Maurice River

Maurice River
The Maurice River in Millville in 2006
Country United States
State New Jersey
Counties Salem and Cumberland
 - left Burnt Mill Branch, Blackwater Branch, Little Robin Branch, Parvin Branch, Manantico Creek, Manumuskin River, Muskee Creek, Little Mill Creek
 - right Green Branch, Muddy Run, Mill Creek, White Marsh Run, Buckshutem Creek, Steep Run, Peterson Run, Sheppards Branch
Cities Vineland, Millville
Coordinates 39°12′49″N 75°2′39″W / 39.21361°N 75.04417°W / 39.21361; -75.04417Coordinates: 39°12′49″N 75°2′39″W / 39.21361°N 75.04417°W / 39.21361; -75.04417
 - location Pittsgrove Township
Source confluence Still Run and Scotland Run
 - coordinates 39°33′00″N 75°04′16″W / 39.5501153°N 75.0710102°W / 39.5501153; -75.0710102
Mouth Delaware Bay
Length 50 mi (80 km) approx.
Basin 386 sq mi (1,000 km2) approx.
Discharge for Norma (Pittsgrove Township)
 - average 117 cu ft/s (3 m3/s) [1]
 - max 922 cu ft/s (26 m3/s) 1940
 - min 24 cu ft/s (1 m3/s) 1966

The Maurice River is a tributary of Delaware Bay in Salem County and Cumberland County, New Jersey in the United States. The river was named for Maurice, Prince of Orange.[2]

Watershed and course

The Maurice River, pronounced "Morris," is approximately 50 mi (80 km) long with a drainage area of 386 sq mi (1,000 km2).[3] It is the second longest and second largest tributary to Delaware Bay. Its watershed includes an extensive southern portion of the coastal forested wetlands known as the Pine Barrens. Its mouth on Delaware Bay is surrounded by extensive salt marshes and has provided an historically important oystering ground.

It is born at the confluence of Still Run and Scotland Run, beneath the waters of Willow Grove Lake in Pittsgrove, Salem County and flows generally south-southeast, passing 2 miles (3 km) west of Vineland. At Millville it is impounded to form the Union Lake reservoir, approximately 3 miles (5 km) long. South of Millville it becomes navigable, forming a 10-mile (16 km) estuary that empties into Maurice River Cove on Delaware Bay. The estuary is joined from the northeast by Menantico Creek, the Manumuskin River, and Muskee Creek.

Water quality and stewardship

The river is considered especially pristine for the region, forming a critical ecological link between the Pine Barrens and the Delaware Bay systems, except that the State Of New Jersey advises against eating more than 8 ounces of fish caught in the river in any week or month, depending on the species, for the general population and advises against eating any fish from the Maurice River for the High Risk population. [4] It is the location of one of the only stands of wild rice in New Jersey, and provides habitat for 53 percent of the species in New Jersey designated as endangered. In 1993, Congress designated 28.9 miles (46.5 km) of the river and its tributaries as the Maurice National Scenic and Recreational River, as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers program.

A local nonprofit organization, Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and Its Tributaries, Inc., is a regional watershed organization that focuses its work on the Maurice River watershed, from Willow Grove Lake southward. The South Jersey Land and Water Trust focuses on the northern portion of the watershed, from Willow Grove Lake northward.


See also


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