Watershed Management Area 17 includes the Cohansey River, Maurice River, Salem River and Alloway, Dividing, Manantico, Manumuskin, Miles, Mill, Stow and Whooping Creeks. This area includes portions of Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties, over 39 municipalities and encompasses 885 square miles.
The Cohansey River is nearly 30 miles long, draining 105 square miles of eastern Salem County to the Delaware Bay. This is an area of very low relief, which results in numerous small tributaries. Sunset Lake and Mary Elmer Lake are among 20 major impoundments in this drainage basin. The main land use of this watershed is agriculture, but much of this land is forested.
The Maurice River has a drainage area of 386 square miles and meanders south for 50 miles through Cumberland County to the Delaware Bay. The major tributaries of this river are Scotland Run, Manantico Creek, Muskee Creek, Muddy Run and the Manumuskin River. There are about 20 major lakes in this area of which Union Lake is the largest. The principal use in this watershed is also agriculture.
The Salem River drains an area of 114 square miles and flows 32 miles from Upper Pittsgrove Township west to Deepwater, then south to the Delaware River. The area lies within Salem County, the major population center being Salem City. Much of the lower portions of the river are tidal. Major tributaries of the Salem River include Mannington Creek, Game Creek, Majors Run and Fenwick Creek. Land use in this watershed is about 40% cropland, with the rest of woodland, tidal/freshwater marsh, urban and pasture.
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