Action Steps

Take one or all of the Action Steps below to help protect the Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer, the water supply for the Pinelands and most of southern New Jersey.

1) Take Action Now on the State Water Plan!

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a new draft Statewide Water Supply Plan on May 1, 2017. DEP has scheduled three public hearings on the draft proposal.

It is very important that this plan be accurate and objective! The plan is supposed to determine whether the water in each watershed is sufficient to meet current and future human and ecological needs, or is instead being over-pumped.

PPA and its partners have serious concerns about the draft plan and are preparing comments, which we will share with the public.

It is critical that the public provide feedback to the DEP before it finalizes the plan. Learn how you can take action now.

2) Paddle the Pine Barrens

family-canoeing-in-new-jersey-pine-barrensLet the aquifer float your boat by paddling in the Pine Barrens on the Batsto or Mullica Rivers with PPA’s Pinelands Adventures. Great for all ages and abilities. Guided and self-guided canoeing and kayaking trips. Remember, when you are canoeing or kayaking in the Pine Barrens you are paddling in water that flows directly out of the ground from the aquifer to form the creeks and rivers.

3)Volunteer to Protect the Aquifer

Cleanup in Wharton State Forest, Pinelands Preservation AllianceLooking to get outside and volunteer in the Pine Barrens? Join our stewardship coordinator Jason Howell  to remove potential threats to ground water, restore the damage, protect the forests against continued abuse, and promote responsible use of the lands. These work days are critical ways to protect against water degradation and habitat loss.

4) Tell Our Next Governor to Protect Our Water

Meeting with legislators about the new jersey pinelandsThe next governor of New Jersey can influence public policy to ensure the our precious water resources are protected for the future.

It’s never too early to let candidates know that protection of water and protection of the Pinelands is important to you. Act now to send a message to candidates running in the primaries this year.

5) Support Local Farms

local farms B&B CSA new jerseyBy supporting local farms, you support protection of open space and help prevent farms from being turned into housing or commercial developments. In doing so, you ensure that the aquifer can be recharged by rainfall and other precipitation. Farmers committed to conservation and groundwater protection are great partners in the protection of the aquifer and the Pinelands. Find a local farm or farmstand near you at Jersey Fresh or  VisitNJFarms.org.

6) Create a Jersey-Friendly Landscape

coreopsis jersey friendly yards native plantsGardeners and homeowners can get into the action this spring by focusing on adding native plants to their landscapes. A great way to help preserve our native flora — and our environment in general — is to plant native vegetation around our homes and businesses. Luckily, New Jersey residents have lots of beautiful and interesting native plants to choose from.

When you landscape with native plants, not only are you likely to save money and resources by using less fertilizer, soil additives, and water, you are also helping to strengthen the complex web of connections linking native species and ecological processes in your local ecosystem. Learn more about landscaping with native plants at JerseyYards.org.

7) Stop Off-Road Vehicle Destruction in the Pinelands

Illegal off-road vehicle use is destroying wetlands habitats throughout the Pinelands. These habitat are home to many rare species like the Pine Barrens Treefrog and unique insect-eating plants and rare orchids. The state Pinelands Commission has identified over 220 sites in Wharton State Forest that have been damaged by unlawful ORV activity. The New Jersey DEP has struggled to put an end to the destruction. However, the Pinelands Commission has the authority to ensure that motorized vehicles are used appropriately. Learn how to Take Action now and urge the Pinelands Commission to stop the destruction!

8) Protect Our Bays and Estuaries

photo of lawn irrigation

  • Reduce or Eliminate Fertilizer Use – Fertilizers used on lawns represent significant pollution sources for the aquifer and our bays. Change the way you landscape. Reduce your lawn size and use native plants instead. Learn how to have a lawn with little or no fertilizer. Learn more >
  • Be Water Smart Inside – Water efficient appliances and low-flow toilets can dramatically reduce your home water use. Learn more >
  • Conserve Water Outdoors – As much as 50% of water used outdoors for irrigation of lawns and gardens is wasted. Save money and reduce your outdoor water use. Learn more >
  • Don’t Be a Trashy Boater – Enjoy the bay in your boat, but don’t trash it in the process. Know the locations of certified clean marinas and don’t let a single piece of trash leave your boat. Learn more >