ADDITION TO CHEESEQUAKE STATE PARK
Monmouth County Acquisition Will Safeguard
(04/136) TRENTON - Emphasizing the
importance of preserving New Jersey's coastal resources,
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner
Bradley M. Campbell today announced the preservation of
a nine-acre parcel on Whale Creek in Aberdeen, Monmouth
County. DEP and the NY/NJ Baykeeper will jointly manage
the property as part of Cheesequake State Park.
"This coastal acquisition highlights the diversity
of New Jersey's natural resource protection efforts,"
said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. "From the mountains
to the shore to our urban parks, the Green Acres Program
protects recreational lands and preserves ecological habitats
for future generations."
"The protection of this parcel on Whale Creek reflects
New Jersey's commitment to protecting natural resources
in our coastal region," said Commissioner Bradley M.
Campbell. "Preserving habitat and water resources is
among our highest priorities. I greatly appreciate the work
of Senator Lautenberg, Congressman Pallone and the NY/NJ
Baykeeper in making this acquisition possible."
The preservation of this property will protect coastal
resources and the water quality of Whale Creek, which discharges
into the Raritan and Sandy Hook Bays. The NY/NJ Baykeeper
identified parcels surrounding the creek in need of permanent
protection as high priority acquisitions.
"This acquisition is a perfect example of strong
leadership on the part of local, state, and federal officials
who worked together and took action to protect natural land
that is valued both as regionally significant habitat and
local open space," said NY/NJ Baykeeper Preservation
Director Greg Remaud.
The Whale Creek property, which will be open to the public
for passive recreation, is comprised of wetland and woodland
areas that provide habitat to a variety of species. The
parcel serves as a foraging ground for shorebirds and waterbirds,
nesting and foraging habitat for terrapins and a migratory
and wintering stopover habitat for songbirds and raptors.
"The purchase of this property through the DEP Green
Acres Program prevented the development of twenty new homes
in Aberdeen," said Aberdeen Mayor David G. Sobel. "This
acquisition provides an example of government taking decisive
action to protect New Jersey's water resources."
The DEP Green Acres Program purchased the $1.1 million
Whale Creek property through a partnership with the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The DEP Green Acres
program contributed $613,000 and U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg
and U.S. Representative Frank Pallone provided a $487,000
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Federal
Assistance Award to the DEP Coastal Management Program.
The NY/NJ Baykeeper helped secure federal funding for the
project. Lautenberg and Pallone in 2003 provided funding
for the acquisition of a 67-acre addition to Cheesequake
State Park on Cheesequake Creek in Old Bridge Township,
"By preserving these nine acres as part of the Cheesequake
State Park, we're placing a priority on protecting our precious
water resources in Central Jersey," Congressman Pallone
said. "I'll continue to work with Senator Lautenberg,
the DEP and the NY/NJ Baykeeper to protect open spaces throughout
"This nine-acre treasure is home to many species of
birds, fish and turtles," said Senator Lautenberg.
"Its permanent preservation will also help protect
area water quality. I am very pleased that the money I fought
for in Congress will be used to acquire this high priority
The DEP Green Acres Program purchases land to protect environmentally
sensitive open space, water resources and other significant
natural and historical open space. Land acquired becomes
part of the statewide system of parks and forest, wildlife
management areas and natural areas.
Since January 2002, the Green Acres Program has acquired
68,952 acres of open space-45,873 acres for state projects,
11,797 acres for local projects and 11,282 acres for nonprofit
groups. To date, the Green Acres Program has protected more
than 551,358 acres of open space and provided funding to
develop hundreds of parks statewide. The statewide system
of preserved open space and farmland totals more than 1.27