New Jersey: diverse in everything, even ecological regions

Comic New Jersey demographics map — courtesy NJ.com

Eco-regions

What many NJ people might not know about, is that for such a small state that NJ is (47-th by territory) it has a surprisingly large amount of different eco-regions. Five to be precise, and that’s a lot. Many larger states like Maine, Iowa or Mississippi feature just 2 eco-regions. Interesting note, diverse states tend to have more eco-regions. Coincidence?

Map of 5 New Jersey eco-regions
New Jersey has 5 eco-regions

Region 1. Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests

You rarely experience this kind of region in NJ, in part because it falls in the area, which comic NJ map describes as ‘vast wilderness’.

Map of Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests eco-region in NJ
Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests — NJ
Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests region map
Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests region map

Region 2. New England-Acadian forests

This region start way up north and pretty much ends here in north-western NJ and PA. Towns like Sparta, Chester, Hopatcong, Lebanon township all belong to it. It is the same eco-region you experience, when driving north to New Hampshire, Maine and parts of Vermont. Folks might often mix this region up with the next one, but they are actually two regions.

New England-Acadian forests eco-region map
New England-Acadian forests eco-region map
Green Mountain, NH

Region 3. Northeast US Coastal forests

When you are thinking about Northeast megalopolis (or cluster), this is the landscape you would be imagining – northeast coastal forests is the ‘average’ region of this mega-city.

Northeast US Coastal forests eco-region map
Northeast US Coastal forests eco-region map
Typical American farm on TV

Region 4. Atlantic coastal pine barrens

Or probably well known among NJ as ‘that area you need to cross to get to the shore’. The largest eco-region of New Jersey. Basically when thinking New Jersey, then (nature-wise) you should be imagining this region.

Atlantic coastal pine barrens eco-region map
Atlantic coastal pine barrens eco-region, New Jersey
Those pines. But you learn to love them along with their imperfections

5. Mid-Atlantic US coastal savannas

‘But wait, there is more!’ To finish the great diversity circle NJ needed something authentically southern. And this is it — the savanna! (Or maybe it’s the oldest functioning weekly rodeo in the USA. Yas! In New Jersey!)

Map of Mid-Atlantic US coastal savannas in NJ
Mid-Atlantic US coastal savannas — NJ
Map of Mid-Atlantic US coastal savannas and Savannas of South-East
Mid-Atlantic US coastal savannas and savannas of South-East
Cape Cod, MA
Photo of Wildwoods big letters sign in Wildwoods, NJ
Wildwoods, NJ

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Oleksii Chekulaiev

Oleksii Chekulaiev

Drupal Technical Lead, Docksal creator and maintainer