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Sierra Club Mourns Loss of Mark Becker

Date : Thu, 27 Feb 2014 10:47:19 -0500

For Immediate Release

February 27, 2014

Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

Sierra Club Mourns Loss of Mark Becker

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Mark Becker. Our hearts and sympathies go out for his partner Lori Charkey and his family. Mark founded Bergen SWAN many years ago, but was also a long time New Jersey Sierra Club member who served on the North Jersey Group ExCom for many years. Mark was an environmental champion who worked tireless to protect the environment and drinking water of Bergen County. I met mark almost 25 years ago and worked closely for all those years."

"On the last day of the Kean administration then BPU President Christine Todd Whitman approved the transfer of important watershed lands from Hackensack Water Company to River Vale Reality Company. They were taking hundreds of acres of environmentally sensitive land next to the Oradell and other Reservoirs allowing it to be developed. Mark and Lori led the battle to stop that transfer and preserve those lands. Because of their efforts the Watershed Moratorium Act was passed that would block the sale or transfer of land that was used to protect watershed and reservoirs from development."

"Even though the law was passed some of the land was already transferred. Mark and Lori worked tirelessly to save many of those properties like Emersion Woods and others. They were able to get Green Acres and County funds to save many of those lands later or the fought inappropriate development to save other properties. Over many years they were able to save most of the lands transferred for development. Because of their fight it led to public awareness about the need to protect watershed lands around our Reservoirs."

"The work that they did led to proposals to help protect other watershed lands around the state. We worked with them to come up with proposals for buffers to protect reservoirs and streams. We worked very closely to update streams in Bergen County to Category 1 to protect those areas. They worked tirelessly not only to protect lands, but to clean up the water going into the reservoirs."

"Mark will be missed, but his work goes on. Because of him people in Bergen County have cleaner drinking water and more open space. When you look at the Oradell Reservoir you see sunlight shimmering off of the water it should be a reminder of the sparkle that Mark always. He was a good friend and great environmentalist. He was a hero who will be truly missed, but his legacy of clean water will continue," said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator
New Jersey Sierra Club
145 W. Hanover Street
Trenton, NJ 08618

Received on 2014-02-27 07:47:19

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at

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