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The Maurice Wild & Scenic River

December 1, 1993

Location: The 35.4 miles of the Maurice River travel through southern New Jeresy enroute to the Delaware Bay.

Outstanding Resources: Part of the Atlantic flyway, pristine habitats support endangered species and are vital to the migration of birds, waterfowl, rails and fish.

Management Approach: Local communities work with the National Park Service to identify and resolve management issues and coordinate planning.

Overview: The Maurice River and its tributaries drain the southwest portion of the Pinelands National Reserve, providing a critical link between the Reserve and the Delaware Estuary. The Pinelands Commission considers the entire Manumuskin watershed an ecologically critical area, with the vast, unspoiled Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer underlying most of the region. State and local governments, and conservation organizations own significant acreage for preservation purposes. The rivers and associated wetlands serve as nurseries for ocean-going wildlife, offering food and habitat for resident and migrating species, many of which are considered endangered. Each year, huge flocks of birds alight within the watershed to enjoy the area's natural bounty.

The Maurice River corridor is rich in natural, cultural and historical significance. Its tributaries, and the bay beyond, not only shaped the lifestyle and livelihood of the region's past inhabitants, but they continue to support the areas' economy and the lifestyle of many residents today. Early industries relied on the river water channeled swiftly into flowing mill races. Some residents built dikes so they could farm the often boggy land close to the river. Others worked in maritime occupations. Local ship builders provided vessels for fishing and for carrying local products to distant markets. The region's entire glass making industry emerged because of, and still depends on the sandy deposits found throughout the watershed. Cumberland County's heritage is steeped in the history of the Lenni-Lenape people, a nation that numbers some 6,000 inhabitants at the time of the earliest colonial explorations of the Delaware Bay region.

Contact Information:

Paul Kenney
National Park Service
200 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
tel. 215-597-5823
fax. 215-597-5747

Related Links:

Citizens United

Institute for Global Communications

More from NPS
on the Maurice River


Challenge Cost Share Program | Federal Lands to Parks | Hydropower Relicensing Program
Land and Water Conservation Fund | Conservation and Outdoor Recreation | National Trails System
Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers | Rivers and Trails Program | Urban Park and Recreation Recovery
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