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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2011

Contact: Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994

STATE PARKS BEGIN REOPENING TODAY

(11/P105) TRENTON - Many State Parks across New Jersey reopened today following a thorough and continuing review and inspection of dozens of State-owned natural, recreational and historic sites from High Point to Cape May in the aftermath of damage caused by Hurricane Irene.

Thirty of 42 State Parks and Recreation Areas reopened today, including some of the most popular venues, such as Liberty State Park, Island Beach State Park, Allaire State Park and Ringwood State Park. Also, State administered marinas are open for slip holders. Visitors should call park areas to check availability of amenities, including swimming, historic sites and camps.

Some State Parks will stagger openings over the next few days as further inspections are done, needed repairs are made, flooding recedes and power is restored.

In some cases, only portions of State Parks will immediately reopen in time for the Labor Day weekend, with some damaged trails and facilities off limits and some swimming areas closed temporarily. All State Parks will open completely once they are deemed safe for public access.

"We are working hard to get these incredible State Parks open as quickly as possible,'' said Governor Christie. "We want these Parks open to the public for Labor Day weekend and for the remainder of the summer, so our residents can enjoy these beautiful State assets.''

"The DEP's Division of Parks and Forestry is working diligently to assess the health of all State Parks to ensure the integrity of the facilities and safety of our residents in a park system that draws more than 18 million visitors annually,'' added DEP Commissioner Bob Martin.

Before planning a visit to a State Park or historic site please call ahead to make sure it has re-opened. For individual contact information and directions to areas, please visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/.

Nine State Parks suffered more significant storm damage and are temporarily closed pending thorough inspections and repairs and to address all safety concerns. At Wharton State Forest, the Mullica and Batsto Rivers converged and flooded Batsto Village, overwhelmed some bridges and roads, and caused power and communications outages. The park areas will be closed pending evaluation and restoration.

Parts of Brendan Byrne State Park, which has flooded roads and a loss of power, may not be accessible for inspection for several days. Cheesequake State Park suffered road washouts, a loss of power, and many downed trees. It will likely be reopened this week, but the swimming area may remain closed for the rest of the season. Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park has significant damage. Access is limited, historic properties are flooded, with repairs ongoing.

The following State Park day use areas opened as of today:
Abram S. Hewitt State Forest
Allaire State Park
Allamuchy Mountain State Park
Barnegat Light State Park
Bass River State Forest
Belleplain State Forest
Cape May Point State Park
Corson's Inlet State Park
Double Trouble State Park
Farney State Park
Hacklebarney State Park
High Point State Park
Hopatcong State Park
Island Beach State Park
Jenny Jump State Forest
Liberty State Park
Long Pond Ironworks State Park'
Monmouth Battlefield State Park
Norvin Green State Forest
Parvin State Park (August 31)
Penn State Forest
Princeton Battlefield State Park
Ramapo Mountain State Forest
Rancocas State Park
Ringwood State Park
Spruce Run Recreation Area
Stephens State Park
Swartswood State Park
Voorhees State Park
Warren Grove Recreation Area

Day Use Areas Temporarily Closed Pending Power Restoration:
Round Valley Recreation Area
Washington Crossing State Park

Areas Closed Pending Assessment and Repairs:
Brendan Bryne State Forest
Bull's Island Recreation Area
Cheesequake State Park
D&R Canal State Park
Fort Mott State Park
Kittatinny Valley State Park (trails open)
Stokes State Forest
Wawayanda State Park
Wharton State Forest/Atsion Recreation Area
Worthington State Forest


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Last Updated: August 30, 2011