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