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


Police Issue Alert for Missing New Brunswick Girl

June 21, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Police today issued a plea for the public’s help in finding a missing 13-year-old girl.

Payton Tomesell, was last seen on Wednesday at 18 Abeel St., authorities said.

The girl suffers from anxiety and depression, and is taking medication, police said.

Tomesell is described as 5-feet, 9-inches tall, weighing about 120 pounds. She was wearing a white tee-shirt, ...


Piscataway – Michael John Doherty, 73, passed away Saturday June 16, 2018 in Las Vegas, ...
Read more
Toms River – Mary Stella Whiteman, 97, passed away peacefully Saturday May 19, 2018 in Rose ...
Read more

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-2019 and Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Non-Profit Organizations

June 21, 2018

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-2019

and Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Non-Profit Organizations

June 21, 2018  – Susan G. Komen North Jersey announced that it will award a total of 13 grants to 11 local community non-profit organizations in its nine-county service area for 2018-2019, with an increase in total program funding at 15% ...

The ESCNJ Offers Innovative Software To Strengthen School Transportation

New software promising greater speed and efficiency for school transportation departments is now available through the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ).

The software is the result of a two year collaboration between the Princeton based Artha Systems, an international supplier of business management software, and the ESCNJ.

“The software is unlike anything on the ...

Rutgers takes over New Brunswick police dispatch service

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University will provide the city’s police dispatching services in a move that New Brunswick says will cut costs and put an end to dispatcher shortages that resulted in officers doing the job.

The city’s 12 current dispatchers will be laid off at the end of the day on June 30, and Rutgers will supply dispatchers as of July 1 under an agreement that city ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, June 23, 9:00 AM

Quibbletown Park, Piscataway

Piscataway Township Paper Shredding Event

Government Green

Wed, June 27, 7:00 PM

Piscataway Public Library, Piscataway

Empowerment for the Job Search: Applications & ...

Business & Finance

Thu, July 5, 7:00 PM

Piscataway Public Library, Piscataway

Trivia Night at the Library!

Arts & Entertainment

Westfield High School Sophomore Dies; Counselors on Hand at School

June 19, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Carthoris “Carter” Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High School, died Sunday night, according to Westfield Public Schools and a letter sent to parents by Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson.

“Words cannot convey the grief we feel in the Westfield Public Schools community over the death of Carthoris ‘Carter’ Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High ...

My So-Called Graduation

The last of my children graduated from high school.  


My son and daughter threw their caps high into the air and cheered their liberation from one symbolic institution before contemplating their matriculation into other, much larger institutions significantly further away.  


Or at least far enough away that they won’t be needing rides home from ...