Posted Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Major Battle in Morris County to be Documented in Film Co-Produced by Long Hill Resident

The new one-hour documentary, Saving The Great Swamp: Battle to Defeat the Jetport, will air on Thirteen/WNET on Jan. 3 at 10 p.mNarrated by actress Blythe Danner, the award-winning film chronicles the historic struggle to preserve a rural area of New Jersey, in Morris and Somerset counties  between 1959 and 1968.

The film centers on the fight that began when the Port of New York Authority announced plans to construct a huge 10,000 acre “jetport” about 26 miles west of New York City in a “little-known place” called the Great Swamp. To build he jetport, entire towns would be obliterated, the aquifer and wildlife destroyed, and a way-of-life threatened for thousands of Morris County residents.

The events that followed became one of the more defining environmental confrontations of its time – a grassroots movement that started in a local high school and a decade later required the actions of a President and an Act of Congress to stop the project. It also led to the creation of a national treasure – Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

photo of Jetport protesters at State House in 1961

Jetport protesters at State House in 1961

photo of a sunrise at the Great Swamp

The Great Swamp

photo shows newspaper headine about the jetport project

One of many news accounts of the jetport battle

Two years in the making, Saving The Great Swamp: Battle to Defeat the Jetport was directed by filmmaker Scott Morris and co-produced by Larry Fast of Long Hill, who is vice chairman of the Morris County Heritage Commission and a member of the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund Board.

The film features in-depth interviews with residents, historians and officials, and a rich tapestry of historic film footage, old
photographs and high-end cinematography of the Great Swamp today. Funding was provided by philanthropic organizations and individuals through Community Foundation of New Jersey.

Distributed nationally by American Public Television, the Thirteen/WNET broadcast is the first primetime showing to reach the public television audience in the Tri-State area. In 2017, the film was also shown in local public screenings in New Jersey and at film festivals. Among other accolades, the film won Best Documentary at the fall 2017 New Jersey Film Festival.
To see the trailer, visit www.savingthegreatswamp.com.