includes a martin banded in Point Pleasant, NJ being recovered 3 years later near the Amazon River in Brazil. Other sightings being reported are providing useful and interesting information about the movements of martins in our area. I plan to co-author an article this winter about martin movements in NJ, including a colony in Greenwich where 92 band numbers have been reported in two years. I will be pleased to share this article with CU once it is published.

In regard to band numbers, I continue to band more martins each year. Under my banding permit, 6.000 martins were banded by myself and 3 banders in NJ in 2007. I anticipate ordering 8,000 bands for 2008 and envision adding more banders to assist in this effort. The total number of martins banded in NJ is now at 30,000. While most the banding has been done in southern NJ, our efforts and proactive landlords along coastal areas and in more northerly counties are also experiencing significant results. The money CU provides will continue to benefit purple martins throughout the State and keep New Jersey the leader it has been in environmental issues.

I will keep you informed of my progress and look forward to your continued support in the future.

Sincerely,
Allen Jackson

6/7/07


3/16/07


6/07


3/8/06

Thanks for listing the plans on your web site. I live in rural Hampton County, SC where we are fortunate to have Osprey nesting in the immediate area. We have a 2 acre naturally vegetated fish pond in our back yard where they fish. It is flanked by a spring fed river and lesser tributaries, and its banks blend into Cypress & swamp Oak swamp. Today I bought the platform supplies and will build it over the next few days. I am so excited!!!

Where is the best place to put it? In the pond? On the edge of the pond? Or on the 1/4 acre island on the interior of the pond?

We have alligators here and every species of snake on the DNR reptile check list, so we will definitely reinforce the predator guard! We'll let you know how soon the platform becomes occupied.

We have seen Bald Eagles here fishing and all the other common species of fishing birds. There's even a pair of Wood Stork (rare to SC) that come every year.


Hi, my name is Barb Campbell and I am a stewardship biologist with the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture in Corner Brook, NL (Canada). We are a not for profit agency that is focussed on conserving municipal wetland areas in our province's communities. We are interested in suggesting an osprey platform for one of our communities as part of a restoration strategy. We are wondering if we could receive permission to reproduce the plans for the osprey platform that you have on your website (it would be incorporated into a habitat management plan for the community)? How should we credit the image?

Thanks
Barb Campbell
EHJV

– Naturally we responded we would be happy to have them use the plans.






5/2005

Dear Citizens United,

My goodness!!! As I read more from your website...I'm very impressed. On my PC's desktop, I have a picture of the AJ Meerwald...so I get to look at it everyday, here at work or at home. I placed it there last summer when my Mother sent me the picture in email. Why you may ask??? It was my grandfather's boat-the Clyde A. Phillips. I am going to pass your website to my Mother, who is retired in Florida these days. I am retired military, living the good life in a shrimping town in coastal Georgia, where development is now rampant with very little concern for the environment. I work at Altamaha Riverkeeper, a non-profit environmental organization which covers a 14,000 mile watershed; I am the admininstration, financial and tech support person. Our website is www.altamahariverkeeper.org

Recently, your org was mentioned in an email to a list of recipients for another Georgia non-profit organization. Was I ever surprised to read about Millville and the Maurice River! It seems we in Georgia are finally going thru what the NJ coast and farmlands have already been through. Keep up the good and hard work!

Thanks!
Debbi Davis


4/2004

Jane,

Hey there!

It's Larry Young, Millville Senior High School. I just wanted to drop a line to say how much fun I'm having using the Down Jersey Curriculum.

The students are starting to get into it; they are having fun realizing thatimportant places mentioned in the video are right in their own backyards, and that businesses affected by the wetlands are places where family members worked or are working.

Tomorrow we start our oyster discussion. I am combining the Operation Oyster and the Ahh Shucks lessons into one lesson over a 2 day period (maybe 3- I am in no rush!). The kids are grossed out at the fact that I am bringing in canned, smoked oysters for them to try (hum, sounds familiar?)

They will first be learning more about oysters, and then looking at the timeline and recreating it themselves. We will discuss human and environmental factors involved in shellfish decline over the past century and finally end up with the Ahh Shucks lessons and the cards and comic strips. It should be fun for them.

The only suggestion I would make for the curriculum is to check into adding overheads of some of the information, especially like the timeline that could be used by the teacher, and pictures and diagrams of oysters. That's what I am doing now, making my own.

It's a GREAT program and thanks for the experiences!

Larry Young
Millville Senior High School
Environmental Science


A message from Wilmington, NC

Thank you for the oprey platform plans!!!

My wife and I live on a tidal creek in Wilmington, North Carolina. We moved into the house in the spring of 2000, and watched a pair of osprey raise two that year. Then they hatched two and lost one in a storm, successfully raising one in 2001. In 2002 they raised two again. One of these seemed to lag about two weeks behind the other in development. Getting out of the nest. Flying. Successfully fishing, etc. We nicknamed him/her 'junior'.

Well Junior didn't migrate last winter. He hung around. This last spring he prevented the returning parents from nesting. It was pretty amazing. Junior would haunch down in the bottom of the nest and one or both returning Ospreys would dive bomb him from above. You could hear the 'smack' as bodies collided. One time I even watched a real kung-foo move from Junior. An adult came streaking down in a dive-bombing run and Junior jumped straight up, flipped upside-down, and raked his talons out at the attacking adult. He missed, but it was impressively aggressive none the less!

Eventually both adults would perch on the nest and just look down at Junior as if totally puzzled/disgusted. They finally moved on somewhere else, and Junior squatted in the nest alone all year.

Finally, hurricane Isabel broke the nesting pole off at the ground. We're looking for a 50 foot replacement pole, and plans to rebuild. I've collected 4 plans so far. I've got a pretty good idea of what to do at this point, and your plans helped a lot.

In addition to the box, I want to put a perch back up like there was before. Also, the original nest had a grounding strap running from the nest, which I assume was in the event of lightening. Do you have any comments/thoughts on putting up what is in essence a lightening rod?

Thanks again for your help!
Russ


In response to receiving our most recent CU Reporter Ginger Chase dropped us a line:

Keep up the great work. It's what makes folks want to stay here and enjoy our quality of life. Thanks, Ginger


Jane,

I drove up Sharp St., passing the dam at 5ish last night. I was pleased to see something I've never seen before. Above and below the spillway, circling and diving were 7 to10 birds, clearly being successful hunting the river.

The efforts over the years are obviously paying off. I've spent a lot of hours on that lake, over the course of 25 years, never seeing more than one or two ospreys in a given season. And here were a whole group of birds together. I was in awe.

I feel like it's appropriate to say Thank You. Without you and CU, this would not have happened.

Regards,
Joe Buttner

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