In 2000, the Great Egg Harbor Watershed Effort was launched to preserve and protect our regions main watershed. The Great Egg Harbor Watershed, also know as Area #15, spans a vast portion of Atlantic County and constitutes a valuable natural resource. Despite the loss of DEP funding for the program in 2003, Atlantic County continues to remain active through relationships with the Great Egg Harbor Watershed Association and the NJDEP. Protection of the Great Egg Harbor Watershed remains a high priority and the County continues to expend significant money to acquire lands in this particular area for various uses.
Following the conclusion of the targeted watershed planning effort in 2003, Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson established the Atlantic County Groundwater Advisory Board and also designated the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) as the lead agency for the study of County groundwater issues. Subsequently, Atlantic County Government supported the reallocation of approximately $167,000 in watershed funds towards the water conservation campaign proposed by the Atlantic County Utilities Authority. Shortly afterwards, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection authorizedthe reallocation of funds and the ACUA began their “Water – Use It Wisely” campaign which ran throughout 2005. The ACUA’s Water – Use It Wisely program included numerous educational workshops throughout the spring of 2005. These seminars aimed to introduce County residents to practical water conservation methods and also further public awareness of various issues related to water consumption.
Our vision for the Great Egg Harbor Watershed is a varied community of recreation, agriculture, commercial and residential uses sharing a clean environment. This shall be accomplished with the greatest respect and consideration given to the water resources, both surface and groundwater, in order to preserve and sustain our watershed's special status and health, enhance natural habitats while balancing the needs of the communities and improving our quality of life. Management of the Great Egg Harbor Watershed will be based on the best understanding of the scientific and cultural aspects of the watershed, in view of what was, what is and what is needed for the future. (Created with input from all of the focus group participants and finalized by the by the Steering Committee at their July 11, 2001 meeting)
The watershed's dominate land use is forests, with the remainder agricultural and developed. Population centers include Berlin, Winslow, Monroe, Mays Landing and Egg Harbor Township. The major tributaries are Hospitality Branch, Watering Race, Babcock Creek, Deep Run, South River and Stephens Creek. There are many lakes and ponds in this area, but the largest is Lake Lenape, near Mays Landing. Of the approximately 12 NJPDES permitted dischargers here, about half are municipal and half are industrial/commercial. Waters in the Great Egg Harbor watershed are classified FW-2 Nontrout, Pinelands Waters, FW-1 and SE-1.
The Great Egg Harbor River is 49 miles long and drains an area of 304 square miles. It originates in eastern Gloucester and Camden Counties, an agricultural and suburban area, before flowing through the Pinelands region. The river drains into Great Egg Harbor Bay before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. The river is tidal downstream of the dam at Mays Landing.
For more information on the activities of the Great Egg Harbor River planning effort please call Robert Lindaw of the Atlantic County Division of Planning at (609) 645-5898, Extension 4435 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watershed Management Area #15, as it is known, is shown on the map below and covers most of Atlantic County and portions of Camden, Gloucester, Cumberland and Cape May counties.
The watershed management area includes watersheds draining to Great Egg Harbor Bay in Atlantic County. The management area encompasses waters draining eastern Gloucester and Camden Counties. The area includes the following watersheds:
Great Egg Harbor River
Tuckahoe River Absecon Creek