NJ Highlands Coalition Webinars

Taking our outreach and education initiatives online!

Since the beginning of social distancing and measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 the Coalition has been mobilizing to create and share engaging content to keep our members and supporters informed about ongoing issues affecting the Highlands. To this end we are offering a series of Webinar Presentations from experts and activists on current environmental concerns, as well as educational sessions on Highlands history, culture and geography.

All previous Webinars are available to view any time on our Highlands Coalition YouTube Channel


Upcoming Live Webinars:

Wild Carbon: The evolving science of trees, forests, and fungi

June 28, 2022 at 7:00pm EST

Breakthrough science is transforming our understanding of trees, plants, and carbon, right as removing carbon from our atmosphere is becoming a global priority. Can nature help us reach our goals?  What does the science show?  Join the New Jersey Highlands Coalition as we host The Nature Conservancy’s Dr. Mark Anderson for a non-technical journey into the tangled world of fungal networks, carbon sharing, leaf area index, and cyborg botany.

Register here to join us on Zoom


Previous Webinars:

Exploring the NJ Highlands’ Heritage

What is heritage tourism and how does it contribute to local economic development?

Join Dorothy Guzzo (Executive Director of the NJ Historic Trust) and Elliott Ruga (NJ Highlands Coalition) to explore these questions and consider how and why it is important to preserve a region’s culture as well as the artefacts that make up its history and unique identity.

During the presentation Dorothy and Elliott will share local success stories and provide an overview of resources available to towns and the public to stand up for their community’s cultural and historic heritage.

Beyond Timber; the Future of New Jersey’s Forests

How we manage our forests matters. Join old-growth forest expert and renowned author Joan Maloof to explore how different forest management options can impact the planet. Joan will also introduce the Old-Growth Forest Network, a national organization she founded to preserve the last of our ancient forests, and relate how we in the NJ Highlands can steward our forests towards old-growth and why that is important.

A River Runs By It: The Environmental and Societal Benefits of Riparian Buffers with Dr Stephen Souza and Elliott Ruga

Join the NJ Highlands Coalition with Dr Stephen Souza to learn about riparian buffers; what they are, why they exist, and how they protect water quality in streams and rivers? Using real examples in New Jersey Dr Souza will review the regulatory definitions of a riparian buffer, and explain the societal and ecological services they provide. This webinar will also cover the importance of restoring stream banks to enhance water quality and promote healthy aquatic life and fish populations.

We will also hear from Elliott Ruga, Policy Director for the NJ Highlands Coalition about our work to protect critical waterways in northern New Jersey. Following the presentations we will open the floor to Q&A with these experts.

Protecting Critical Resources in the Highlands

Tune in at the end of the month for a conversation between the NJ Highlands Coalition and the NJ Highlands Council. We will learn how the state is protecting the region’s extensive water resources, explore our vision for sustainable economic development, gain an understanding of what conformance with the Highlands Regional Master Plan means and the opportunities and technical assistance available to Highlands towns.

We will also hear from Alex Ambrose (ANJEC) about how an individual can engage their environmental commission and advocate for sustainable development in the Highlands!

Preserving the history of the Highlands with the NJ Historic Trust

The Highlands in New Jersey is characterized as much by it’s intriguing history and culture as much as its unique geography. Over the centuries this region played a pivotal role for the United States during the Revolutionary War. A highly productive iron industry catalyzed settlement in this unlikely part of the state and spurred development of some truly amazing feats in engineering. Evidence of this fascinating legacy can be found all over, from the eerie furnaces scattered throughout the forests to the mighty Morris Canal, and so much more!

Industrial Archeology in the Highlands with the Canal Society of NJ

The Highlands Coalition is committed to protecting both the natural and cultural resources in the region. The history of the Highlands is intrinsically linked to its future. Because of the NJ Highlands richness of iron, and the iron processing industry that grew around it and blossomed once the Morris Canal connected the wild heart of the Highlands with northern NJ’s great urban centers, the industrial age was very vibrant here. Hear the history of the earnest industrial enterprises that brought the first residents to today’s Highlands communities and contemporary efforts to preserve the artifacts to better tell the human side of Highlands history.

DIY Stormwater Camp with Chris Obropta (Rutgers Cooperative Extension)

Learn from Dr Obropta how and why you should consider developing a rain garden on your property!

Rain gardens are a beautiful and practical solution to flooding after a heavy rainfall and can improve water quality. A rain garden can be as simple or elaborate as you like, and can be completed in less than a day. A rain garden is a slightly sunken garden where water is trapped and pollutants are removed. In this webinar we’ll examine examples of different rain gardens and provide you with all the information you need to develop your own!

Creating Meadows with Jared Rosenbaum (Wild Ridge Plants)

Convert a lawn to a wildflower meadow or restore a field to a diverse, bountiful habitat for native plants, pollinators, and other wildlife. This webinar explores meadow ecology and creation, including site preparation, plant selection, seeding and planting, and maintenance.

Watersheds, Forests and Climate Change with Leslie Sauer (Author: A Once and Future Forest)

Most of our past ways of exploiting natural resources are coming under review as we face disruptive environmental conditions due to climate change. Fire, drought, flooding and mass migrations all are accelerating, creating even more.economic uncertainty. Landscape management is the low-hanging fruit of carbon sequestration and there is a role for each of us. This presentation will look at land management options in New Jersey, from better forest protection and growing existing forests to their full ecological potential. The object is to build on success stories in this state, from the past LIP program to the new Forest Stewardship Plan options.

The Morris Canal: Northern New Jersey’s Water Highway with the Canal Society of NJ

The Highlands landscape is made up of successive ranges of low, but steep mountains making transportation across the northern part of the New Jersey slow and tedious. Overcoming the differences in elevation between the Delaware and Hudson rivers, and the highest summit of the Canal route at Lake Hopatcong was a significant challenge. Something that could lift or lower boats much more than the few feet of a typical canal lock would be needed. So the use of inclined planes that could lift a boat almost 100 feet, were was developed and deployed, making the Morris Canal a technological wonder.

Understanding HABs in New Jersey

This webinar will refresh our understanding of what causes harmful algal blooms, consider the potential threat in 2020, and discuss different options to mitigate water contamination. Following the presentation there will be a live Q&A with Dr Souza.