Welcome to Clean Water on the Move, your monthly update from Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund. Take a look at what our amazing staff has been up to and what is coming in the month ahead. Thanks for your ongoing support for our work towards a healthy environment for all.
ReThink Disposable Celebrates Plastic Free July with a National Webinar
On July 20, ReThink Disposable celebrated Plastic Free July with a webinar highlighting some of the amazing work being done coast to coast. Marta Young, our NJ Zero Waste Specialist and part of the national ReThink Disposable team, helped organize the event and breakout session. Over 200 registered.
Panelists included actor and producer John Charles Meyer, who is passionate about reducing plastic single-use disposable food ware. Director of Public Relations for California Parks and Recreation, Erik Allen, shared how he is switching the Park from single-use disposables to reusables. Recycling Coordinator for the City of Middletown, Kim O’Rourke, explained the significance of Middletown (CT) elementary school system’s efforts to switch to reusables. Finishing out the program was the Director of Franciscan Charities (Newark, NJ), Melissa Hillier.
The Newark based soup kitchen is in the midst of construction of a new facility which is anticipated to serve a hot noon-time meal to up to 400 clients, five days a week in a sit-down fashion using 100% reusable food ware instead of 100% single use disposables. Thanks to Marta Young and Melissa’s partnership, Franciscan Charities will be serving their clients with more dignity, saving the organization over $47,000 and reducing nearly a million single-use disposables annually.
Another Day, Another Warehouse Fight - This time in Upper Freehold Township
On July 27, Zero Emissions & Warehouse Organizer, Tolani Taylor, testified before the Monmouth County Commissioners on a proposed warehouse project in Upper Freehold, NJ. Tolani has been closely collaborating with impacted community residents like Public Historian Sue Kozel of Upper Freehold Township and Laboratory Manager Rick Jakober of Allentown, NJ. Together, we highlighted the following problems that this project poses: 1) building this warehouse would destroy the historical significance of the land - dating back to the Revolutionary War where the Battle of Monmouth was fought between the British and colonists. It played a critical role in the outcome of the war; 2) this project would exasperate flooding in neighboring town, Allentown, due to the increase in impervious surfaces and corresponding runoff, and; 3) the project would worsen traffic and truck volumes on the two-lane county roads, as well as create a tremendous amount of diesel air pollution.
Here is a snippet of Tolani’s testimony at the Monmouth County Commissioner Meeting, “The mobile sources of air pollution that is attached with warehouse facilities cannot be disregarded: Dirty diesel trucks emit nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and many other co-pollutants as they move from port to warehouse to delivery. They cause a wide range of health problems, including asthma, lung cancer, strokes, and heart disease. These health impacts are often felt most acutely by the most vulnerable members of our society, including children and the elderly and would further exasperate the health and well-being of overburdened communities as well. There are far too many warehouses already in existence and many abandoned buildings as well. Why destroy historical lands and impact overburdened communities even more? It is not a wise decision especially with the heightened magnitude of the climate crisis that is happening right now and progressively getting worse.”
It is important to hold all levels of government accountable to addressing the problems that warehouse development poses on communities. To learn more about our warehouse campaign or candidate accountability virtual training, being held on Thursday, September 28th please sign the following interest form here or contact Tolani Taylor.
Fostering Safety and Justice Through Environmental Collaboration
Clean Water Action is thrilled to introduce a collaborative effort with Weequahic Park Association, Newark, NJ. Together, we are seeking the installation of Blue Light Emergency Phones (BLEPs). This initiative was born from an interview and conversation with Wynnie-Fred Victor Hinds, Executive Director of the Weequahic Parks Association and a member of the NJ and National Clean Water Action Board. Her extensive experience and commitment to both environmental advocacy and community upliftment make this collaboration particularly impactful - a visionary concept: strategically placing emergency phones throughout this South Ward park.
Blue Light Emergency Phones, or BLEPs, are a public safety device typically found in outdoor spaces, such as campuses, parks, and urban areas. Recognizable by their blue light on top, these phones allow individuals to make direct emergency calls to a designated response center, such as a campus security office or local law enforcement. They provide a quick and easily accessible means to summon help in case of health emergencies or unsafe situations.
Safety, a cornerstone of our endeavor, extends beyond the immediate concerns; it embodies a sense of empowerment and security for every community member. Our proposal is built around the idea that by uplifting the community and ultimately promoting a relationship between personal security, communal harmony, and environmental health. To learn more about this work, contact X Braithwaite at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Autumn Toast is Coming up! RSVP now!
Join us! Become a sponsor, attend, donate a gift auction item for our Oct 14th Autumn Toast for a Healthy Environment. Great time, great music, wonderful company, food and drinks.