In December 1959, the powerful Port of New York Authority announced plans to build a 10,000 acre jetport right here in the Great Swamp. If you have visited the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, then you know the Port Authority was not successful, but that was due to a grassroots movement that is a model for citizen action today.
Saving the Great Swamp: Battle to Defeat the Jetport is a new one-hour documentary which will have its broadcast premiere on NJTV on November 15, 2017 at 8:00 pm. The film, produced by award-winning filmmaker Scott Morris and co-produced by Larry Fast, documents the story of the fight to save the Great Swamp. Local citizens banded together to stop the Port Authority’s jetport plans. They galvanized area residents and focused national public attention on the battle. They wrote letters, presented public programs, lobbied legislators and Congress, and raised a million dollars to purchase nearly 3,000 acres, which was donated to the U.S. Department of the Interior to become the nucleus of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The film brings the story of this epic battle to life. It includes in-depth interviews with residents, historians, and officials (including Bill Koch, retired Refuge Manager), as well as fascinating historic film footage and old photographs, complemented by high-end cinematography of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge today.
The Friends of Great Swamp NWR anticipate having copies of the DVD for sale later this fall and, thanks to a generous donation from Producer Scott Morris, we are selling the full-size poster publicizing the film for $10.00. Visit the Friends Nature Shop in the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center.
Saving the Great Swamp: Battle to Defeat the Jetport
Wednesday, November 15, 2017, NJTV, 8 pm
Produced and Directed by Scott Morris, Co-produced by Larry Fast, Narrated by Blythe Danner.
Winner Best Documentary, New Jersey Film Festival, Fall 2017.
Find more information at: www.savingthegreatswamp.com.
October 8 – 14, 2017
Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Join us for guided Sunset Walks, a unique birding event, and a special Second Sunday program.
Sunset Walks every night!
Sunday, October 8 – Saturday, October 14, 5:30 pm – dark. Meet at Bluebird Parking Lot, 197 Pleasant Plains Road.
Easy guided walk on service roads to watch flock after flock of migrating ducks descend into the Refuge pools to spend the night. It’s awesome. Easy walk on service roads.
Special Photographer Sunset Walk
Thursday, October 12, 4:45 pm – dark. Meet at Bluebird Parking Lot, 197 Pleasant Plains Road.
Get out to the impoundments and set up your cameras early. Reservations required: Call 973-425-9510 to sign up.
The Big Sit!
Sunday, October 8, during Refuge hours. Meet at the Overlook on Pleasant Plains Road.
Volunteers will be counting all the bird species seen or heard from the Overlook Parking Lot. Stop by any time to learn more about birds and bird identification, or to help with the count. For beginning or experienced birders. It’s a great way to learn and to participate in citizen science.
Second Sunday – Fall Birding Identification
Sunday, October 8, 1:30 – 3:00
Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center
Volunteer Corinne Errico will take us through the basics of bird identification during this indoor program, followed by an optional walk to join The Big Sit and practice our skills. For all ages. Bring your bincoulars or borrow ours. Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center.
The days are getting shorter – and cooler – signals that fall migration is getting into full swing. Each year, during the second full week of October, wildlife refuges around the country celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week, a time to visit and learn about a wildlife refuge near your home. Fall is a great time to visit Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Spend some time at the Wildlife Observation Center or at the Overlook to enjoy the fall season and the many migrating birds. Stop by the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center to find out what birds have been reported – or to report your sightings. Take advantage of our free public events. In signing the original National Wildlife Refuge Week proclamation in 1995, former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Mollie Beattie remarked: “It’s a time for all Americans to learn about and celebrate this magnificent collection of lands we as a people have set aside for wildlife.” Come celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week at your national wildlife refuge.
The winners of the 2017 Photo Contest were announced at the 18th annual Great Swamp Fall Festival on September 16, 2017. We received 193 entries – a new record high. Thank you to all of the 47 photographers who participated in our contest and congratulations to our winners. Our Photo Library now contains more than 1,000 Great Swamp NWR images – an invaluable collection for publications, websites, publicity, videos and more. This resource is used by the Friends, the Refuge, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Thank you to everyone who has contributed over the years to this incredible, rich and diverse library.
You can view the winning photographs on our Photo Contest Winners page.
1st Place—Jim Duffy
2nd Place—Carol Duffy
Honorable Mention—Chuck Hantis
1st Place—Carol Duffy
2nd Place—Maureen Duffy
Honorable Mention—Jim Duffy
1st Place—Jim Duffy
2nd Place—Susan Neufeld
Honorable Mention—Susan Hunt
1st Place—Carol Duffy
2nd Place—Jim Duffy
Honorable Mention—Richard Harris
1st Place—Justine Wang
Honorable Mention—Madison Kenny
Honorable Mention—Caitlin Moy
Honorable Mention—Delaney Moynihan
Honorable Mention – Teresa O’Neill
Honorable Mention – Beth Polito
Thank you to our judges Jim Gilbert, professional wildlife photographer, and Bill Koch, retired Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Manager.
The 2018 contest has begun! The deadline is June 30, 2018.
The entry form will be available soon. In the meantime, come on over to Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, bring your camera, and start snapping!
National Wildlife Refuge Week – Special Evening Just For Photographers – Thursday, October 12
This year, we will again have a special Sunset Walk during National Wildlife Refuge Week just for photographers. The walk will start promptly at 4:45 p.m. from the Bluebird Parking Lot. We’ll walk to the impoundment pools where you will have time to set up your equipment early. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 973-425-9510 to register.