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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 12/4/00
/00
CONTACT: Loretta O'Donnell or Amy Collings
(609) 984-1795 or 292-2994

DEP AND CAPE MAY COUNTY SIGN CONTRACT TO PROTECT AREA WATERSHEDS

COUNTY TO RECEIVE $400,000

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Shinn today signed a contract with the Cape May County Freeholders to develop a comprehensive watershed management plan to protect and improve water quality throughout the Cape May area.

The Cape May County Freeholders will receive $400,000 for the two-year contract and a total of $600,000 over four years to complete the scope of work.

The plan will encompass the 267-square-mile watershed, known as Area 16, which covers 17 municipalities in Cape May County and Maurice River Township in Cumberland County. Area 16 covers the Dennis, East, West, Fishing and Green creeks, Great Cedar, Timber and Beaver swamps. Also, Jenkins, Jarvis, Grassy and Great sounds and Townsend's Inlet.

Commissioner Shinn signed the contract with Freeholder Director Daniel Beyel at a ceremony held at the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor.

Cape May County will work in partnership with local organizations including the Cape May County Water Resources Coordinating Council, the League of Women Voters and the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions.

DEP has signed contracts and awarded funds to local partners for nearly all of New Jersey's 20 watershed management areas so that planning can begin statewide this year.

Governor Whitman, who initiated the watershed management program, said, "This plan will protect Cape May's environmentally sensitive waterways which are invaluable resources that are enjoyed by millions of New Jerseyans and visitors."

"Working together, we will produce a plan that will protect the Cape May area watershed by identifying strategies to reduce various sources of non-point source pollution. Controlling nonpoint, or "people" pollution, requires everyone's understanding and involvement to reduce the impacts on waterways," said Shinn.

The county will seek input from other local groups and interested citizens in developing the plan at the partnership's meetings. Task committees will conduct public outreach and other technical and support work. Upon completion of a draft plan, DEP will seek formal public comment and review prior to adoption.

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