Water is top environmental issue of 21st century, Whitman tells Great Swamp gala

Former Gov. and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman
Former Gov. and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman



Protecting the water supply is America’s top environmental challenge, former New Jersey governor and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Christine Todd Whitman told an environmental group in Morris County this month.

“It is my belief that the number one environmental issue in the 21st Century is water; quantity and quality,” Whitman told the annual gala of the Great Swamp Watershed Association.

The event at the Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park raised more than $200,000, a record for the nonprofit association.

“What makes this organization so incredible,” Whitman said of the organization, “is that they’ve now gotten this recognition as a Land Trust. Because protecting the land is what’s going to protect the water.”

Here is more, from the Great Swamp Watershed Association:

Great Swamp Watershed Association Hosts Most Successful Gala in the History of the Organization

Former New Jersey Governor, Christine Todd Whitman Delivers a Powerful Message

The Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) announced today that its Annual Gala & Silent Auction, held on Oct. 12, 2017, at the Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, NJ, was an enormous success.

With over 400 community leaders, elected officials, and top New Jersey environmental advocates in attendance for their largest fundraiser of the year, the event raised more than $200,000; a substantially larger dollar amount than funds raised in previous years. All proceeds from this event will go to support the environmental stewardship, education and advocacy programs of the GSWA.

The event kicked-off with a well-attended VIP Cocktail Hour. Those who purchased special VIP tickets enjoyed a private meet-and greet with Governor Whitman, while other guests perused the expansive selection of auction items in the Silent Auction room.

The list of over 120 items included fine wines, hand bags, sports packages, vacation retreats and more. A live auction took place after dinner, with prizes ranging from helicopter tours, to catered dinners for 10, to a Hawaiian vacation.

“We are beyond proud of the experience we were able to provide our guests this year, thanks in great part to our tremendous underwriters,” stated Sally Rubin, GSWA Executive Director. “It was by far the biggest and best gala we’ve had to date!”

This year’s honoree was former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman. In her opening remarks she stated, “It is my belief that the number one environmental issue in the 21st Century is water; quantity and quality.”

Governor Whitman went on to praise the GSWA for their recent accomplishments, stating, “What makes this organization so incredible… is that they’ve now gotten this recognition as a Land Trust. Because protecting the land is what’s going to protect the water.” 

GSWA announced last month that they have received the prestigious National Land Trust accreditation. She stressed the importance of understanding one’s actions and impact on the planet, and the absolute necessity to protect and preserve land and water.

“It was truly a pleasure for us to honor former Governor Christine Todd Whitman for her 30-plus years of dedicated environmental work,” stated Ms. Rubin. “She is a proponent of the work that we do, and her message to everyone was one of unity; working together for clean water, no matter what your political beliefs.”


Gold Sponsor

New Jersey American Water

Silver Sponsors

FirstEnergy Foundation

Investors Bank

Normandy Real Estate


Whole Foods Market

Bronze Sponsors

Dixon Energy

Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP


About the Great Swamp Watershed Association

Founded in 1981, the Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and improving the water resources of the Passaic River region, from the Great Swamp headwaters to Newark Bay, for present and future generations. Through education, advocacy, science, land preservation, and stewardship, in collaboration with partners, we work to instill our communities with an awareness of water’s effect on health and the beauty of the environment, from source to sea.  The organization educates more than 2,500 school children, monitors over 30 stream locations, and holds approximately 40 public events each year.


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  1. And the very next day the executive director of the GREAT wrote an open letter in favor of the purchase by NJ American Water of a water treatment plant that is currently in public hands. Sale of this treatment plant will result in its almost immediate expansion, provided the DEP gives its approval. The effluents from this plant discharge into the Passaic. No matter how advanced the filtration more effluent means more contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) which are largely pharmaceuticals. These CECs are harmful to the ecosystems of the Passaic as well as the people who get their drinking water from the Passaic.
    Kathy O’Leary