Soggy Ground: A Geography of Pine Barrens Wetlands — Saturday, April 20, 2024.


Jan 5, 2009
Richland, NJ
Can you tell a spung from a cripple? Are blue holes real? Ever wonder what this place was like during the ice age? I'll be giving a talk about a new book that details the Pine Barrens physical, cultural, and environmental dynamics of paleoperiglacial landscapes. It is written for Pinelands enthusiasts as an old-fashioned geography. The content is tilted towards an interdisciplinary audience—especially geologists, historians, archeologists, botanists, and conservationists. Personally, I make no money from the sale of this book. The work is admittedly opinionated, quirky, and technical in spots but laid out in a manner that makes accessible data that is hopelessly mired in obscure journals or is otherwise inaccessible. It is is well illustrated. This event is sponsored by the Pemberton Township Historic Trust.


Here is a description of the book:

Wetlands have long intrigued us. For centuries bogs, mires, and meadows were regarded forlorn topography, loathsome places replete with legend and lore. Natural Historian Mark Demitroff presents an engaging overview on how to read and value the unusual wet environment of the New Jersey Pine Barrens through land-surface processes. Little known ice age landforms provide critical habitat for plants and animals. Places like spungs, cripples, blue holes, and savannahs are woven together in a geographic tapestry of interactions between nature and society. People here have exploited these wetlands for millennia, features that now slowly fade from memory and place.