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Saving Land

Raccoon and Oldmans Creek Watersheds

Salem and Gloucester Counties

Located within the Delaware Bayshore region, the Raccoon and Oldmans Creek watersheds are nestled side-by-side. The Oldmans watershed straddles the border of northern Salem and southern Gloucester Counties, with the Raccoon watershed running alongside to the north.

Significant woodlands and wetlands throughout the area provide critical habitat for bog turtles, among numerous other threatened and endangered species. Surface water throughout the area is shed into the marshlands and tributaries of the Raccoon and Oldmans Creeks, which serve as important headwaters that feed the Delaware River and Bay.

Two New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife properties offer the public an opportunity to experience the beautiful region: Harrisonville Lake Wildlife Management Area on Oldmans Creek in South Harrison Township and Raccoon Creek Wildlife Management Area in Woolwich Township.

Raccoon and Oldmans also features one of the Delaware Bay’s most fertile farm belts and includes many working family farms. The area is under intense development pressure. Farmland preservation is one of New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s highest priorities in the Delaware Bay region, which includes one of the last large expanses of contiguous farmland in the state. We are currently preserving many farms in the area with the support of several state and federal grants. Protecting the region from development is vital for the future of the region’s agriculture.

Saving the Delaware Bayshore Region

The Delaware Bayshore spans southwest New Jersey and is bordered by the Delaware River and Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and is best known for its vast wetlands and associated wildlife.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation has led conservation efforts in the region for two decades, starting with the publication of Charting a Course for the Delaware Bay Watershed, the first comprehensive planning guide for the region. New Jersey Conservation Foundation and its preservation partners have saved over 2,000 acres of farmland, wetlands and forested areas in the region.

The Delaware Bayshore is under increased development pressure due to rising demand for residential housing for workers commuting to Philadelphia and Wilmington. The Bayshore offers resting and feeding grounds for more then a million migrating birds each spring. The shorebird population that gathers on the Delaware Bay each May and June is the second largest in the Western Hemisphere. American egrets, great blue herons and other water birds typically found in the region are declining due to loss of wetlands and the development of shoreline areas.

For more information about our preservation work in the Delaware Bayshore, please contact Regional Manager Fran Rapa at 856-769-0816 or

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