Geography of Atlantic County, New Jersey

By | March 14, 2024

Atlantic County, located in southern New Jersey, encompasses a diverse range of geographical features, including coastal plains, marshlands, rivers, and barrier islands. This comprehensive overview will explore the geography, climate, rivers, lakes, and other prominent features of Atlantic County, New Jersey. Check bittranslators to learn more about the state of New Jersey.


Coastal Plains:

Atlantic County is predominantly characterized by coastal plains, with low-lying terrain extending from the Atlantic Ocean inland. These plains feature sandy soils and are dotted with forests, farmland, and residential areas. The county’s proximity to the coast influences its climate and ecological diversity.

Barrier Islands:

Along the Atlantic coastline, Atlantic County is bordered by a series of barrier islands, including Absecon Island, home to popular resort towns such as Atlantic City and Ventnor City. These barrier islands serve as natural buffers against coastal storms and erosion, while also providing habitat for various coastal species and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.


Inland from the barrier islands, vast salt marshes and wetlands stretch along the estuaries and tidal rivers of Atlantic County. These marshlands play a crucial role in filtering water, providing habitat for wildlife, and protecting against flooding. They are part of the larger Delaware Bayshore ecosystem, which supports a diverse array of plant and animal species.

Pine Barrens:

To the west of Atlantic County lies the expansive Pine Barrens region, characterized by dense pine forests, sandy soils, and unique plant life adapted to acidic conditions. While much of the Pine Barrens falls outside the county’s borders, it influences the county’s ecology and provides opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as hiking, camping, and birdwatching.



Atlantic County experiences a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures typically range from the 70s to the 90s Fahrenheit, while winter temperatures average in the 30s and 40s. The proximity to the Atlantic Ocean moderates temperatures year-round, though inland areas may experience slightly more extreme temperature variations.


Precipitation in Atlantic County is evenly distributed throughout the year, with slightly higher rainfall totals in the summer months. The region receives an average of around 40 inches of precipitation annually, which includes rain, snow, and occasional coastal storms. Snowfall is relatively rare but can occur during the winter months, especially in inland areas.

Coastal Influence:

The Atlantic Ocean exerts a significant influence on Atlantic County’s climate, moderating temperatures and contributing to relatively mild winters and cooler summers compared to inland regions. Coastal breezes and sea fog are common, particularly during the summer months, providing relief from the heat and humidity.

Rivers and Lakes:

Great Egg Harbor River:

One of the primary rivers in Atlantic County is the Great Egg Harbor River, which flows through the heart of the county before emptying into the Great Egg Harbor Bay. The river and its tributaries support diverse aquatic ecosystems and recreational activities such as fishing, kayaking, and birdwatching along its scenic banks.

Mullica River:

Another important river in Atlantic County is the Mullica River, which originates in the Pine Barrens and meanders through the county before reaching the Great Bay. The Mullica River is known for its pristine wilderness areas, including the Mullica River Wilderness, which provides opportunities for canoeing, hiking, and wildlife observation.

Lakes and Reservoirs:

While Atlantic County is not known for its large lakes, there are several smaller lakes and reservoirs scattered throughout the region, including Lake Lenape and Lake Oswego. These water bodies offer recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing, and picnicking, serving as popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts and local residents.

Economic Activities:


Tourism is a major economic driver in Atlantic County, particularly along the Jersey Shore, where visitors flock to enjoy the beaches, boardwalks, and entertainment options offered by towns like Atlantic City and Ocean City. The county’s resort communities attract millions of visitors each year, supporting a wide range of businesses, including hotels, restaurants, casinos, and amusement parks.


While tourism dominates the coastal areas, agriculture remains an important industry in the inland regions of Atlantic County. Farmers cultivate a variety of crops, including fruits, vegetables, and grains, while also raising livestock such as poultry and dairy cattle. The county’s fertile soils and mild climate make it well-suited for agriculture, contributing to the local economy and food supply.

Fishing and Maritime Industries:

With its extensive coastline and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic County supports a thriving fishing industry, including commercial fishing, seafood processing, and recreational fishing charters. The county’s ports and marinas serve as hubs for maritime commerce and leisure boating activities, contributing to the local economy and maritime heritage.


Atlantic County, New Jersey, offers a diverse and dynamic landscape that encompasses coastal plains, barrier islands, marshlands, and pine forests. Its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean influences its climate, ecology, and economic activities, making it a unique and vibrant region within the state. From the bustling boardwalks of Atlantic City to the tranquil wilderness of the Pine Barrens, Atlantic County provides a wealth of opportunities for residents and visitors to explore, enjoy, and appreciate the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Jersey Shore.