The Chatham Township Historical Society recently unveiled the latest addition to its Historic Marker collection. The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge marker is at the corner of Southern Boulevard and Hampton Road which is at the eastern edge of the 7,800-acre refuge.
The marker recognizes the grassroots efforts sixty years ago to prevent the Port Authority of NY and NJ from constructing a 10,000-acre jetport that would have obliterated Chatham Township and surrounding towns.
Two maps are included on the marker. One is a graphic of the proposed jetport runways and the other is a map of the refuge showing the surrounding towns.
Lia McLaughlin, Deputy Refuge Manager, commented in a letter to the Historical Society, "On behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, thank you for honoring the refuge with a Historic Marker recognizing the importance of the refuge and commemorating the inspiring effort that went into saving this special place. There would not be a Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge if not for the support and dedication of Chatham Township, the other surrounding communities, and their citizens."
The marker was designed by the project committee of Tom Salvas, Bert Abbazia, Martha Wells, Pat Wells, Kathy Woodward and other Society members, with graphics assistance from Sue Kessel of Chatham Print & Design. Sewah Studios of Marietta, Ohio produced the marker.