Community Impact, Waterways | South Jersey Land & Water Trust
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Community Impact

Land Preservation is an intensive process that makes a HUGE impact on our environment, but the process from beginning to end can take years to complete. The South Jersey Land & Water Trust carries out many other projects throughout the year that can have just as much impact on our environment, communities, and the people and animals that inhabit them.

Habitat Protection– One of SJLWT’s current projects involves protecting populations of Swamp Pink, which is a species of lily that has become endangered due to habitat loss and the fact that it becomes “deer salad” in the winter. Nearly 75% of the world’s remaining Swamp Pink populations occur in South Jersey, so it is very important to protect this species while we still can. To prevent deer from browsing, SJLWT and volunteers have constructed fences and cages around the plants in two South Jersey locations.

South Jersey Land and Water Trust engages in park, preservation areas and waterway cleanups.

Cleanups– Every month, SJLWT conducts at least one cleanup in a park, preserved open space, or waterway throughout South Jersey. These cleanups are open for any individual, family, or civic group to volunteer, and are often followed by a Nature Walk or macroinvertebrate assessment. Gloves, trash bags and trash grabbers are provided. Cleanups are always free events, and are open to children under 16 as long as a parent accompanies them. See our List of Events for the next scheduled cleanup.

Walks in the Woods– Every month, SJLWT’s Program Coordinator, Michael Hogan, leads a guided Nature Walk at a park, preserve, or noteworthy place in South Jersey. We have walked at such places at Batsto, Matt’s Landing on the Delaware Bay, Chestnut Branch Park, and SJLWT’s Oldman’s Creek Preserve, to name a few. Walks are free for SJLWT members. See our List of Events for the next Walk in the Woods.

South Jersey Land and Water Trust sponsors walks in the woods.

Macroinvertebrate Assessments- SJLWT works to train individuals to conduct macroinvertebrate or “MI” assessments on many waterways and bodies of water throughout South Jersey. Macroinvertebrates are the tiny, visible “bugs” that live in water, and they are categorized by their level of pollution tolerance. By determining the number of “bugs” within each level, the health of the waterway can be determined. For instance, if there are many pollution-intolerant species present, the waterway can be deemed fairly healthy.

Advocacy– As a non-profit, SJLWT can be impacted greatly by municipal, state, and federal regulations. Because of this, SJLWT often advocates for legislature that is beneficial to the natural environment, and against legislature that is detrimental to it. Most recently, the Trust has advocated for Wharton State Forest’s Motorized Access Plan, or MAP. This plan would significantly reduce the irreparable vernal pool and protected habitat damage caused by illegal off-road vehicle use. You can learn more about the Wharton MAP and how you can help by visiting our friends at Pinelands Preservation Alliance.

South Jersey Land and Water Trust is involved in advocacy for the environment.
Learn about water management from South Jersey Land and Water Trust.

Education- Frequently, an SJLWT staff member will give a classroom or workplace presentation on a variety of subjects, including watershed education, vernal pool identification, habitat protection, threatened species conservation, and overall environmental stewardship. If you are interested in such a presentation for your classroom or workplace, please contact the Trust’s Executive Director Christine Nolan, at 856-881-2269.

Restoration– Over time, stream banks can become damaged, unsightly, and even dangerous. SJLWT worked to restore one such bank at Wilson Lake Park that had been overrun by geese and their waste. By planting native plants, fencing off the restoration area, and allowing the new plant growth to take over, the lake shore was restored. Plant roots help stabilize the soil, thus reducing the rate of erosion and improving the appearance and sturdiness of the bank. The photograph shows the final result of the Wilson Lake restoration project.

South Jersey Land and Water Trust engages in stream bank restoration.
South Jersey Land and Water Trust constructs rain gardens.

Rain Gardens– When funding is available, SJLWT has constructed rain gardens at schools, municipal buildings, and office spaces. These gardens typically consist of a depression in the ground which gets filled with native plants. These plants will filter the water and recharge underground aquifers. Instead of allowing the water to enter the municipal water system as runoff, recharging aquifers helps to ease the burden on municipal water services, especially as population density increases and a heavier strain is placed on all municipal services.

Vernal Pool SurveysSJLWT has worked with NJDEP Endangered and Nongame Species Program to offer Vernal Pool trainings to volunteers. These trainings help equip volunteers with the knowledge to identify vernal pools, which are seasonal pools that provide important springtime habitat for many species of frogs and other wildlife.

South Jersey Land and Water Trust conducts Vernal Pool Surveys.
South Jersey Land and Water Trust conducts Storm Drain Labeling.

Storm Drain Labeling– In the past, SJLWT has organized volunteers to label storm drains and distribute information about watershed health. Storm drains were labeled with reminders to avoid dumping pollutants down the drains, since all the water and the pollutants move to the nearest local waterway.

South Jersey Land & Water Trust
21 Main Street/Auburn-Pointers Rd.
Swedesboro, NJ 08085
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