Monday, January 18, 2010

Dismal Swamp Conservation Area

They are not the two most enticing words to draw people to an area - Dismal Swamp.

But, the Dismal Swamp Conservation Area (DSCA) in highly developed Middlesex County was recognized last fall as New Jersey’s newest State Preservation Commission.

This designation places regional protection on this area that is known as “the Everglades of Central Jersey.”

In October 2009, Governor Corzine signed the bill at the Triple C Ranch which established the Dismal Swamp Preservation Commission. Assemblymen Peter Barnes and Patrick Diegnan, and the nonprofit Edison Wetlands Association (EWA) joined Corzine to form this state commission to preserve the Dismal Swamp Conservation Area in Edison, South Plainfield, and Metuchen.

The 1,240-acre Dismal Swamp Conservation Area is home to nearly 200 species of birds, such as the yellow-crowned night-heron, American bittern, and northern harrier, and two dozen species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles. A dozen threatened and endangered species also use the area, such as the American bittern, bald eagle, and spotted turtle.

The DSCA also provides natural flood control and wildlife habitat, while its forests produce oxygen, and its wetlands clean and purify water.

It is the largest wildlife refuge in the densely-populated northern Middlesex County, The DSCA holds United States Environmental Protection Agency Federal Priority Wetlands status.

The EWA is a grassroots nonprofit environmental organization that has worked since 1989 to preserve and restore the few remaining natural areas in Central New Jersey. They own and operate the 40-acre Triple C Ranch, the last remaining farm in northern Middlesex County, which is located within the Dismal Swamp Conservation Area. They have helped to preserve more than half of the remaining DSCA to date.

EWA recently worked with NY-NJ Baykeeper, New York-New Jersey Port Authority, and the Middlesex County Freeholders to purchase the Adams Farm and South Plainfield Holdings properties for preserved greenspace and prevent them from being developed.

They are currently fighting the proposed construction of a building on an environmentally sensitive area of land in Edison known as the Visco property, one of the last privately owned sections of “The Diz.”

1 comment:

  1. It's good to know that they're doing this. Bird sanctuaries in the heart of the metropolis are becoming a rarity.