About Us

Established in 1974, Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is located in Pennsville, NJ (Salem County) along the Delaware River estuary just north of the Salem River. This estuary is designated a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention. Coastal salt marsh salt marsh
Salt marshes are found in tidal areas near the coast, where freshwater mixes with saltwater.

Learn more about salt marsh
habitats of the mid-upper Atlantic Coast, including the Delaware Bay marshes and Supawna Meadows NWR, have been identified by the Black Duck Joint Venture as the most important habitat for wintering American black ducks. Nearby Pea Patch Island and the surrounding area, including the refuge, have been designated a Special Management Area by the States of NJ and DE in accordance with the Coastal Zone Management Act.

Our Mission

Refuge Purpose(s) 

Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System is established to serve a statutory purpose that targets the conservation of native species dependent on its lands and waters. All activities on those acres are reviewed for compatibility with this statutory purpose.  

The primary purposes of Supawna Meadows NWR are for:  

Opportunities  

  •  “...use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds....” The Migratory Bird Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. §715d);  

 

  •  “...the development, advancement, management, conservation, and protection of fish and wildlife resources....” The Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. §742f(a)(4); • “...the conservation of the wetlands of the Nation in order to maintain the public benefits they provide and to help fulfill international obligations (regarding migratory birds)... “ The Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986 (16 U.S.C. §3901(b), 100 Stat. 3583).  

 

 

Our History

In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Killcohook Migratory Bird Refuge along the Delaware River. For many years, the site was used by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers to deposit dredge spoil. The dredge spoil built up on the site, which decreased Killcohook's value for wildlife, and spurned local conservationists to pursue purchase of adjacent lands to create a wildlife refuge with habitat value.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased the first 653 acres of refuge land from the Philadelphia Conservationists (now known as Natural Lands Trust) in 1971. In 1974, the Service named the site Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge to make it distinct and separate from Killcohook. The Service exercised its secondary jurisdiction over the Killcohook Migratory Bird Refuge until it was revoked by Congress in October 1998. Killcohook is still used as a confined disposal facility by the Corps of Engineers.

The Delaware Bay and estuary is designated a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention. Coastal salt marsh salt marsh
Salt marshes are found in tidal areas near the coast, where freshwater mixes with saltwater.

Learn more about salt marsh
habitats of the mid-upper Atlantic coast, including the Delaware Bay marshes and Supawna Meadows Refuge, have been identified by the Black Duck Joint Venture as the most important habitat for wintering American black ducks. Pea Patch Island and the surrounding area, including the refuge, have been designated a Special Management Area by the States of New Jersey and Delaware in accordance with the Coastal Zone Management Act.