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Past Programs:


Tuesday Apr 13, 2004: 7:30 PM - Bound Brook Presbyterian Church
The Sourland Mountains cover an area of about 60 square miles, stretching from central Hillsborough Township to the Delaware River near Lambertville. Unlike much of central New Jersey, the Sourlands have remained largely undeveloped. There are impressive boulder fields in some areas, and plowing for crops has been impractical or impossible in much of the region.

Tuesday May 11, 2004: 7:30 PM - Bound Brook Presbyterian Church
Local History
Monique Rubens Krohn, Executive Director or the Heritage Trail Association will discuss the early history of the Raritan Valley and some of the wealth of historic sites in the area.

I case you missed it this is the 225th anniversary for the Middlebrook Encampment when in the winter of 1778-79 major portions of Washington's Continental Army was camped in and around Bound Brook.


What is the connection between vegetarianism and the environment? Megan Metzelaar, a New Jersey attorney and a vegan, will discuss healthy eating habits, vegetarianism, eliminating meat from your diet, and how vegetarianism helps the environment.
The D & R Canal:
Back by popular demand, Linda Barth has a new slide program based on her latest book "The Delaware and Raritan Canal at Work." See rarely-seen historic photographs of the canal, the mills, distilleries, quarries and businesses along the canal, and the vessels that plied the waterway.
Endangered Species
Julia Huff of the Environmental Law Clinic of Rutgers University presents a slide program about endangered species such as wolves, the big predators, and the changing aspects of the Endangered Species Act. The clinic is a vital partner of the New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Alaska Wilderness
We will explore the challenges facing Alaska and its magnificent wilderness with Julia Millan Shaw of the Alaska Wilderness League, an advocacy organization working to protect the natural lands and waters of Alaska, particularly the Tongass National Forest and the Arctic Refuge. After the breathtaking slide program, find out what you can do to help.
See her website at:


October - The Unitarian Society - East Brunswick
Population Growth, Economic Growth and the Environment:
Dr. Shanti Tangri, Professor Emeritus at Rutgers Economics Dept. will discuss the interaction of population growth and economic growth, regionally and globally and their impact on environmental qualitty. Pollution of air, water, and soils, weather changes, the health of the biosphere, and, time permitting, the issues of mass migrations including immigration into the U.S.

Live Longer with the Healthful Life Program:
Donald Louria, MD, Professor, Chair emeritus of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at UMDNJ will give a talk including the following:

  1. The status and components of the Healthful Life Program that will allow people to live longer and healthier lives.
  2. The results of a survey on perceptions of people about the future, and the relationship of the results to the issue of global warming - and what we can do about it.
  3. The status of certain dietary components that supposedly promote health (for example, green tea, the Mediterranean diet).
Links: The Healthful Life Project®

Fuel Depletion:
A NYC Peak Oil group representative will talk about Peak Oil issues.
The term Peak Oil refers the maximum rate of the production of oil in any area under consideration, recognizing that it is a finite natural resource, subject to depletion.
Links: The New York Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) at
January - The Unitarian Society - East Brunswick
The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge:
Kathy Woodward, past president and board member of the Frients of the Great Swamp will show a video and talk about the Great Swamp with an emphasis on the wilderness area which has 3 endangered species among the hundreds of species of birds, Fox, deer, muskrat, turtles, fish, frogs and a wide variety of wildflowers and plants.
Links:,, ,

Global warming:
Tina Weishaus will be our guest at the February 21 meeting. She has been trained by Al Gore's "The Climate Project" to give a slide show presentation based on An Inconvenient Truth and is currently speaking to dozens of organizations around the Central Jersey area on the subject of global warming. Tina will show the slide show and then talk about solutions at the individual, local, national and international level with specific emphasis on what is going on in New Jersey regarding legislation and political action.

Somerset County Parks
The Somerset County Park system is home to 10,000 acres of open space, and well on its way to achieving its longtime goal of creating 20,500 acre network of park and open space facilities.
Last year they celebrated their 50th Anniversary. Raymond Brown will give a slide presentation and talk about the wide variety of facilities, services and programs offered by the park system.
The Economics of Immigration
Dr. Shanti Tangri, Professor Emeritus at Rutgers Economics Dept. will discuss Immigration. Economics of Immigration is more complex than the arguments of either advocates or opponents of immigration. The magnitude, rate, educational and skill levels, the culture, language, class, age, and gender composition, as well as the health status of immigrants in addition to their legal status are amongst the factors that determine whether immigration is on balance a positive or a negative economic force. Additionally the short run benefits and costs of immigration may be very different than long term costs and benefits. A politically more significant issue is: who pays the costs and who gets the benefits. Finally the environmental consequences of immigration have been largely ignored in public discussion and must be addressed for seeking meaningful public policies to deal with immigration issues.

Although, the Sierra Club does not take a stance on immigration, they identify population growth as one of the main threats to the environment.

The End of Suburbia - Discussion
The The End of Suburbia is is a 30-50 min. documentary made in 2004 exploring the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. Are today's suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? And what can be done NOW, individually and collectively, to avoid The End of Suburbia ?

South Branch Raritan River Watershed
Ellen Cronan, Watershed Project Manager for the South Branch Watershed Association will give a presentation on the following:
  • Photo tour of South Branch of the Raritan River
  • Personal river friendly behavior
  • Municipal river friendly actions


September -
Food and the environment
Do you ever think about how what you eat, where you shop, and how you bag your groceries, impacts the environment? Paul Lennon, president of the George Street Co-op in New Brunswick, will speak about this fascinating connection between food and the environment. He will also answer your questions, offer tips, and handouts on the topic. This will be the Raritan Valley Group's kickoff program of the new season. Events are free and open to the public. Newcomers are welcome.

October -
The Raritan, A River in Recovery
Robert Spiegel, director of the Edison Wetlands Association, and Dave Wheeler of the same organization, will present, "The Raritan, A River in Recovery," about the environmental threats to the Raritan River, and conservation efforts, as well as the return of some migratory birds to the river. They have a powerpoint presentation, and will answer questions after their talk.
Global State of Energy
Don't miss this important and timely program about the current state of energy, both for the USA and the world. Speaker William Burke's background includes three years of activism in the Peak Oil movement, and he's currently the co-coordinator and steering committee member of PeakOilNYC. He was co-coordinator of the three-day Energy Solutions Conference in NYC in April 2006, and also helped organize the Petrocollapse Conference, also in NYC, in September 2005. In addition, he is one of the founders of Tristate Food Not Lawns, an organization dedicated to the spread of Urban/Suburban Permaculture.
"Wild Utah: America's Redrock Wilderness"
A multi-media slideshow documenting citizen efforts to designate public lands in southern Utah's spectacular canyon country as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. This 20-minute journey through redrock splendor invigorates and motivates viewers to participate in the movement to protect these unique lands.

"Wild Utah: America's Redrock Wilderness" was made possible through the generous donation of photos, music and words from concerned Utahns who wish to pass this heritage onto future generations, including narration by Robert Redford.

In conjunction with a presentation on the current status of the Utah wilderness movement by Jackie Feinberg, National Grassroots Organizer for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, this inspirational and informational event is a must see for people wishing to become personally involved to make the difference in this tremendous American public lands conservation effort.

See: Slide show preview at Maine Chapter, America's Red Rock Wilderness Act

March - at 7:30 PM at The Unitarian Society of New Brunswick, 176 Tices Lane, East Brunswick
The Highlands past, present and future Phil L'Hommedieu - A founding member of the Highlands Coalition has been in an active fight to save the Highlands from 1984 on. He will talk about it's unique geology and ecology and issues, past, present and future.
Highlands forests supply and protect clean drinking water for over 15 million people, including over half of New Jersey's population, and protect major water supply watersheds for New York City.
Congress approved the Highlands Conservation Act in 2004, authorizing $110 million in federal matching funds over 10 years. However there is still conroversy over administration and implementation of the Act.
See: Highlands Coalition (
  Advocacy Campaigns from Sierra Club New Jersey Chapter
2011: Rescuing the River: The Raritan
The Sierra Club Raritan Group will be showing of the public television documentary Rescuing the River:

The documentary will take you on a boat trip down the lower ten miles of the Raritan and give you a close and unflinching look at four notorious toxic sites to see how our rivers became so abused and why it has been so vexingly difficult to fix the problem.

The producer of the documentary Eric Schultz and other notable members of our community are expected to attend and share their perspective.

Other Potential Future Speakers

  • Patrick Hossay, Richard Stockton University Professor - The nature of climate change and discusses what we can do to help address this crisis.
  • Tony Borccoli, Director of the Center for Environmental Prediction at Rutgers U.,: Climate Ahead: Global Changes and local Impacts
  • Phil L'Hommedieu - A founding member of the Highlands Coalition has been in an active fight to save the Highlands from 1984 on. Contract:
  • Larry Niles, Wildlife Researcher for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ: The Story of Bald Eagle Restoration in New Jersey
  • THE NEW JERSEY WATERSHED AMBASSADORS PROGRAM - A community-oriented AmeriCorps environmental program designed to raise awareness about water issues in New Jersey. (
  • Christopher Aquila, Former Naturalist at the Duke Estate. Started Chimney Rock hawk watch in 1990.
  • Mike Strizki, Director of Advanced Solar Products and Chief Technology Officer of Renewable Energy International, has the only solar/hydrogen home in the Western Hemisphere in East Amwell (about 45 minutes from New Brunswick).
  • Brien Szabo - Photographer

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