The Passaic River has seen better days. When my father was a boy he actually swam in the river when he was growing up in Passaic. He had many fond memories of cooling off in the river with his friends on those hot, humid summer days. Of course, this was way before the 1960s and 1970s when manufacturers along the lower half were pretty much given a green light to dump whatever they wanted into the river. I remember in the early 80s my father driving us to where he grew up to show us where he used to live. The river, now brown and filled with trash, was a sad sight.
There are still many nice places along the river, mostly in the upper half, in places like the Great Swamp and the Morristown National Historical Park. Visiting The Great Falls in Paterson always leaves me in awe.
There are on going clean up efforts in place, but is it too late?
NPR’s Art Silverman recently returned to the river that he grew up nearby while a boy in Livingston. You can check out his excellent piece here.
Visit The Passaic River Coalition to see how you can do your part.
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