Great Swamp Watershed Association Honors DeVito at Annual Gala
Friday, October 5, 2012 • 6:51am
The Great Swamp Watershed Association held its 31st annul gala on Thursday night to honor Dr. Emile DeVito.
Each year the Great Swamp Watershed Gala honors an individual who is a significant figure in New Jersey’s environmental community. This year’s distinguished guest of honor was Dr. Emile DeVito.
DeVito is one of New Jersey’s most active and devoted environmental advocates. Much of his work has been done protecting wildlife and habitats stretching from Pine Barrens to the Highlands.
The New Jersey native and South Plainfield resident, first became interested in the outdoors as a child. His father was a landscaper and his older brothers and parents encouraged him to pursue his passion for science and the outdoors.
“We need to protect the habitats and make sure the sprawling suburbia doesn’t endanger them,” says DeVito.
Dr. DeVito has successfully saved several native New Jersey species from local extinction including the eastern timber rattlesnake and the barred owl.
In addition, Dr. DeVito serves as the manager of the science and stewardship at the New Jersey Conservation Foundation where is also develops workshops for teaching conservation biology and temperate forest ecology. He is also responsible for protecting more than 30,000 miles of open space through the state, half of which are located in the Pine Barrens.
“It is more expensive and time consuming to do restoration,” says DeVito, who campaigns for preventative measures to be taken to protect the land now, rather than later.
In the past Dr. DeVito has served as a trustee for many regional organizations including the Pinelands Alliance, the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust and the Rahway River Association.
The Great Swamp Watershed Association is a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect 36,000 acres of water and land in the watershed region of Morris and Somerset counties.