Salem County Waterways

Salem River

Salem River NJThe Salem River is approximately thirty miles (48 km) long and is a tributary of the Delaware River. The course and watershed of the Salem River are entirely within Salem County. Rising in Upper Pittsgrove Township, it flows initially westward through Pilesgrove Township and the borough of Woodstown, and along the boundaries of Carney's Point and Mannington Townships. It approaches to within 2 miles of the Delware River in Deepwater, a distance breached by the Deepwater Canal, which connects the two rivers. From there, the Salem River turns to the south along the boundaries of Mannington and Pennsville Townships, where it widens and passes Salem City, flowing into the Delaware River from the east, on the boundary of Pennsville and Elsinboro Townships. Game Creek, Mannington Creek and Fenwick Creek are its tributaries.

During the time of Eurpean colonizations, the area of the river was inhabited by Lenape.

According to the Geographic Names Information System, the river has also been known historically as Firkins Creek, Varkens Kill and Varkins Kill. The name was settled on as "Salem River" by the Board on Geographic Names in 1940.

Alloway Creek

Alloway Creek has also been known as Cotton, Korten, Monmouth and Roiters Run. The current name originated from the Leni Lenape leader, Alloes.

Alloway Creek is located in Salem County and begins as a river in Upper Pittsgrove and Pilesgrove Townships and flows west toward teh Delaware River above Artificial Island. Five tributary branches form the headwaters of Alloway Creek which flow into Alloway Lake, the largest lake in Salem County. Below the lake, the creek changes from a riverine to a tidal marsh and meadow estuary. Alloway Creek provides commercial fishing as well as recreational activities, such as sport fishing, hunting and trapping.

Alloway Creek provides the cooling water intake system for one of the nations largest nuclear-powered generating stations, the Salem Nuclear Generating Station.

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Oldmans Creek

Oldmans Creek defines part of the western boundary between Gloucester and Salem Counties and is a tributary of the Delaware River. Significant woodlands and wetlands in the area provide critical habitat for bog turtles and numerous theatened and endangered species.

Raccoon and Oldmans Creek Watersheds

Cohansey River

Also known as Cohansey Creek, the Cohansey River is a 35 mile (56 km) long river that drains approximately 108 sq. miles of rural agricultural and forested lowlands on the north shore of the Delway Bay. Rising in central Salem County near Woodstown, it flows south through Cumberland County, entering Cohansey Cove on Delaware Bay southwest of Bridgeton. The mouth of the estuary is surrounded by wetlands and salt marshes.

In colonial times, the river provided an anchorage for vessels approaching Philadelphia. In 1774, the small port village of Greenwich was scene of an incident similiar to the more famous Boston Tea Party.

Stow Creek

A tributary of Delaware Bay, Stow Creek forms part of the border between Salem and Cumberland Counties and empties into the Delaware Bay at the ghost town of Bayside.


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