About South Jersey Land & Water Trust | Biodiversity Conservation
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About South Jersey Land & Water Trust

South Jersey Land and Water Trust DiGregorio farm.

South Jersey Land & Water Trust (SJLWT) works to preserve and protect farmland, open space and critical habitats within several counties in South Jersey. In addition, SJLWT assists land owners and municipalities in the often complicated farmland and open space preservation process.

SJLWT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect the land and water resources of southern New Jersey – maintaining and enhancing the natural, cultural, and historic heritage of the region. The organization works in five major areas:

  • Actively conducting land preservation projects;
  • Planning and carrying out habitat protection, remediation, and restoration projects;
  • Gathering data on area waterways to increase knowledge of their condition and water quality;
  • Providing education to the public and to teachers and schools;
  • Serving an advocacy role on land and water protection issues.

SJLWT provides a voice for the citizens of southern New Jersey in protecting and maintaining clean water and open spaces. We work to focus attention on the value of our region’s watersheds – our land and water, promote greater understanding of their fragility, and be alerted to threats to their environmental health. Our work is funded in part by tax-deductible donations.

South Jersey Land & Water Trust History

In 2006, the current iteration of the South Jersey Land & Water Trust was formed by the merger of two non-profits, the Federation of Gloucester County Watersheds and the South Jersey Land Trust. Both organizations had worked together for many years in a variety of ways, including conducting land preservation and education projects together and publishing a joint newsletter. Merging into a single entity was a natural next step, and the newly formed organization combined the missions of both groups into its singular mission, which is to preserve and protect the land and water resources of southern New Jersey.


The South Jersey Land Trust (SJLT) was founded in 1991 by a diverse group of citizens concerned about the lack of grass roots land preservation efforts in the South Jersey region. Working as an all-volunteer organization, the SJLT permanently preserved over 1,400 acres of land during its existence. The Trust worked cooperatively with government agencies, and was awarded non-profit Planning Incentive Grant through NJDEP’s Green Acres Program. This grant provided 50% funding for preservation projects within SJLT’s project area of Raccoon and Oldman Creek watersheds in Gloucester and Salem Counties.


Founded in 1993, the Federation of Gloucester County Watersheds was originally intended as an umbrella organization that would support and help establish watershed associations on each of the eight watersheds within Gloucester County. The individual watershed associations had pulled their organizations more closely together through shared programs, newsletter, advocacy, education, membership, and administration. Most of these organizations were run solely by volunteers, and found that their close collaboration helped them to have a greater voice within the local region as well as at county and state levels.

The Federation’s principal focus was on education and public outreach about water and watershed issues. In 1997 the first water-oriented festival, “WaterFest,” was held at Scotland Run Park, organized in conjunction with the Gloucester County Department of Parks and Recreation. The Federation modified its by-laws to enable it to act as a land preservation trust, working closely with the South Jersey Land Trust. The first preservation project done collaboratively was the acquisition of the Lodge property, which sits along the Mantua Creek in West Deptford Township.

By 2004, the Federation had published “A Teacher’s Guide to the Watersheds of Gloucester County,” with funding from Rowan University, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and the Watershed Institute of the Stonybrook-Millstone Watershed Association. This book provides extensive information about Gloucester watersheds and the threats to them. It is provided free of charge to area teachers. It is also available for free download by clicking here.

In 2006, the two organization merged to form the South Jersey Land & Water Trust. To see SJLWT‘s accomplishments since its founding in 2006, click here.

South Jersey Land & Water Trust Core Values

At SJLWT, our core values influence every decision we make:

Passion for the Environment: We have a deep and abiding passion for nature and it’s connectedness to humanity in South Jersey.

Stewardship with Care: Activities performed in partnership with other like-minded citizens and organizations are performed with the utmost care and respect for the fragility of ecosystems, and with respect for the culture and the lifestyles of those that dwell there.

Program Integrity: SJLWT programs are designed with every effort focused on a professional and practical approach with minimum impact to the environment and with adherence to accepted scientific standards. Achievable goals are identified at the project outset and progress monitored to assure those goals are reached!

Education: Most SJLWT programs are designed with an educational component. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff strive to provide meaningful information and outreach in communities and schools in the project areas we serve in an effort to further promote attention and continuing involvement in local environmental issues.

Vision: The combined experience, creativity and commitment of our Board members and members produces a vision that is based on retaining the integrity and uniqueness of our South Jersey natural areas for our children and for all generations to come.

Leadership: Encouraging education of citizens and students in leading the next generation of environmental stewards by action and commitment.

SJLWT Seeks Accreditation: Stakeholder Notification/Public Notice



Release Upon Receipt: September 16, 2016

The non-profit South Jersey Land & Water Trust is pleased to announce it is applying for accreditation. The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. A public comment period is now open.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs. As the public demands more accountability from government and non-profit organizations, including land trusts, independent accreditation provides third-party assurance of quality and permanence of land conservation. That is what the public and donors look for: public recognition of a land trust’s ability to protect important natural places and working lands forever.

The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how South Jersey Land & Water Trust complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. See the full list of standards here.

To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit the Land Trust Accreditation Commission online, or email your comment to info@landtrustaccreditation.org. Comments may also be faxed or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments: (fax) 518-587-3183; (mail) 112 Spring Street, Suite 204, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

Comments on South Jersey Land & Water Trust’s application will be most useful by Friday, November 11, 2016. Thank you for your interest, support, and involvement with the South Jersey Land & Water Trust during this process; we are proud to have the members, supporters & friends that we do.

South Jersey Land & Water Trust
21 Main Street/Auburn-Pointers Rd., Swedesboro, NJ 08085
Make a tax-deductible gift today!