Watershed Protection and Conservation
Water is a critical natural resource that supports essential human
activities as well as ecological functions. Shortages can have dangerous
and significant implications for public health as well as for the local
economy and for ecological integrity. In addition to reduced
groundwater recharge from increasing impervious surfaces, demands on New
Jersey’s limited water supply due to population growth and development
have greatly increased.
Mount Holly is right in the center of the Rancocas Watershed Management Area 19, the largest watershed in South / Central New Jersey. The North Branch flows through Mt Holly and is one of the most prominent waterways in Burlington County transversing over 30 miles from Ocean County to Hainesport where it joins with the South Branch and then flow into the Delaware Basin and out to the Atlantic Ocean. The entire watershed encompasses 360 square miles. The North Branch moves through a closed canopy forest of tall hickory, oak, red maple and tulip polar. An enormous variety of wildlife resides in and among the waterway from painted and box turtles, wood ducks, mallards, gees, deer, beavers, herons and kingfishers. It is also a foraging and nesting area for the American Bald Eagle. Pollution entering the creek from trash and non-source pollution has devastating effects on wildlife both within Mount Holly ad downstream estuaries as well as polluting the ultimate source of our own drinking water - the Delaware River.
The Rancocas is also a favorite recreational area and the Burlington County Parks System maintains a 14-mile Creek Canoe Trail from Pemberton to Mill Dam Park in Mount Holly. There is also an effort by the non-profit organization Rancocas Pathways to have the entire Rancocas designated as a National Waterway Trail.
As water is such an important resource, a major effort of the Mt Holly Environmental Committee has been to work on projects to help educate and protect the Rancocas Watershed. These efforts include:
- Development of a Water Conservation Ordinance
- Storm Drain Educational Murals Project
- Rain Garden Installation
- Storm Basin to Meadow Conversion
Links to all of these projects are located to the right of this page.