Press Releases

Diegnan, Pinkin and Karabinchak to Highlight State Support for Dismal Swamp with Environmental and Local Leaders

L-R: Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak; Edison Wetlands Association Executive Director Bob Spiegel; Senator Patrick Diegnan; Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin Credits: Richard Green III
Credits: Richard Green III

EDISON, NJ - State Sen. Patrick Diegnan, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin, and Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak were recently joined by local elected officials and environmental groups in hailing a $200,000 state appropriation championed by the 18th district legislators to complete the scope of work needed by “Dismal Swamp Preservation Act” to survey the boundaries and properly enact the Master Plan for the region.

The money could also be used for access trails, signage, restoration initiatives, and educational and natural heritage programs.

“The Dismal Swamp is a living museum to residents of what the frontier of New Jersey was more than a hundred years ago,” said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “This budget measure affords the Dismal Swamp Preservation Commission the ability to properly survey the area and take a comprehensive long range approach to protecting the ecosystem of this local and natural treasure.”

Sign Up for E-News

“The future generations of children and their families deserve to enjoy the quiet and solace provided by our very own local oasis,” said Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin. “This grant secured by my colleagues and I will enable us to better protect our district's largest natural resource and increase greater public access for constituents to enjoy hiking and biking along the Middlesex Greenway.”

More Than 1,200 Acres

“Dismal Swamp is Edison’s largest wetland and hardwood forest preserve. It is an environmental jewel among my town’s many parks and open spaces,” Karabinchak said. “I am proud to help secure new state funding for this vital natural habitat.”

The Dismal Swamp stretches through over 1,200 acres of hardwood forests, EPA-designated Priority Wetlands, and wild meadows in South Plainfield, Metuchen and Edison and is home to countless different wildlife species and many archaeological artifacts.  The 9-member commission created by the “Dismal Swamp Preservation Act” was tasked with creating a regional Master Plan to prevent further encroachment and has regulatory authority over the swamp.

“The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs is proud to have helped make this state appropriation possible for this important nature preserve,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs. “Whether it’s for hydrological studies, environmental consulting, or integrating technology into the Dismal Swamp’s programs, the funding will be put to good use for current and future generations.”

“We have lost too many pristine areas of New Jersey already,” said Dorothy Rasmussen, chair of the Dismal Swamp Preservation Commission and Metuchen councilwoman. “The Dismal Swamp is the only natural area left in our area, and we applaud Senator Diegnan, Assemblywoman Pinkin and Assemblyman Karabinchak for tirelessly working to preserve and restore this jewel in densely populated Central New Jersey”.

'Breathtaking Natural Beauty'

“The 1600 acre Dismal Swamp Conservation Area (DSCA) invites central Jersey children and families to the largest outdoor classroom in northern Middlesex County,” said Robert Spiegel, Executive Director of the Edison Wetlands Association. “In one of the most densely populated states, this innovative Master Plan restores breathtaking natural beauty into our backyards; introducing central New Jersey families to their newest natural neighbor.”

Dismal Swamp provides a habitat for 175 species of birds, 25 species of mammals and 25 species of amphibians and reptiles. It is also home to numerous trees and plants, many designated as rare, threatened or endangered. Archaeological digs in Dismal Swamp have unearthed artifacts, including ones found to be over 10,000 years old.

Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald Rios said: “On behalf of the entire Board, I thank Senator Diegnan, Assemblywoman Pinkin and Assemblyman Karabinchak for leading the charge on this important environmental issue. My fellow Freeholders and I have worked diligently over the years to preserve additional lands within the most ecologically important area of the County. The survey will help us refine and prioritize future acquisitions.”

Freeholder Deputy Director Charles Tomaro, liaison to the Open Space and Recreation Public Advisory Committee, said: “This is great news for my hometown of Edison and for all of Middlesex County. The Dismal Swamp provides flood water retention and improves water quality throughout the area. I applaud all the partners in this endeavor.” 

"The Dismal Swamp is the hidden ecological gem of Central Jersey -- it is exactly the place we need to protect and expand access to the public," said Doug O'Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. "The places we protect don't happen by accident --- we need vigilant local leaders like Senator Diegnan, Assemblywoman Pinkin and Assemblywoman Karabinchak to fight for funding for our ecological treasures."

Dismal Swamp Preservation Commission members include Metuchen Councilwoman Dorothy Rasmussen, Edison Councilman Robert Diehl, Freeholder Charles Tomaro, environmentalists Walter R. Stochel Jr. and Robert Spiegel, both of Edison; Kenneth Sammond, of Metuchen; South Plainfield Councilman Robert Bengivenga of South Plainfield and Dunellen Mayor Robert Seader.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


New Brunswick Opens Cooling Centers As Temperatures Approach Record Highs

June 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - On a day when forecasters are predicting temperatures in the mid-90s and a heat index even higher, the city has opened two cooling centers for people to escape the heat.

The New Brunswick Free Public Library at 60 Livingston Ave., and the New Brunswick Senior Citizen Resource Center at 812 Huntington St., have been designated as cooling centers, city officials announced ...

Suspect Arrested with Loaded Gun and Marijuana in Franklin

June 19, 2018

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – A Franklin Township man is being held in the Somerset County Jail pending a court hearing after he was arrested by police with a loaded gun and suspected marijuana, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Michael Davis, 19 of Almond Drive, is charged with 2nd degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon,  4th degree Possession of Prohibited Weapons ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 14, 10:00 AM

Maplewood Memorial Library, Maplewood

Bag-of-Books Sale - Friends of Maplewood Library

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Girl Scout Seeks Donations of Craft Items Tomorrow

June 7, 2018

Hi, EB Community, 

I am Alexandra Gonzalez. I am currently a Junior at EBHS. I am as well a Girl Scout and working on my Gold Award. I am in search of donations and would like to inform you on the issue my project will address, how you can help, and why this is important. 

The project I am working on will be impacting the Special education students in East Brunswick Public ...

Rutgers Equine Science Center Annual Summer Showcase Scheduled for July 11

June 17, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — The Equine Science Center at Rutgers University is hosting its annual "Summer Showcase" from 10 am to noon  on Wednesday, July 11 at the Equine Exercise Physiology Laboratory on College Farm Road on the George H. Cook Campus in New Brunswick. The Summer Showcase, similar to an open house, is a FREE event that is open to the public and perfect for any and ...

Third-annual Juneteenth Parade and Heritage Festival in New Brunswick this Weekend

June 13, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Vulcan Pioneers of New Brunswick, comprising the city's Black Fire Fighters Association, will host the Juneteenth Parade on Saturday, June 16 to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth celebrations are held across the country to mark the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865. That state was one of the last locations to learn of ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)


A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...