The Creek Helps Crabs & Crabbers Help the Creek
The Patcong Creek Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation that grew out of the Assault on Patcong Creek crabbing tournament—the largest crabbing tournament in the nation. In 2017 the annual crab tournament attracted 270 crabbers from 13 different states and over 1000 fans and enthusiasts to Somers Point, NJ.
Though the event is free to participants, many participants and sponsors donate to the event in order to promote stewardship of Patcong Creek and its surrounding watershed.
The fact that the Patcong Creek Foundation was born from a crab tournament, may seem odd, but really it makes perfect sense. Crabbers like crabbing—the fun of crabbing, then enjoying a good meal. Therefore, they want the ecosystem to be healthy and clean, so it is able to support recreational crabbing well into the future.
Some Things We Do:
Blue crabs rely on salt marsh habitat—like Patcong Creek—as a nursery and for adult life stages including reproduction.
Patcong Creek Foundation urges crabbers to exclude females from catches so they can reproduce. Patcong Creek Foundation uses funds to support environmental programs, including a day on the bay for sixth graders from the Somers Point School District to learn about local marine ecology. These students then become stewards of the watershed.
Patcong Creek Foundation hosts and sponsors multiple clean-up events throughout the year and advocates to limit pollution and discharge into the creek.
Patcong Creek Foundation is a sponsor for WeCrabNJ whose mission is “to develop and promote sustainable solutions that help reduce and remove derelict fishing gear in protection of our fisheries and coastal ecosystems for the benefit of ALL stakeholders.”
With your support, the foundation can do even more!
You don’t have to be a crabber to help.
And we don’t want you to be crabby either.
We want you to be happy.
A sure way to happiness is giving to others.
Patcong Creek Foundation:
- Educates the community about recreational crabbing. Education creates interest and interest can turn into passion. Being passionate about something makes you want to ensure that your passion is protected, so you can continue to pursue and share your passion over time.
- Educates students about local marine ecology. When students learn about the variety of species living in the creek and bay, and how the relationships between species affect the ecosystem on the whole, they become aware of how their own actions impact the ecosystem.
- In many cases, introduces children to the water that they see around them. Many youth in the area are underprivileged and don’t have the opportunity to actually get out on the water to truly enjoy the beautiful area where they live.
- Educates the public about litter and offers organized and fun litter clean-up opportunities throughout the year.
- Provides demonstrations about how to properly set up crab pots so they don’t detach and become derelict fishing gear or “ghost pots”. Ghost pots can trap all kinds of marine animals leading to their death.
- Sponsors programs that are finding, removing, and recycling derelict fishing gear.
- Promotes the local economy by connecting businesses with crabbers and water enthusiasts of all types through the Assault on Patcong Creek Crab Tournament and Feast and multiple other events throughout the year including the Winter Luncheon fundraiser held at Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar in Somers Point, NJ.
- Offers those who enjoy the creek for recreation or simply enjoyment of its beauty an opportunity to do something to support it.
Patcong Creek Foundation plays a vital role in the Great Egg Harbor River Watershed, one that would be unfulfilled without the work of the foundation. The Patcong Creek is a tributary of the Great Egg Harbor River which travels from Berlin, NJ to the Great Egg Harbor Bay. The river runs through a variety of habitats along the way—many of them fresh water.
The Great Egg Harbor River is a National Wild and Scenic River. This is a designation of the National Park Service—which typically would make the area federal land. The Great Egg Harbor River is unique in that it is not federally-managed land. We, the community and the bordering municipalities, must be stewards of the river, its tributaries—like Patcong Creek—and the entire watershed.
There are two organizations dedicated to the 129 miles of the Wild and Scenic Great Egg Harbor River. These are the Great Egg Harbor River Council and the Great Egg Harbor Watershed Association. And though the end of Patcong Creek is part of the National Wild and Scenic River Designation—the Creek on its own is not supported by any other organization except the Patcong Creek Foundation.