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SOD Responds To Riverkeeper's Support of United Water Property Development

Disappointed that the Hackensack Riverkeeper supports development on the United Water property, SOD speaks out.

The Executive Board of Stop Overdevelopment has been aware of the Riverkeeper's (Bill Sheehan) support for the proposed development of the United Water property in New Milford. We were very disappointed that before getting the full story of SOD's opposition to the project, he went public by publishing an editorial in his seasonal newsletter supporting converting what is now open space into a highly developed mixed use complex. 

After reading the editorial in which our position was completely misrepresented, we tried to arrange a meeting through a third party who has long and positive dealings with him to discuss what we believe are glaring misstatements and a complete misunderstanding of the situation in New Milford. Instead of answering our request for a meeting he has gone public with his ridiculous conclusions.  

How anyone who purports to represent the best interests of the environment surrounding the Hackensack River can give a ringing endorsement to this flawed and dangerous plan is beyond our understanding. From the very beginning of our organization's existence, we were told that Mr. Sheehan's donors include the Inserra and Hekemian entities and that we should not expect to receive his support. 

While we were shocked by this information, we never expected him to become their mouthpiece for this project. I tried to find the list of his donors on the Riverkeeper's website, but conveniently, the list is no longer available online.  One thing is certain, his comments were not based on anything more than the developer's and property owner's propaganda. He cares nothing for New Milford, its residents and its environmental health.   

I urge all of The Patch's regular followers to email The Riverkeeper at info@hackensackriverkeeper.org or call 201-968-0808 to register your disapproval of his position and out and out disregard for his own mission statement, which says: "The primary Mission of Hackensack Riverkeeper, Inc. is to provide representation for the natural living resources of the Hackensack River. This representation is manifested in Hackensack Riverkeeper's environmental advocacy, education and conservation programs. The focus of Hackensack Riverkeeper, Inc. is to protect and defend the environmental quality of the eco-system of the estuary, river and watershed and the quality of life for the people and other creatures that inhabit the Hackensack River watershed." 

Miriam Pickett

Executive Director, Stop Overdevelopment

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