Conservation on the RCWT focus is on “resource metrics”, multi-use analytics, and other areas such as: water, forests, timber, agriculture, air, noise, soil, view-sheds and energy.
Water – Clean water is the crux of life. On the Rancocas the benchmark is traced to around 1900 when a typhoid epidemic broke out along the Creek. Local communities were dumping raw sewage into the Creek from where they also drew drinking water. We have come a long way baby…More remains to be accomplished. Don’t Dump in the Creek. Consider this….The NJ Dept of Health posts regular advisory’s and warnings for not eating fish caught in the Rancocas Creek. That along should tell you that much more remains. Pathways encourages all folks to think along the lines, that water is our common ground.
Forests and timber. As you paddle down through the Pines and out into the tidal reaches you look around and above you and you majestic stands of woodlands and forests whose shadows cast long on the Creek. You see numerous blowdowns and tree’s pushed over. You see wildlife, hawks, owls, woodpeckers and other critters. You see folks collecting dead timber for firewood, heat and warmth.
Agriculture and the Rancocas Creek are sisters. 1600’s to present. If you can check out the seasonal farm stands and the Burlington County Agriculture Center found throughout the Rancocas Creek Watershed. Yet w farming and its stepchild development comes impacts. Storm-water run off, lawn fertilizers, erosion, and more.
Air is an issue for conservation ? Indeed you can when out paddling smell the sweet wafting perfumed scents of Creek front flowers and tree’s. You can smell exhaust of motorized craft. Pathways encourages all users of the Rancocas to keep and maintain their equipment and vessels to the best condition feasible. Mt. Holly Motorsports is located up in Vincentown on the South Branch, down at the mouth 4 different marina’s and Dredge Harbor boat works. Take advantage to keep your machines clean.
Noise you think banish motorized craft and jet-skis…. Hold yer horses. Folks out paddling who yell, scream, hoot and otherwise not considerate of others need to think first about ones own behaviors before castings stones at others. It is a difficult issue to talk of noise when in the background of ones paddles is the steady drone of the NJ Turnpike and Rt 295. However, paddle down. Jet skis and other motorized craft are part and parcel of the noise imprint of the RCWT. Likewise also helicopters and airplanes. Practice zen, Paddle silent, let tides whisper you along.
View-sheds….Big sky isn’t only found in Montana. Light pollution is an issue along the RCWT. Discuss w Pathways ways to preserve such expansive, vibrant viewsheds. Discuss w Pathways ways to maintain easements on historic viewsheds. Chek out the night sky. Find Polaris. See how the North Star was the guide star for the Underground Railroad. Take the time too d, as others did at Timbuctoo, look up and around.
Energy and the Rancocas Creek are tied together. 400 years the Creek has been used as energy resource by people and commerce. Maritime heritage, tide-mills, regular mills converts to today tidal power on the Rancocas. The question faced is how much power is generated by the tides that can be applied to landings along the RCWT? The question is also investigating solar and wind power. Can a combination of these 3 renewable energy sources derive power to be used cleanly and inexpensively along the RCWT. Power for lights at landings and for signs. Power for creek side buildings used as interpretative centers. Power derived using STEM principles. A snap shot of the South and SW Branch of the Rancocas Creek appreciates how the Creek’s waters are harvested for power that derives our heritage and today’s exemplary multi-use resource.
What Can You Do?
Lots. Encourage people to stop dumping material and garbage on the Creek. Enhance awareness of the benefit of clean running jet skis and boats. Encourage others through ones own actions. Set the example for others to follow. Get involved. Get out on the Creek, Paddle or Ski. Support local commerce. Come on out to a an Adopt a Creek event. Help spread the word the Creek is our common resource. Participate w the local creek community environmental committee’s and historical society’s. Don’t turn a blind eye to others, Speak out when you can. We are the advocates of the Creek. Act as year round stewards. Write letters to elected folks. Push to have creek-centric events in your community. There is lots to do, lots to see, lots to work out.
Contact Pathways for specifics on these and other programs. Support local commerce. Photo Robin’s Nest, Mt. Holly. Paddle down
Contact Rancocas Pathways for further information: