Water: Quality and Supply
The residents and wildlife in Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland and Cape May counties are dependent upon the area’s surface waters. Marshes protect us from floods, clean the water and are the most productive vegetative areas on earth. Oysters, blue claws, stripers and other seafood species live in the rivers, estuaries and bay. Streams feed the ecosystem and replenish the estuaries with nutrients and fresh water.
The Delaware Bay, Salem, Cohansey and Maurice Rivers, Raccoon, Oldmans and Dennis Creeks and hundreds of other creeks and tributaries sustain the centuries-old farming and maritime communities. It is important to protect our waters from pollution. Many watershed organizations are working to protect these rivers and creeks, including the Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and its Tributaries, Cohansey Area River Preservation, Salem County Watershed Taskforce, and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.
The Bayshore residents and ecosystems rely on uncontaminated water supply from underground aquifers. The Bayshore’s growing human population is depleting groundwater supplies. The groundwater, wetlands, streams and rivers are interconnected, and the increased pumping has reduced the flow in streams and tributaries. In fact, over-withdrawal from public wells has lowered the flow of the mighty Maurice River. Protection of our water supply is critical for future generations. The U.S. Geological Survey has documented the impact on the aquifer of the New Jersey Coastal Plain in its Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4268.