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Saving Land

Arthur Kill Watershed

Northeastern New Jersey

Six New Jersey streams flow into the Arthur Kill, the narrow saltwater channel that separates New Jersey from Staten Island. The Kill’s tributaries total over 75 miles of waterways, including the Elizabeth, Rahway and Woodbridge rivers, as well as Moses, Piles and Smith creeks and their respective feeder streams. The 130 square miles drained by these streams in Essex, Middlesex and Union counties make up the Arthur Kill watershed.

Although the industrial shore of the Arthur Kill appears overwhelming, the watershed is predominantly residential with a population density over five times that of New Jersey overall and 75 times that of the nation. Surprisingly, this heavily populated and industrial region retains significant natural stretches along its streams and waterways which protect water quality, prevent flooding, provide habitat for a surprising abundance and variety of wildlife and offer public recreational opportunities.

Saving the Arthur Kill

In 1990, New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the New Jersey Audubon Society conducted an inventory of the river and stream corridor, identifying nearly 200 bird species including about 90 species that breed in the watershed. NJCF coordinated the Arthur Kill Greenways Tributaries Greenway Project and published Greenways to the Arthur Kill to identify priority wildlife habitat areas needing protection and potential greenways, linear networks of parks and trails that often protect streams.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation has worked with many preservation partners over the last two decades to establish a network of publicly and privately held lands along the Arthur Kill. For example, we assisted Edison Township with the acquisition of approximately 17 acres of upland and wetland forest for critical wildlife habitat protection. To learn more about New Jersey Conservation Foundation's preservation work in the Arthur Kill, please contact Lisa MacCollum, Assistant Director of Acquisition, at 1-888-LANDSAVE (1-888-526-3728) or

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