Rancocas Pathways, 501 (c) (3) Managers  of
the Rancocas Creek National Water Trail, nomination.

Kayak Shack and Retail Market

  Pine Barrens Non-Tidal Canoe and Kayak Liverys
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Rancocas Pathways Inc.
Offical Applicant of the RCNWT nomination

Rancocas Pathways, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated 2 enhanced 
multi-use public access;
 promoting the nomination  of a Rancocas Ceek
Water Trail through fun, exemplary recreation,  stewardship, helathy exercise,
conservation and education.

Nonpoint Source Pollution

Nonpoint source pollution is pollution that cannot be traced to any specific source, find such as a manufacturing plant.  Examples of nonpoint source pollution include fertilizers, grass clippings, pesticides, motor oil, antifreeze, solvents, detergents, and a variety of common household products – pollutants resulting from our day-to-day activities.   In the Rancocas Creek Watershed,  50% of the pollutants entering the Creek come from these pollutants. Nonpoint source pollution cause a decline in water quality and harm the creatures that live in and around the river.  Contamination of surface water and groundwater also puts drinking water resources at risk.

Unfortunately, health these pollutants enter the Rancocas Creek watershed and Creek system with considerable ease.  Some are intentionally dumped, but most are transported by water runoff.  Pollutants “hitch a ride” on the water runoffs from rain, snow melt, and lawn sprinklers, and then travel to the nearest storm drain, ditch, or creek.  From there, the polluted runoff water makes its way to the Rancocas Creek, unfiltered and untreated.

Excess phosphorus is one of the most serious challenges nonpoint source pollution to the water quality of the Rancocas Creek.  Phosphorus is a naturally occurring element and an important nutrient in aquatic systems.  But, a small amount of phosphorus goes a very long way.  As little as one pound can stimulate the growth of 500 pounds of algae.  The green “muck” of algae is harmful to aquatic species, and more than annoying to recreational users of the river.  As algae and other plant material decompose, oxygen levels in the water are depleted, jeopardizing the entire river system and leaving fish and other aquatic inhabitants “gasping for breath.”

On average, 20% of the phosphorus in the Rancocas Creek originates from natural sources.  Human activity accounts for the remaining 80%.  Using phosphorus-free products – especially fertilizers and dishwashing detergents – can reduce significantly the amount of excess phosphorus entering the river system.  Please read the labels for these products!

  • For fertilizers, the label on the bag has a middle number that indicates phosphorus content (e.g. 10-10-30). 

  • Look for a middle number as close as possible to zero.  Buy that product, and support retailers who sell fertilizers with zero phosphorus.  Most soils in the Rancocas Creek Watershed do not require added phosphorus.  For more information on phosphorus in fertilizers, consult the Tips for Yard and Garden web page.

  • For dishwashing detergents, phosphorus content can range from 0% to 8.7% (8.7% being the highest content allowed by law).  Look for the lowest possible number, and if the label does not tell you the phosphorus content, beware!   Note: Recently, phosphorus in dishwashing detergents has been banned by law!

Individual behaviors do make a difference.  By keeping water runoff on site, and by using fewer of the products that compromise water quality, residents can help to protect the river, and save time and money in the process. Here are some more links to learn more:

Home Toxics
Maintain Your Septic System
Go Phosphorus Free
Grow a Healthy Lawn
Pick up Pet Waste