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Impoundment Study

Most Pinelands lakes are shallow artificial stream impoundments that were created for sawmills, ironworks, papermaking, and cranberry production.  Other lakes and ponds were created by sand mining and beaver activity.  Although a prominent feature of the Pinelands landscape, these water bodies have received relatively little attention compared to streams.  In a study funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, Commission scientists selected 30 Pinelands stream impoundments that represented a range of watershed conditions characterized by the percentage of upstream developed land and upland agriculture (altered land).  The purpose of the study was to describe land-use thresholds associated with significant changes in water quality and the composition of diatoms, plants, fish, and anurans (frogs and toads) found in the impoundments.  Each impoundment was placed in one of five groups based on the percentage of altered land in the associated drainage basin.  The five land-use groups were <10%, 10-19.9%, 20-29.9%, 30-39.9%, and ≥40% altered land.  The methods and results of the study, along with appendices that include site descriptions and all of the water-quality, diatom, plant, fish, and anuran data collected, are presented in Zampella et al. 2007.  Results of the study were also recently published in Ecological Indicators.