Stafford Township (Manahawkin) is the 5th largest township in Ocean County measuring 55 square miles. The township is bordered by Long Beach Island and the Barnegat Bay to the east, Barnegat Township to the north, and Eagleswood Township to the south. The township includes Manahawkin, Cedar Run, Mayetta, and most of Warren Grove. Housing developments included in the area are Warren Grove, Ocean Acres, Deer Lake Park, downtown, Mallard Island, Beach Haven West, Village Harbor, Colony Lakes, Cedar Run, and Mayetta. Along with these are several adult communities, including Fawn Lakes, Atlantic Hills, and Perry´s Lake. Stafford is also the fastest growing community in Southern Ocean County. The 2003 population was estimated at about 23,000. Route 72 continuously attracts new businesses.
Southern Ocean Medical Center is located within the community and has more than tripled in size since its opening.
Many major retail chains and food chains are in the area, including Walmart, Home Depot, Kmart, Target, Bjs, Costco, Dicks, Best Buy, ShopRite, Kohl´s, TJMaxx, TGIFridays, Olive Garden, and Applebees. There is one major hotel in Stafford, Holiday Inn, which is located on Rt. 72. A movie theater and a bowling alley are located in Manahawkin also.
There are many clubs and organizations within the township, such as AARP, Rotary, Lions, Habitat for Humanity, American Legion, Elks, Italian-American Club, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, along with several Girl Scout and Boy Scout Troops.
The Stafford Township School District includes four elementary schools, covering grades K-6. Two private schools are in the township also. Southern Regional School District includes a middle school and high school, covering grades 7-12.
Recreational opportunities abound with a very active recreational department, which coordinates programs for all ages. Roller hockey, soccer, baseball, and football fields are just a few of the sporting venues available at Doc Cramer Park. Several parks are in the area including A. Paul King, Lighthouse, Ocean Acres Lake, and Mill Creek. There are also areas for public lake and bay swimming.
Stafford offers many activities and events throughout the year, including Founders´ Day (June), Good Ol´ Days (September), Halloween Parade (October), and the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony (December).
The feeling of community within Stafford Township is why people enjoy living here.