The Pinelands Preservation Alliance

The Pinelands Preservation Alliance The Pinelands of New Jersey are more than just great spots for summer recreation. In addition to being ideal for hiking, canoeing, and camping, these lands provide the area with resources necessary for sustaining a functional ecosystem. Many are unaware that the Pinelands are home to the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer, an underground fresh water reservoir that contains approximately 17 trillion gallons of water. This reservoir supplies fresh water to the surrounding area’s plants, animals, and communities--making it crucial to protect this natural resource.

Protecting the water means securing the health of the surrounding wildlife, plants, and our own drinking water. According to the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, the Pinelands house 39 species of mammals, 299 Bird, 59 reptile and amphibian species and 91 fish species. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife has identified 43 of these species as threatened or endangered. The Pinelands of New Jersey are also a rich source of agriculture for blueberries and cranberries in particular. But who protects these valuable resources?

The Pinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA) was established in 1978 when the National Parks and Recreation Act “recognized the ecological significance of the New Jersey Pinelands area.” PAA is one environmental organization whose sole purpose is to “to protect and preserve” the irreplaceable resources of the New Jersey Pinelands.

PPA's advocacy work is focused on four basic themes: monitoring public agencies, especially the Pinelands Commission; protecting the water quality of the Pine Barrens ecosystem; protecting the water supply embedded in the aquifers underlying the Pinelands and sustaining both the human and the natural communities of this region; and improving habitat protection for the distinctive, rare, threatened and endangered plant and animal species of the Pinelands.

With the help of volunteers and donations, PPA has been in operation for more than 35 years. The organization proudly serves as an educational and action source.

For information about educational opportunities, contact Ryan at 609-859-8860 ext 26 or email ryan@pinelandsalliance.org.

Out of school, but still looking to learn and enjoy the great outdoors? The Pinelands Preservation Alliance welcomes members for advocacy, office duties, education, and special events. Volunteers are offered a special, informal presentation about the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and its role in preserving the Pinelands ecosystem. Individuals are assigned to tasks that fit their interests and strengths, and training is available.

There’s more. Pinelands Watch Network, an activist network run by PPA, offers a network for citizens to speak out about conservation issues in their communities. The Network prints six newsletters per year to spread the word about the most recent conservation issues. To take part in Pinelands Watch Network, go to their website, under the Protection tab, click on Pinelands Watch Network and sign up.

The Pinelands Preservation Alliance always has fresh opportunities for education, service, and action. To learn more, visit Pinelands Preservation Alliance on the web at pinelandsalliance.org.

11/1/15

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Author: Editorial Staff--SouthJersey.com

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