August has been National Water Quality Month and volunteers with the Friends for the Abbott Marshlands (FFAM) have been monitoring the water quality in some local waterways.
With equipment on loan from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), volunteers visit several locations weekly to test water in Crosswicks Creek, Watson’s Creek, and Spring Lake, according to FFAM. They began water testing in July and will continue through November when the equipment will be returned. While it is too early to report any findings, the aim is to identify patterns in the water quality when comparing the new data to that from earlier projects led by other organizations. For more information or to participate in this water quality testing project, contact Cathy Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website will report the findings at the end of the study. To see the results of the testing, check back early next year at https://abbottmarshlands.org/category/news/.
The Abbott Marshlands are situated in Lenapehoking, the traditional and ancestral homeland of the Lenape. These lands include over 3,000 acres of open space along the Delaware River in central New Jersey. Although a satellite view of the area quickly reveals its ecological unity, the land is actually divided among two counties, four municipalities, and numerous landowners. Crisscrossed by a canal, a railroad, and even a major highway interchange, the essential nature of the northernmost freshwater tidal marsh on the Delaware River becomes evident. It provides rich habitat for a wide variety of birds, fish, mammals, and plants. It is listed as an Important Bird Area.
FFAM is the only organization whose sole focus is the promotion and stewardship of the entire marshlands. Visitors to the unique, freshwater tidal marsh of the Abbott Marshlands remark on it being an urban oasis, a critical wildlife habitat in the Delaware River’s estuary to be relished and protected. The public is invited to join in this important endeavor. For more information, visit https://abbottmarshlands.org/volunteer-opportunities/ and come on one of the free walks.
FFAM’s efforts include a volunteer trail stewardship program, an active calendar of programs on marshlands ecology and history, and other community outreach activities including an upcoming biennial juried photography exhibition in 2024. They coordinate their work with Tulpehaking Nature Center in Hamilton, the Mercer County Park Commission, the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park and the Point Breeze property in Bordentown. The Abbott Marshlands Cooperative Stewardship Council members include representatives from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the D&R Canal Commission, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, Mercer County, and local municipalities of Trenton, Hamilton, Bordentown City and Bordentown Township.
The website, https://abbottmarshlands.org, provides extensive information regarding ecology, cultural history, archaeology, recreation, education and stewardship.