Oyster Creek Subwatershed
(includes Double Creek and Waretown Creek)
The Oyster Creek subwatershed includes:
- A small portion of southern Lacey Township
- Most of Ocean Township (Waretown)
- A portion of Barnegat Township
The Double Creek and Waretown Creek drainage areas are part of the Oyster Creek subwatershed. The northeastern portion of Barnegat Township drains to the Double Creek.
Lakes in the area are Horicon Lake and Wells Mills Lake. Oyster Creek’s tributaries include: Raccoon Branch (which feeds Wells Mills Lake), Cold Brook, and Stage Branch.
Much of the land in this subwatershed is either part of the Pinelands National Reserve, managed by the State of New Jersey, or Ocean County. Wells Mills County Park, for example, occupies nearly 1,000 acres in the Oyster Creek subwatershed. Lands to the west of the Garden State Parkway are in the New Jersey Pinelands. As a result, this subwatershed is largely comprised of undeveloped, protected land, and natural habitats. Most development here is located east of the Garden State Parkway.
Oyster Creek subwatershed boasts a wide variety of unique habitats, including freshwater bogs in the Pinelands, Atlantic White Cedar and maple gum swamps, freshwater creeks and lakes, tidal saltmarsh, martime forest, and upland forest. According to the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, wetlands comprise 22% of the entire Oyster Creek subwatershed (this is not including the Double Creek and Waretown Creek areas which are largely coastal wetlands). The diversity of habitats hosts a wide variety of plants and animals integral to the Pine Barrens and estuarine ecosystems.
Points of Interest
- Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education, Ocean Township
- Wells Mills County Park and the Wells Mills Nature Center, Ocean Township
- Barnegat Township Boat Ramp & Public Dock, East Bay Avenue, Barnegat Township
The Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education
The Township of Ocean, Environmental Resource Inventory