DEP & CUMBERLAND
COUNTY SIGN WATERSHED CONTRACT TO PROTECT COHANSEY, MAURICE
AND SALEM RIVERS
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner
Bob Shinn today signed a contract with the Cumberland County
freeholders to develop a comprehensive management plan for
clean and plentiful water in the Cohansey, Maurice and Salem
River watershed covering Cumberland and Salem counties.
The Cumberland County Planning Board will coordinate development
of the plan. The county will receive $400,000 for the two-year
contract and a total of $600,000 over four years to complete
the plan. The area, known as Area 17 in the state’s watershed
management program, covers 885 square miles in 39 municipalities,
including a small part of Atlantic and Gloucester counties.
The watershed also includes the Alloway, Dividing, Manamuskin,
Menantico and Stowe creeks.
"With Cumberland and Salem counties working together
with other participating organizations, the public and DEP,
we will produce a plan that will enhance the high quality
waters of the Cohansey, Maurice and Salem rivers. These
rivers and their tributaries are vital to the area’s environment
and economy and must be protected," Shinn said.
Commissioner Shinn signed the contract with Cumberland
County Freeholder Director Douglas Fisher at a press ceremony
The county will prepare a characterization and assessment
report of the watershed as the first phase of the planning
process. DEP had divided the state into 20 watershed management
areas and DEP is establishing similar partnerships in the
other areas for plans to be developed to protect all of
New Jersey’s waterways.
Cumberland County will work with planning boards, municipalities,
the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, the Delaware River
Basin Commission and watershed associations to establish
an executive committee. The executive committee will seek
input from other local groups and interested citizens in
developing the plan. Task committees will be formed for
public outreach and other technical and support work. Upon
completion of a draft plan, DEP will seek formal public
comment and review prior to adoption.