One thing we know about the waters of Newark Bay, and the Gateway National Seashore is that they are connected. Unlike land where people can put up fences or walls, the environmental disaster that is the Passaic River will flow into where the Hudson River comes into the bay south of Brooklyn, right down to Sandy Hook.
What happens upstream affects us downstream. Now there’s a proposal to dredge what one politely calls the muck, full of dioxins and other pollutants right at Newark Bay, next to the Ironbound, a part of Newark that always seems to get the short end of the environmental stick.
We are paying for the sins of the past. Even when it was clear that factories were polluting the waters, political and business leaders bamboozled the people into believing that pollution was part of the cost of doing business. That’s no longer an excuse. We must make sure that the future does not pay for our sins.
Prayer for the Day
Full of life, headwaters of the rivers begin their journey,
But we have ruptured your creation, pouring death into them;
As the waters flow into the bay, there is no life, O God,
For we have disregarded the gift you have given us.
In your mercy, forgive us as we strive to make whole
The damage we have caused as the result of greed.
In the name of the One who calls us to action,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.
Thoughts for the Day
A river is more than an amenity. It is a treasure. It offers a necessity of life that must be rationed among those who have power over it.
Oliver Wendell Homes, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1841-1935)
A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving part of the very earth itself.
Laura Gilpin, American nature photographer
When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none,
And their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them. I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry lands springs of water.
I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive,
I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together,
So that all may see and know, all may consider and understand,
That the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Isaiah 41: 17-20
Passaic River Basin