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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2005

Contact: Alescia Marie Teel
(609) 984-1795

DEP Increases Public Access in Ocean County
through Acquisition of Barnegat Bay Property

(05/116) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell announced the acquisition of over 89 acres in Waretown providing additional protection for the Barnegat Bay watershed, expanding the preservation of coastal land, and increasing public access along New Jersey’s coast.

“We are protecting even more of Barnegat Bay to provide residents and visitors additional opportunities to enjoy the Jersey Shore,” said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. “Preserving over 1,000 feet of waterfront area in Ocean County means more people can experience water sports and boating in our oceans, as well as bird watching and hiking along our beaches.”

DEP Green Acres Program and Ocean Township jointly purchased the 89-acre property for $2.25 million to maintain the area as preserved open space.

“This acquisition advances Governor Codey’s Coast 2005 initiative, giving additional protection to New Jersey’s natural resources and the Barnegat Bay watershed,” said Commissioner Campbell. “DEP will continue to seek protection for all of New Jersey’s valuable coastal resources, while increasing easements along New Jersey’s shorelines statewide.”

The property provides 1,060 feet of waterfront area along the Barnegat Bay and is within close proximity to the Barnegat Inlet. The acquisition of this property provides additional access along the Atlantic Ocean at three points in Waretown, along Chickasaw Drive, Whippany Road and Hatters Road.

The Barnegat Bay acquisition will create a nearly 200-acre Wildlife Management Area adjacent to the Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education owned by DEP’s Fish & Wildlife and managed by the natural Resources Education Foundation of New Jersey.

“This is exactly what partnerships are all about and the Township of Ocean is pleased to partner with the DEP Green Acres Program to make this acquisition possible,” said Mayor Dan Van Pelt of Ocean Township. “It is nice to know that future generations will enjoy what we enjoy today.”

DEP has expanded fishing opportunities statewide with 54 new public access points and over 4,700 acres of permanently preserved open space.

In April 2005, Governor Codey announced Coast 2005, a statewide directive to strengthen protection of coastal resources, enhance public access, expand preservation of coastal areas, while continuing to support the State’s tourism, recreation and maritime industries.

New Jersey has 127 miles of ocean coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and 83 miles of shoreline along the Delaware and Raritan Bays. New Jersey’s coast is a diverse environment of natural resources with more than 50 species of fish and shellfish that are commercially and recreationally harvested.

The DEP Green Acres Program purchases land to protect environmentally sensitive open space, water resources, as well as open spaces with significant natural and historical value. Land acquired becomes part of the statewide system of parks and forest, wildlife management areas and natural areas.

During 2005, the DEP Green Acres Program has preserved more than 28,961 acres of open space. Over 586,725 acres of open space has been protected to provide for hundreds of parks throughout New Jersey with DEP Green Acres funding. The statewide system of preserved open space and farmland totals over 1.3 million acres.


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NJDEP - Green Acres Program
http://www.nj.gov/dep/greenacres

New Jersey's Coast 2005
http://nj.gov/dep/cmp/czm_zone.html

 

 

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Last Updated: September 26, 2005