TRENTON – A Senate Resolution sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton that urges the US Secretary of Interior to designate Rancocas Creek as a National Water Trail passed the Senate Environmental and Energy Committee today.
“The Rancocas Creek is a natural treasure nestled within Burlington County, one that serves as a vital ecosystem for the many native species that make it their home,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “But more than being an environmental jewel, it is also an important piece of Burlington County’s rich history. Once used by Native Americans and early settlers, it is still a destination today for many who consider it a recreational wonderland.
Rancocas Creek is a tributary of the Delaware River in southwestern New Jersey. Rancocas Creek has two main branches in the Pinelands National Reserve, the north branch which is in northern Burlington County and the south branch which is in central Burlington County. Rancocas Creek is one of the most prominent and important waterways in Burlington County. The supported Native Americans and European settlers for centuries by providing a means of transportation, commerce, industry and recreation. Today, the creek can be classified as a water trail as it provides both conservation and recreational opportunities.
The creek affords many people the opportunity to enjoy natural settings, recreational water access, picnic facilities and play areas, and is home to a variety of wildlife including painted and box turtles, white-tailed deer, beavers, herons, kingfishers, wood ducks, mallards and Canada geese.
The National Water Trails System (NWTS) is a distinctive national network of exemplary water trails that are cooperatively supported and sustained through federal, state, local, and nonprofit entities. The NWTS was established to protect and restore America’s rivers, shorelines, and waterways, and conserve natural areas along waterways and increase access to outdoor recreation on shorelines and waterways.
“By designating the Rancocas Creek as a National Water Trail, we are sending a clear message that this waterway is invaluable to both our county and our state,” continued Singleton.
The resolution, SR-99, was released from committee by a vote of 5-0, and next heads to the full Senate for further consideration.