No Man’s Land: There’s a piece of Delaware that’s actually located in New Jersey

What many people may not know is that there is a part of Delaware that sits on New Jersey’s land mass.

News 12 Staff

Sep 11, 2020, 11:35 PM

Updated 1,308 days ago

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In the past few weeks, Delaware has been added, then taken off, and then put back on the list of states from which people must quarantine if they visit New Jersey.
But what many people may not know is that there is a part of Delaware that sits on New Jersey’s land mass. It is a bit of land that borders on Pennsville, Salem County.
The history of this portion of Delaware dates back to the 1600s when everything in a 12-mile circle around New Castle, Delaware was deeded by King Charles II to William Penn. The Delaware border was set at the highwater mark on the Jersey side of the Delaware River.
But over the past century, the federal government has dumped millions of tons of dredge spoils on the New Jersey side of the river, creating a 1,500-acre land mass that extends 500 acres past the New Jersey state line.
New Jersey has fought for control of the land several times, only to lose in the courts. The most recent defeat was at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008.
The area is called the Kilcohook Coordination Area. Locals have long referred to it as the Baja – the area seems to be as desolate and barren as the Mexican desert.
When bodies wash up on the river bank – which sadly happens often – Pennsville police must call the Delaware State Police to handle it.
“A lot of times there's foreign ships that go up the channel. Guys jump, try to swim in and don't make it,” Pennsville Police Chief Allen Cummings says.
The area’s status as a no man’s land has long made it a haven for kids looking to ride motorbikes or four-wheelers. Teenagers often come there to drink alcohol around a bonfire. Cummings says that he biked there as a kid and then for 31 years has grappled with how to police it.
“We don’t patrol there, we call there. We don’t just drive around like we drive through town,” he says.
The area is officially closed to the public, although visitors can hike and visit Fort Mott State Park right next door.


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