This expanse of salt marsh along the Barnegat Bay is suited more for wildlife than people. The fiddler crabs, killifish and mummichong that use the small tidal streams and ditches and tidal pools on the marsh make a substantial food base for snowy egret, black crowned night heron, great blue heron as well as gulls and terns. Salt marsh brackish habitat, the ecotone between salt water of the ocean and fresh water from the mainland, supports one of the most productive ecosystems in terms of numbers of organisms it can support and the functions it serves to both the ocean and the land. Intense coastal development of manmade lagoons and associated homes impinges on the salt marsh environment. Fortunately, the salt marsh that remains continues to buffer the mainland from harsh coastal storms.
The salt marsh habitat is very sensitive to disturbance; even minimal foot travel can cause damage to the marsh vegetation. Understanding this fragile system, the Trust asks that visitors not launch boats, kayaks or sailboards from the shoreline of the preserve. Fishermen should understand these same conservation issues and respect the marsh and sod bank when casting for stripers or bluefish. Visitors are asked to show consideration for the neighbors and the community while enjoying the natural resources of Mystic Island. Hunting is not permitted at this preserve.