CivicStory is a cultural news site and producer of short-form videos about humanities, civics, and sustainability in New Jersey and beyond. Our mission is to increase the breadth of news through videos and dialogue about civic growth and constructive change. We bring stories of human achievement and community-building to public attention, report stories that motivate us to contribute to community life, and bring civic involvement to the fore as an essential quality of living a full life.
Training More Eyes on Water Quality
Careful sampling and analysis is crucial to maintaining clean water sources and cleaning up polluted ones, but keeping constant track of water quality across thousands of miles of rivers and streams in New Jersey is a daunting task - one that would be almost impossible to do properly without crowdsourcing the work to a largely volunteer network.
CivicStory spoke with Erin Stretz, assistant director of science and stewardship at the Watershed Institute, and Nancy Lawler, water quality program coordinator at the Musconetcong Watershed Association, about what it takes to implement and coordinate these ambitious volunteer efforts in New Jersey.
Dam Removal in NJ
Over the centuries, tens of thousands of dams have been built across the U.S. to control water for consumption, storage, energy, and recreation. Rarely was any thought given to the effect these dams had on the ecosystem - until recently. Now there is a growing recognition that many dams do more harm than good, and a growing movement to restore the health of our waterways by taking down the dams that we no longer need.
In New Jersey, a partnership has been formed to consolidate information and best practices, and to address the daunting task of dam removal across the state. The partnership recently unveiled NJdams.org, an encyclopedic resource that pulls together the locations, histories, and frequently asked questions about the impact of dams on the environmental wellbeing of the Garden State.
The New Jersey Statewide Dam Removal Partnership (SDRP) holds regular meetings and workshops to advance its work, most recently at The Watershed Institute, where Executive Director Jim Waltman spoke with CivicStory about the work to be done.
Delaware River Watershed Coalition
CDRW Director Sandra Meola spoke with CivicStory about the coalition's priorities for protecting and restoring the Delaware River. The interview was conducted by CivicStory's Media Manager Donna Liu at the 2019 Delaware River Watershed Forum, held Oct 16-17 in Allentown, PA.
2019 Sustainable Jersey Summit
Sustainable Jersey - the feisty nonprofit that spurs environmental action across New Jersey’s towns and schools - marked a bittersweet moment at its annual summit on June 14th in Holmdel: while celebrating ten years of remarkable growth and collaboration, Executive Director Randall Solomon pointed out that by the latest scientific projections, “we have the next ten years to avoid global catastrophe.”
Newark Call to Collaboration
What happens when over 300 people take part in more than 50 different conversations about how to improve life in their communities? That’s what happened June 6-7, 2019 in Newark, when Creative New Jersey convened its largest-ever Call to Collaboration.
Ecology and Economy: Resolving Our Climate Crisis
In this CivicStory forum, five panelists from fields of economics, communications, engineering, biology, and law explore such questions as: what is an ethical response to climate change, can news help us live better, and is “growth” always good?
Dr. Michael Taylor, environmental economist at Seton Hall University;
Patricia Canning, member of the South Orange Environmental Commission;
Allan Chernoff, CEO of Chernoff Communications;
Edward Lloyd, professor of environmental law at Columbia University,
Zahavah Rojer, AP Biology student and Co-Chair of the Horticultural Club at Columbia High School.
The forum is moderated by Susan Haig, CivicStory founder and creative director.
The forum was held in South Orange NJ on March 11, 2019.