New Jersey Pine Barrens

Plants make up most of the Pine Barrens. For instance, pine trees such as the short needles, pitch pines, jack pines, long needles, yellow pines, and many others make up most of the pine forest in the Pinelands. Other trees include the pine oaks and the cedar trees. Due to the roots of these cedar trees, water in the Pine Barrens appears a brownish red color. This happens because the roots emit pigments of red color into the soil which then runs into the water. Even though the amount of red pigment released is very little, due to the large amount of cedar trees in the Pine forests, the water is affected.

The main crops of the Pine Barrens include blueberries and cranberries. There are also many rare plants that can be found in the Pinelands. One of these is the pitcher plant which is related to the Venus Fly Trap. Plants such as these have an influence on how nitrogen is depleted in the Pine Barrens and also on how the Pine “Barrens” got there name, nothing like vegetables grow there. The pitcher plant helps prevent pollution from entering the lakes as well as help in preventing flooding. The lakes in the Pine forest are home to the tree frog. These forests are also home to many other animals like cranes, water snakes, turtles, salamanders, and other frogs.

There are many dangers facing the Pine Barrens today. The most dangerous is the effect industrialization has on it. Many industries contribute to the mass pollution of water, land, and air. This greatly impacts the ecosystem of the Pinelands and the animals that live in it. Industrialization also leads to the building of more houses that are detrimental to the Pinelands because the Pinelands are being destroyed little by little every day. This ecosystem is too precious to waste, it needs to be preserved. Pollution has caused over forty species of birds to become endangered. Acid rain also causes the extinction of many species. Acid rain is the term used to describe the chemicals that are deposited through the rain.

These chemicals travel through the soil and affect many plants and animals. Acid rain is a world-wide problem that concerns all ecosystems; acid rain needs to controlled by limiting the amount of pollution let out into the air. Another major issue affecting the Pine Barrens is forest fires. There are as many as four hundred forest fires per year. Most of these fires are caused by human errors. Just a couple of years ago, there was an Air Force test mission going on over the open Pine Barrens. Planes were dropping dud bombs and one sparked and caused a huge fire. There are also many other causes of fires in the Pinelands, such as people throwing cigarette butts onto the ground when they are still partially lit.

So what can be done to limit and eventually stop this destruction of the Pine Barrens? Humans can build more state and recreational parks that promote natural beauty along with a safety towards animals. Humans basically just need to realize that places like the New Jersey Pinelands need to be preserved; they are worth a lot more compared to the house they want to build over it. Many environmental groups such as the Greenpeace Organization, the Earthjustice Organization, and the Wilderness Society are taking measures to stop the endangerment of animals living in the Pinelands.