Birding and Boating go Hand-in-Hand

New Jersey enjoys a wide variety of distinct habitats, from highland mountains, to pineland forests, to sandy beaches, to scenic lakes and rivers and windswept bayshore marshlands. Due to its coastal location on the Atlantic flyway, its relatively small size and undeniable abundance of wildlife, it is New Jersey that boasts the highest density of wildlife per square mile of any state in the nation! New Jersey, the fourth smallest state, hosts over 340 bird species, 90 mammal species, 79 reptile and amphibian species and over 400 fish species in its 8,722 square miles.

New Jersey Audubon has teamed up with partners around the state to develop two informative guides to enrich your boating experience; one for coastal waters, and one for freshwater lakes, rivers and marshes. These guides identify the 28 most common birds found in and near NJ waters and yet they are by no means the only birds you will see. 

You can download a pdf copy of these informative "Birding for Boaters" guides from the links in the 2 panels below.

As part of our education outreach effort, they also include tips on bird identification as well as recommendations for proper boating “dos and don’ts” to minimize disturbance to nesting species.  For a more complete list of New Jersey birds and/or a recommendation for a bird identification guide, contact your local NJ Audubon center.

New Jersey Audubon's Birding and Wildlife Trails identify places where you can explore these habitats.  Check out these paddling sites.
      -   Delaware Bayshore 
      -   Meadowlands and Skylands
      -   Pine Barrens

PDF Copy of the Guide

New Jersey’s ocean coastline extends approximately 125 miles from Sandy Hook in the north to Cape May in the south. Additionally, about 150 square miles of wetland habitat are affected by tidal waters associated with Raritan and Newark Bays, New York Harbor and the Delaware Estuary.

PDF Copy of the Guide

There are over 4,000 freshwater lakes, ponds and reservoirs and approximately 8,600 miles of freshwater streams and rivers in New Jersey. Boating experiences will differ as some sites accommodate motorboats, while others require non-motorized watercraft such as canoes or kayaks.


The I BOAT NJ Program, which is managed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation/Office of Maritime Resources, provides grant funds to selected eligible applicants to promote, improve and enhance the marine industry in the State of New Jersey for the benefit of the general boating public.