Maurice River Township, New Jersey

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Maurice River Township, New Jersey
Township
Township of Maurice River
East Point Light
Nickname(s): MRT
Maurice River Township highlighted in Cumberland County. Inset map: Cumberland County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Maurice River Township highlighted in Cumberland County. Inset map: Cumberland County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Maurice River Township, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Maurice River Township, New Jersey
Coordinates: 39°17′44″N 74°55′44″W / 39.295626°N 74.928882°W / 39.295626; -74.928882Coordinates: 39°17′44″N 74°55′44″W / 39.295626°N 74.928882°W / 39.295626; -74.928882[1][2]
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Cumberland
Formed January 19, 1748
Incorporated February 21, 1798
Named for Maurice, Prince of Orange
Government[6]
 • Type Township
 • Body Township Committee
 • Mayor Patricia "Patti" Gross (D, term ends December 31, 2017)[3][4]
 • Municipal clerk Denise Peterson[5]
Area[1]
 • Total 95.760 sq mi (248.018 km2)
 • Land 93.107 sq mi (241.146 km2)
 • Water 2.653 sq mi (6.872 km2)  2.77%
Area rank 7th of 566 in state
1st of 14 in county[1]
Elevation[7] 39 ft (12 m)
Population (2010 Census)[8][9][10]
 • Total 7,976
 • Estimate (2016)[11] 6,562
 • Rank 290th of 566 in state
4th of 14 in county[12]
 • Density 85.7/sq mi (33.1/km2)
 • Density rank 550th of 566 in state
11th of 14 in county[12]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP code 08327 - Leesburg[13]
Area code(s) 856 exchange: 785[14]
FIPS code 3401144580[1][15][16]
GNIS feature ID 0882063[1][17]
Website www.mauricerivertwp.org

Maurice River Township is a township in Cumberland County, New Jersey, United States. It is part of the Vineland-Millville- Bridgeton Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area for statistical purposes. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 7,976,[8][9][10] reflecting an increase of 1,048 (+15.1%) from the 6,928 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 280 (+4.2%) from the 6,648 counted in the 1990 Census.[18]

Maurice River Township was first formed as a precinct on January 19, 1748, and was incorporated by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships. Portions of the township were taken to form Millville on March 1, 1866.[19] The township derives its name from Maurice, Prince of Orange.[20][21]

It is a dry town where alcohol cannot be sold.[22][23]

History[edit]

Originally called Wahatquenak by the local Lenni Lenape Native Americans, the Maurice River is said to be named for a local legend, in which a Dutch ship on the river, the Prince Maurice, was sunk by the local Native Americans in 1657. The land was surveyed by John Worledge and Thomas Budd, and the community of Dorchester was laid out.[24] However, it was not until 1798 on that the township itself was established.[19]

Port Elizabeth was established as a port of delivery by an Act of Congress in 1789, and trade was done directly with the West Indies for several years, until the 1830s, when trading was done more with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New York City. Dorchester and Leesburg were known for shipbuilding industry, and the A.J. Meerwald (the State Ship of New Jersey) was built in the shipyards of Dorchester. The settlement of Heislerville and its surroundings were known for their oystering industry until around 1957, when a parasitic disease called MSX crippled the oyster population of the river. The oystering industry has not recovered since.[25]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 95.760 square miles (248.018 km2), including 93.107 square miles (241.146 km2) of land and 2.653 square miles (6.872 km2) of water (2.77%).[1][2]

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Bennetts Mill, Bricksboro, Cannon Range, Cumberland, Delmont, Dorchester, East Point, Fries Mill, Halberton, Hands Mill, Heislerville, Hesstown, Hoffmans Mill, Hunters Mill, Jones Mill, Leesburg, Manumuskin, Menhaden, Moores Beach, Ormond, Port Elizabeth, Thompsons Beach, Wall Pond, and some portions of Belleplain and Milmay.[24][26] The township government is based in the community of Leesburg in the municipal complex. Maurice River Township is mostly rural in character and some of the land is covered by extensive forests of the Pine Barrens.

Cumberland Pond

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 2,085
1820 2,411 15.6%
1830 2,724 13.0%
1840 2,143 −21.3%
1850 2,245 4.8%
1860 2,430 8.2%
1870 2,500 * 2.9%
1880 2,374 −5.0%
1890 2,279 −4.0%
1900 2,132 −6.5%
1910 2,124 −0.4%
1920 2,016 −5.1%
1930 2,319 15.0%
1940 2,261 −2.5%
1950 2,834 25.3%
1960 3,105 9.6%
1970 3,743 20.5%
1980 4,577 22.3%
1990 6,648 45.2%
2000 6,928 4.2%
2010 7,976 15.1%
Est. 2016 6,562 [11][27] −17.7%
Population sources:1810-2000[28]
1810-1920[29] 1840[30] 1850-1870[31]
1850[32] 1870[33] 1880-1890[34]
1890-1910[35] 1910-1930[36]
1930-1990[37] 2000[38][39] 2010[8][9][10]
* = Lost territory in previous decade[19]

Census 2010[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 7,976 people, 1,364 households, and 969.8 families residing in the township. The population density was 85.7 per square mile (33.1/km2). There were 1,506 housing units at an average density of 16.2 per square mile (6.3/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 58.04% (4,629) White, 36.03% (2,874) Black or African American, 0.44% (35) Native American, 0.35% (28) Asian, 0.03% (2) Pacific Islander, 3.44% (274) from other races, and 1.68% (134) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.52% (919) of the population.[8]

There were 1,364 households out of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.9% were non-families. 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.05.[8]

In the township, the population was spread out with 9.5% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 52.2% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 7.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.1 years. For every 100 females there were 343.1 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 415.1 males.[8]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $69,419 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,253) and the median family income was $78,713 (+/- $7,665). Males had a median income of $54,893 (+/- $8,742) versus $33,712 (+/- $6,439) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $15,705 (+/- $1,946). About 9.5% of families and 9.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.8% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.[40]

Census 2000[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[15] there were 6,928 people, 1,332 households, and 1,012 families residing in the township. The population density was 74.2 people per square mile (28.6/km²). There were 1,461 housing units at an average density of 15.6 per square mile (6.0/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 98.63% White, 3.98% African American, 0.78% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 11.1% Pacific Islander, 9.43% from other races, and 2.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.15% of the population.[38][39]

There were 1,332 households out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.0% were non-families. 19.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.03.[38][39]

In the township the population was spread out with 12.9% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 55.1% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 6.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 277.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 343.8 males.[38][39]

The median income for a household in the township was $43,182, and the median income for a family was $46,987. Males had a median income of $37,901 versus $27,928 for females. The per capita income for the township was $17,141. About 6.4% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.3% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.[38][39]

Parks and recreation[edit]

In 1993, the Maurice River and its tributaries were designated as the Maurice National Scenic and Recreational River by the Congress.[41]

Acres of unspoiled forest and waterways allow residents to enjoy outdoor activities year-round. With an abundance of forests and marshlands, numerous state wildlife refuges in the area are frequented by locals for hunting, fishing, bird-watching, hiking and boating. As a result, the preservation of the unique ecosystem of the Maurice River watershed has become an important issue for some residents. One group, Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and Its Tributaries, Inc. formed to provide education and organize preservation efforts.

Government[edit]

Local government[edit]

Maurice River Township is governed under the Township form of government. The governing body is a three-member Township Committee, whose members are elected directly by the voters at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one seat coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle.[6][42] At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor.

As of 2016, members of the Maurice River Township Committee are Mayor Andrew F. Sarclette (D, term as committee member and as mayor ends December 31, 2016), Deputy Mayor Patricia "Patti" Gross (D, term as committee member ends 2018; term as deputy mayor ends 2016) and J. Roy Oliver (D, 2017).[3][43][44][45][46][47]

Federal, state and county representation[edit]

Maurice River Township is located in the 2nd Congressional District[48] and is part of New Jersey's 1st state legislative district.[9][49][50]

New Jersey's Second Congressional District is represented by Frank LoBiondo (R, Ventnor City).[51] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021)[52] and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).[53][54]

For the 2016–2017 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 1st Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Jeff Van Drew (D, Dennis Township) and in the General Assembly by Bob Andrzejczak (D, Middle Township) and R. Bruce Land (D, Vineland).[55] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township).[56] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[57]

Cumberland County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected at-large in partisan elections to serve staggered three-year terms in office, with two or three seats coming up for election each year. At an annual reorganization meeting held each January, the freeholders select one member to serve as Freeholder Director and another as Deputy Director.[58][59] As of 2014, Cumberland County's Freeholders (with committee liaison assignments, political party, residence and term-end dates listed in parentheses) are Freeholder Director Joseph Derella (Administration / Public Safety; D, Millville, term ends December 31, 2015),[60] Freeholder Deputy Director Douglas M. Long (NA; D, Upper Deerfield Township, 2015),[61] Darlene Barber (Education; D, 2016, Upper Deerfield Township),[62] Carol Musso (Community Services; D, Deerfield Township, 2014),[63] James Sauro (Agriculture; R, Vineland, 2014),[64] Thomas Sheppard (Health; R, Lawrence Township, 2016)[65] and Tony Surace (Public Works; D, Millville, 2014).[66][67][68][69] The county's constitutional officers are County Clerk Gloria Noto (Vineland, 2014),[70] Sheriff Robert A. Austino (Vineland, 2014)[71] and Surrogate Douglas M. Rainear (Bridgeton, 2018).[72]

State facilities[edit]

Two New Jersey Department of Corrections prisons, the Bayside State Prison and the Southern State Correctional Facility are located in the township.[73][74]

Politics[edit]

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 2,329 registered voters in Maurice River Township, of which 574 (24.6%) were registered as Democrats, 595 (25.5%) were registered as Republicans and 1,157 (49.7%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 3 voters registered to other parties.[75]

In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 55.5% of the vote (810 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 42.9% (627 votes), and other candidates with 1.6% (23 votes), among the 1,482 ballots cast by the township's 2,394 registered voters (22 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 61.9%.[76][77] In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 56.3% of the vote (906 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama, who received 39.9% (642 votes), with 1,610 ballots cast among the township's 2,355 registered voters, for a turnout of 68.4%.[78] In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 57.7% of the vote (889 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry, who received 39.8% (614 votes), with 1,541 ballots cast among the township's 2,322 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 66.4.[79]

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 67.4% of the vote (621 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 30.3% (279 votes), and other candidates with 2.3% (21 votes), among the 952 ballots cast by the township's 2,225 registered voters (31 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 42.8%.[80][81] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 46.0% of the vote (533 ballots cast), ahead of both Democrat Jon Corzine with 40.3% (467 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 8.1% (94 votes), with 1,158 ballots cast among the township's 2,335 registered voters, yielding a 49.6% turnout.[82]

Education[edit]

The Maurice River Township School District serves public school students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade at Maurice River Township Elementary School. As of the 2012-13 school year, the district's one school had an enrollment of 399 students and 32.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.28:1.[83]

In the 2007-08 school year, Maurice River Township Elementary School was one of three schools statewide to be designated as a "School to Watch". by the New Jersey Department of Education.[84] Despite this honor, it was one of several schools targeted for closure as part of a plan by the NJ Department of Education that would close and consolidate small school districts within a three-year period. Students at Maurice River Township Elementary School would have been bused to a larger regional school within Cumberland County. By May 2010, the plan had been shelved in the face of inadequate funding to implement the proposal.[85]

Students in ninth through twelfth grades for public school attend high school in Millville together with students from Commercial Township, Lawrence Township and Woodbine, as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Millville Public Schools under which students attend Memorial High School for ninth grade and half of the tenth grade and Millville Senior High School for half of the tenth grade through the twelfth grade.[86][87][88]

Transportation[edit]

Roads and highways[edit]

Maurice River Township is located about a one-hour drive from both Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Atlantic City.

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 111.55 miles (179.52 km) of roadways, of which 43.80 miles (70.49 km) were maintained by the municipality, 47.88 miles (77.06 km) by Cumberland County and 19.87 miles (31.98 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.[89]

Major roads that pass through include Route 47, Route 49 and Route 55 (a limited access road) and Route 347. Also, County Routes 548, 550 and 552 all pass through.

Public transportation[edit]

NJ Transit offers service on the 313 route between Cape May and Philadelphia.[90]

Notable people[edit]

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Maurice River Township include:

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990, United States Census Bureau. Accessed September 4, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Mayor & Committee, Maurice River Township. Accessed June 24, 2015.
  4. ^ 2017 New Jersey Mayors Directory, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Accessed May 30, 2017. As of date accessed, Gross is listed as mayor with a term-end year of 2018, which is the end of her committee term, not her mayoral term of office.
  5. ^ Municipal Administrative Offices, Maurice River Township. Accessed June 30, 2016.
  6. ^ a b 2012 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, March 2013, p. 103.
  7. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Township of Maurice River, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed March 7, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d e f DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 for Maurice River township, Cumberland County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed October 23, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c d Municipalities Grouped by 2011-2020 Legislative Districts, New Jersey Department of State, p. 1. Accessed January 6, 2013.
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  22. ^ New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. New Jersey ABC list of dry towns (May 1, 2013)
  23. ^ Giordano, Rita. "More towns catching liquor-license buzz; Moorestown considers ending its dry spell", The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 24, 2007. Accessed February 16, 2014.
  24. ^ a b History, Maurice River Township. Accessed October 23, 2012. "Today Maurice River Township encompasses 94.7 square miles and includes the villages of Delmont, Heislerville, Leesburg, Dorchester, Bricksboro, Port Elizabeth, Cumberland and a portion of Milmay."
  25. ^ Historic Themes and Resources within the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route: Maritime Activities, National Park Service. Accessed April 6, 2007.
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  31. ^ Raum, John O. The History of New Jersey: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 1, p. 270, J. E. Potter and company, 1877. Accessed July 28, 2013. "Maurice river township contained in 1850 a population of 2,245; 1860, 2,430; and in 1870, 2,500. Manumuskin, Port Elizabeth, Belle Plain, and Leesburg, are post towns."
  32. ^ Debow, James Dunwoody Brownson. The Seventh Census of the United States: 1850, p. 138. R. Armstrong, 1853. Accessed July 28, 2013.
  33. ^ Staff. A compendium of the ninth census, 1870, p. 259. United States Census Bureau, 1872. Accessed July 28, 2013.
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  39. ^ a b c d e DP-1: Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 - Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data for Maurice River township, Cumberland County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed October 23, 2012.
  40. ^ DP03: Selected Economic Characteristics from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates for Maurice River township, Cumberland County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed October 23, 2012.
  41. ^ National Wild & Scenic Rivers System: Maurice River, National Park Service. Accessed April 6, 2007. "In 1993, the Maurice River and several tributaries—including Menantico and Muskee Creeks and the Manumuskin River—were added to the National Wild and Scenic River System."
  42. ^ "Forms of Municipal Government in New Jersey", p. 7. Rutgers University Center for Government Studies. Accessed June 3, 2015.
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  52. ^ About Cory Booker, United States Senate. Accessed January 26, 2015. "He now owns a home and lives in Newark's Central Ward community."
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  63. ^ Carol Musso, Cumberland County, New Jersey. Accessed July 28, 2014.
  64. ^ James R. Sauro, Cumberland County, New Jersey. Accessed July 28, 2014.
  65. ^ Thomas Sheppard, Cumberland County, New Jersey. Accessed July 28, 2014.
  66. ^ Tony Surace, Cumberland County, New Jersey. Accessed July 28, 2014.
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  74. ^ Bayside State Prison. New Jersey Department of Corrections. Accessed September 27, 2011. "4293 RT. 47 LEESBURG, NEW JERSEY 08327"
  75. ^ Voter Registration Summary - Cumberland, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, March 23, 2011. Accessed October 23, 2012.
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  83. ^ District information for Maurice River Township School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed March 1, 2015.
  84. ^ Holodnak, Corin. "CUMB. CO. 'SCHOOL TO WATCH' CELEBRATION", NBC40, May 30, 2008. Accessed October 23, 2012. "The Maurice River Township Elementary School was one of three schools to receive the designation of 'Schools to Watch' in the state."
  85. ^ Dunn, Matt. "K-8 school merge lacks funding to make it happen", The News of Cumberland County, May 5, 2010. Accessed July 28, 2013. "Five of Cumberland County's K-8 school districts were notified in September by then Department of Education Commissioner Lucille Davy that they would be "high priority" for regionalization.Eight months later, plans to consolidate those districts - Commercial Township, Fairfield Township, Lawrence Township, Maurice River Township and Upper Deerfield Township - have been put on hold."
  86. ^ Sending District Students, Millville Public Schools. Accessed December 8, 2014. "9TH – 12th grade students who attend Memorial and MSHS from Woodbine, Commercial Township, Lawrence Township, and Maurice River Township will need to establish their proof of residency with their district."
  87. ^ Jones, Jean. "Maurice River enlists state help in fighting Millville HS tuition increase", South Jersey Times, January 16, 2008. Accessed December 8, 2014. "He said Millville is unwilling to pass on its need for more funding to its own taxpayers so it is passing the increase on to the sending districts -- Commercial, Maurice River and Lawrence townships and Woodbine."
  88. ^ About Us, Maurice River Township School District. Accessed December 8, 2014. "The Maurice River Township School District consists of one elementary school and is a sending district to the Millville School District for its high school students. The elementary school houses Pre-K through eighth grade with an enrollment of approximately 400 students and a faculty of 39 highly qualified professional staff members. Maurice River Township transports approximately 180 students to the Memorial and Senior High Schools in Millville."
  89. ^ Cumberland County Mileage by Municipality and Jurisdiction, New Jersey Department of Transportation, May 2010. Accessed July 18, 2014.
  90. ^ South Jersey Transit Guide, Cross County Connection, as of April 1, 2010. Accessed December 15, 2014.
  91. ^ Palmer, Kit. "Laughing All The Way", CycleNews, April 11, 2005. Accessed December 24, 2007. "Mike Lafferty and Rich Lafferty finished 1-2 at the fourth round of the AMA FMF Racing National Enduro Series, held in the Lafferty's backyard in Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, yesterday."
  92. ^ Thomas Lee, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed October 17, 2007.

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