Wildlife-Friendly Designation Questionnaire

The Maurice River Watershed has remarkable water quality, abundant open space, and plentiful biodiversity: no small feat for a region in America’s most densely populated state. However, poor land-use practices can compromise the health of the watershed.

When the workings of a watershed are impaired, it causes serious problems:

  • flooding
  • water shortages
  • surface run-off
  • soil erosion
  • change in water flow
  • water contamination
  • invasion by exotic plants
  • loss of habitat
  • property damage from storm surges

The condition of streams and rivers is a reflection of the diverse land uses within the watershed. Land management decisions made on residential properties ultimately impact the health of the entire river basin and community. Poor land use leads to dirtier water, less water, and damaged habitats, while good land use has positive impacts on:

  • water quality
  • water regeneration
  • healthy habitat

This Wildlife-Friendly Designation Application recognizes residents who implement best management practices. Awardees are making a concerted effort to promote healthy habitat in the Maurice River Watershed by reducing the amount of water they withdraw from the Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer and minimizing the quantity of non-point source pollution stemming from their property. They also manage their property to create a stopover or link for wildlife between preserved natural areas. These stewards accomplish this by providing a natural landscape that supports native plant communities and offers wildlife these three essentials: food, shelter, and water.

Respond "yes" or "no" to whether you have included the actions from the following list into your management routine.

  • Each yes answer is the equivalent of one stewardship point, while no responses represent opportunities to expand on your best management practices.
Applicant Name(s)
Property Address



Do you live within the perimeters of the Maurice River Watershed shown in the map below?

If you answered yes, your residence or property is eligible for wildlife-friendly designation. Answer the questions below to apply.

Maurice River Watershed map

1. Reducing Withdrawals from the Aquifer

I protect river and wetland habitats as well as drinking water reserves by…

taking pointed actions to curb overall water waste indoors

fixing faucet, pipe, and toilet leaks immediately

replacing older fixtures with low flow models

updating dish and clothes washers with eco-friendly models

reducing lawn cover by steadily increasing the use of native flora

harvesting water from downspouts in rain barrels and reusing it in the garden

taking household vehicle(s) to a car wash that recycles water

teaching younger family members the importance of water conservation

reforesting clear-cut areas with native shrub and tree species

ceasing to water lawn space and other exotic flora

2. Minimizing Non-Point Source Pollution

I protect water quality by…

switching to biodegradable and/or organic personal hygiene products and cleaning agents

disposing of medicines at official drop-off points

identifying the types of contaminants potentially washing off my property

replacing hard, impermeable surfaces with porous ones

extending downspouts into garden beds

using landscape contours to keep storm water on the property

installing native plant rain garden(s) to promote infiltration vs. run-off

reforesting a clear-cut area with native shrubs and trees

restoring a stream/river bank to its natural condition by removing rubble or hardscaping and/or by planting a native buffer

maintaining the health of mature native trees and shrubs

ending the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides (insecticides/herbicides) by replacing them with all-natural alternatives

composting and using the organic material to fertilize vs. applying engineered fertilizers

combating mosquitoes and harmful pests using integrated pest management

refraining from using chemical de-icing products and salts after snowfall

monitoring my septic tank annually and servicing it every 3-5 years

eliminating the use of manufactured fertilizers and pesticides completely

3. Creating Stopover Habitat Between Natural Areas

I provide shelter, food and water for native wildlife communities by…


re-creating the characteristics of nearby natural habitat on my property

building a brush pile

installing, maintaining and monitoring avian nesting boxes

leaving leaf litter and dried plants on the property over winter as mulch

adding and maintaining a beneficial insect hotel

maintaining or planting a layered arboretum

leaving dead and/or fallen trees to decay when safe


planting native flora species that are hosts for specialized butterflies and moths

reducing lawn cover vastly by replacing it with a garden area complete with native nectar plants

planting a variety of native food sources for wildlife

incorporating a variety of native vines, trees, and bushes that bear fruits

planting native flora species that provide a source of seeds and nuts, and letting them stand through the hard winter months

planting a variety of native food sources for wildlife


building a fish-less pond that resembles natural ponds in the area

creating a vernal pond

managing storm water to create backyard aquatic habitat

incorporating a container pond

maintaining a variety of birdbaths throughout the year, changing water every 5 days to avoid mosquito breeding

creating a puddling spot for butterflies


buying only native flora species and no exotic species

researching the native range, benefits and disadvantages of each new flora species incorporated into my garden

removing invasive flora species

supporting native plant nurseries

keeping cats and exotic pets inside

keeping gutters clean and avoiding standing water so as not to support exotic mosquitoes