Learning about Sustainability on an Unseasonably Warm December Day


Yesterday was a great day at  the prestigious Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association.

Kate Hutelmyer and Ed Difiglia, both from the Watershed’s Policy Division,  gave us a  tour of their new Watershed Center for Environmental Advocacy, Science and Education, a LEED Platinum building in Pennington, NJ. Here are some highlights!


Pictured from Left to Right: Ed Difiglia, Bob Sandberg, Faith Teitelbaum, Ray Pogwist, Jeff King, Laura Bagwell and Kate Hutelmyer


Renewable Energy

Solar  and geothermal technologies provide about 85% of the building’s energy needs.

Passive Solar Lighting 

What an inviting and sun-filled room.



Green Roof & Solar Hot Water

A vegetated roof reduces runoff, reduces  heat island effect, improves air quality, increases biodiversity, reduces noise, improves energy efficiency, acts as a fire retardant, and increases the longevity of roof membranes. SO much good!

….and the solar hot water is highly efficient.



Rainwater Harvesting

Note the “bird’s beak” funnels rainwater from the roof down to a rock garden and then a rain garden .




Rain Garden

Reduces storm water runoff and purifies the water as it recharges the  aquifer, and provides habitat.


Wetlands Wastewater Treatment

Using Plants, soil, and microorganisms to treat wastewater instead of traditional wastewater treatment  results in water that is cleaner  and it is also more effective in infiltrating water into the aquifer.


This is a Water Fountain every building needs!

Getting rid of your plastic water bottle habit is easier when you can refill your reusable water bottle at water fountains like this one. This fountain has saved 2,084 plastic bottles of water. This model is called the Halsey Taylor HydroBoost.



Plus more!

Butterfly House

Helping to increase the population of native butterflies, including the Monarch Butterly,  the Kate Gorrie Butterfly House is used to raise monarch butterflies and set them free each year.

Visit them during their butterfly festival!




Environmental Library



Education center with wildlife, too! Check out the corn snake, walking sticks and huge freshwater tank.


A model of the watershed – press a button to light up the streams and tributaries of the Stony Brook – Millstone Watershed



What you can do?

Solar panels:  Free and renewable electricity from the sun – our best source of energy. For information on solar, see:


Rain garden: A rain garden is quite wonderful – habitat and rainwater recharge;  it is all good. Build a rain garden today!  For more information on how to build one, see:


Stop using plastic:  Take the pledge to not use plastic bottles!  Also  take a plastic inventory of your home and lifestyle and see how you can reduce or stop using it. It’s everywhere,  polluting the watershed and ultimately the oceans, strangling and suffocating wildlife.


Until next time,  thank you for all you do to help the watershed!