The Barnegat Division of Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge was originally added to the refuge system in 1967 to provide important wintering habitat for waterfowl, especially American Black Ducks and Brant. Together with Forsythe?s Brigantine Division, the refuge offers thousands of acres of tidal salt marsh interspersed with coves, bays and brackish water impoundments, upland forest and forested wetland for many waterbirds, songbirds and raptors during breeding, migrating and wintering seasons. In 1986 it was designated a Wetland of International Importance under The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, also known as the Ramsar Convention. The site intersects the Manahawkin Bay Natural Heritage Priority Macrosite, designated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection as some of NJ?s most significant habitats.

Ornithological Summary

Conservation Concern ? State-endangered: Peregrine Falcon (B)

Conservation Concern ? State-threatened: Osprey (B)

Conservation Concern ? State-threatened: Barred Owl (B)

Regional Responsibility Species - BCR 30 Salt Marsh/Wetland: Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Black Rail, American Black Duck, Seaside Sparrow, Clapper Rail, Marsh Wren, Virginia Rail,Mallard, Willet, Osprey (B)

Regional Responsibility Species - BCR 30 Forested Wetland: Kentucky Warbler, Mallard, American Black Duck, Chimney Swift (B)

Regional Responsibility Species - BCR 30 Scrub-shrub/Barrens: Prairie Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Pine Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Eastern Wood-pewee (B)

Significant Congregations of Waterfowl (W)

Conservation Issues

Like most tidal wetlands along the NJ coast, the impacts from nonpoint sources of pollution from nearby intense development and human activities, including boat traffic, threaten habitat quality throughout this tidal system. The common reed (Phragmites australis), a common invasive, is also a problem within the refuge. Control efforts include annual burning and spraying. The refuge is actively managed to provide a diversity of habitat types which, in turn, benefits a wide variety of species. Several fields within the upland forest communities are managed to benefit scrub-shrub species such as American Woodcock. Water levels in the impoundments are managed to benefit waterfowl and other waterbirds that use shallow water habitats.


Owned by: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
Contact: Steven P. Atzert
P.O. Box 72
Great Creek Road
Oceanville, NJ
08231-0072 Phone: (609) 652-1665


Extensive tidal wetlands bordered by forested wetlands, upland forest and shrub-scrub habitats

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