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Man-made lakes, loved by humans,
can harm the environment


Beavers and humans are fond of damming rivers.

Some dams are welcomed by their various owners, some less so. Some dams provide hydroelectric power. Some man-made lakes supplied ice before we had refrigeration. Some were created for housing (by beavers) and others were created (by humans) as an attraction for housing development. We do love our lakes, man-made or not, as you can see by the houses clustered near any lake's edge in communities all over the Delaware watershed.

Sometimes, though, different people can think different things about the same dam.

Take the Columbia Dam on the Paulins Kill, one of the significant tributaries of the Delaware River, flowing east to west in northern New Jersey. The dam is about a quarter mile from the Delaware and just south of the Delaware Water Gap.

Many environmentalists worry about dams' effect on the local environment, since dams will change that environment.


Political bickering could harm the fishing industry of the Upper Delaware


We might notice when the river is really low, or really high, but aside from being careful when we choose to go tubing or canoing, it doesn't make much difference, right? Wrong!

(But you already knew that!)

One of the industries that's based on the river is fishing, and the cold-water fishing in the Upper Delaware is key not just to the trout anglers that praise the area, but to the many businesses that rely on tourism to keep afloat. Though that part of the world is lovely, it doesn't have a ton of ways to make a solid living. Something to keep in mind as we enjoy the area up close, or when we enjoy the clean waters of the Delaware further away.

Anyway, that fishing relies on the cold water that comes from New York City's reservoirs. The cold water becomes vital for the fish (and the insects they feed on) as the weather warms up.

The water level is also important for the canoe and watercraft  businesses.

When the argument about the Delaware's waters reached the Supreme Court back in the '50s, it divvied up the waters – allocating some big piece of the pie (can water be a pie?) to quench the thirst of New York City. But it stipulated that a certain flow had to be maintained at a point in Montague, N.J. That was because there's a little city called Philadelphia whose water needs had to be suppled from the Delaware.


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Another busy day at the Balzano Terminal in Camden N.J., part of the South Jersey Port Corporation.


Top 10 facts about the
South Jersey Port Corporation


The first in a series of Getting to Know the Ports on the Delaware.

1. SJPC, established in 1968 by NJ Statute Chapter 11A Title 12:11A, owns, operates or/and manages the Balzano Terminal, the Broadway Terminal, the Paulsboro Marine Terminal, and the Salem Marine Terminal.

2. SJPC’s Port District encompasses seven New Jersey Counties – Mercer, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland and Cape May; and all the land and waters in the Delaware River contiguous to those counties.

3. SJPC is the grantee for Foreign Trade Zone #142. Companies utilizing the FTZ 142 are significantly able to reduce costs from customs duties, taxes and tariffs; and improve global market competitiveness.


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