Amazingly, Downe Township is just 90 minutes from Philadelphia and within three and ½ hours drive to New York and Washington. Yet it offers residents and visitors an abundance of nature’s beautiful wildlife, trees, flowers, plants, wetlands and waterways, providing excellent opportunities for fun and relaxation.
Downe Township’s strength lies in its rural nature. Fishing, boating and sand mining are important industries. There are also a number of ecotourism related businesses in the Township. There is space and a market for additional expansion in the marine and aquaculture fields as well as in tourism and recreation enterprises. Birding is a growing, multimillion dollar industry in Southern New Jersey. Much of the future growth of this facet of ecotourism will be in Downe Township.
Thanks to its location along the Delaware Bay, the Downe Township village of Fortescue has become a fishing and boating mecca. The NJ State Marina and other marinas provide docks for private boats and for charter boats which carry hundreds of visitors to fishing adventures of the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
What is now Downe Township was formed as a by Royal Charter on January 19, 1748, as Downes Township, from portions of Fairfield Township. Downe Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey’s initial 104 townships by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798.
Downe Township values its rural way of living, its educational system and its residents and its businesses, public marinas, fishing and growing eco-tourism are some of its key industries. Downe Township is also home to thousands of acres of permanently preserved open space that not only serves the Township but provides abundant open space for all of New Jersey’s residents.