U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
Banner graphic displaying the Fish & Wildlife Service logo and National Wildlife Refuge System tagline

Edwin B. Forsythe
National Wildlife Refuge

Atlantic City skyline from Forsythe NWR
Great Creek Road
Oceanville, NJ   08231
E-mail: forsythe@fws.gov
Phone Number: 609-652-1665
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
The refuge's location in one of the Atlantic Flyway's most active flight paths makes it an important link in the vast network of national wildlife refuge.
Gray horizontal line
Continued . . .

By the middle of the century, the Lenape were severely diminished by European diseases and had lost nearly all of their former lands.

Colonial towns on the New Jersey shore were generally established at estuaries with suitable harbors for fishing and trade, such as the Mullica River. The New York Road (currently Route 9) linked these communities along the shore. Fishing, shellfishing, and agriculture remained the primary economic activities for most families.

Upland areas on Forsythe Refuge generally consist of former farmland associated with historic period settlement. Much of the Brigantine Division, for example, was part of a large early 19th century farm based on Brigantine Island. Therefore, historic period archaeological resources are unlikely except in a few settings, such as present or former landing areas. Some remains of wharves for these landings, and possibly sunken small craft, may exist in the marshes. A lifesaving station site near Brigantine City is one of the few documented historic archaeological sites at the Refuge.

The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1939 as the Brigantine National Wildlife refuge. The Barnegat National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1967. Both were established under provisions of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act. Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge was renamed in 1984 in memory of the late conservationist Congressman from New Jersey, Edwin B. Forsythe, through a Congressional Joint Resolution. The resolution combined the Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge and the Barnegat National Wildlife Refuge. The Reedy Creek Unit was established in 1991 and is administered as part of Barnegat Division. Congress designated 6,600 acres of the Refuge as the Brigantine Wilderness on in 1975 to be managed under the Wilderness Act of 1964. This designation has far-ranging impacts on the management of these portions of the Refuge.

The refuge is located in a key position in the Atlantic flyway. Today, the Refuge's primary objectives continue to focus on providing habitat and protection for waterfowl, waterbirds and other migratory birds, and endangered species; and to insure the availability of these resources to the American people for their enjoyment now and in the future

- Back -