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L&B Reflects on the Legacy of Environmental Activist Jane Tousman

Jane Tousman, a New Jersey environmental activist who made great strides in wetlands preservation in Edison, passed away on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the age of 77 due to complications of a stroke. Jane dedicated much of her life to the battle for land preservation. Jane was known to be relentless and prepared; she did not fear speaking out for her cause no matter the odds, and she never pulled punches when it came to questioning officials on important issues.

Jane spent the past three decades fighting to preserve open space in Edison. In the 1980s and 1990s, Jane and other Edison residents created the Save Our Swamp organization, which battled over development proposed for that region. Since then, Jane tirelessly fought to keep the Dismal Swamp, a wetland area, free of development. She also helped preserve the Roosevelt Hospital from demolition, and brought attention to the Kin-Buc Landfill Superfund site.

The environmental attorneys at Lieberman Blecher & Sinkevich have had the honor of working with many of New Jersey’s non-profit environmental organizations and citizen groups. When the firm began working with citizen groups and non-profits to preserve open space and conserve environmental resources, Jane Tousman was our first partner in achieving the goals of Edison, New Jersey citizens seeking to save the Oak Tree Pond, a historic battlefield from the Revolutionary War. Save the Oak Tree Pond (STOP) was a citizen’s group formed in 2000 to fight the development on this historic plot of land. During the case to stop development, the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office determined that the site was eligible for the National Register of Historic places. Without the help of STOP and environmental activists like Jane, this historic battlefield may have been lost forever.

Jane’s passing is a true loss for Edison, Middlesex County, and the State of New Jersey. Her tenacity and tireless efforts to preserve valuable environmental resources will be long remembered.

For more information on Jane’s remarkable life and the impact she has had on New Jersey, please read here.

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