Part of the Delaware Bay Watershed, the Cohansey River runs 30 miles from its headwaters at Cool Run and Bostwick Lake in Salem County, through Cumberland County and into Cohansey Cove on Delaware Bay.
The 111-square-mile watershed encompasses one of the largest expanses of quality wetlands in the state. It is home to eight towns and maritime villages, including one of the Bayshore’s largest urban centers, Bridgeton, and two National Register historic districts. In 1774, the small port village of Greenwich near the mouth of the river was the scene of an incident similar to the more famous Boston Tea Party, in which imported tea was burned as a protest against taxation.
North and west of Bridgeton, the watershed is rural, dominated by farms growing vegetable crops. Below Bridgeton, moving south and west, the Cohansey River supports sizable non-forested wetland complexes. Marshlands along both sides of the river extend inland for several miles.
Riparian forest can be found along the upper Cohansey, north of Bridgeton. A contiguous forest patch envelops the southeastern corner of the watershed, in Fairfield. It is home to Clarks Pond Wildlife Management Area, the Richard Buhlman Preserve and Rattlesnake Gut. This area also supports an unusual plant community of water plantain and quillwort and the threatened swamp pink.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation has helped preserve over 2,700 acres around the Cohansey River. In 2010, the Foundation initiated a farmland preservation partnership with Cumberland County, which has already resulted in the preservation of several area farms.
For more information about preserving land in the Cohansey River project area, contact Fran Rapa, Regional Manager, at email@example.com or 856-823-1021.
By Michele S. Byers,