View all Cross Acceptance Data Descriptions.
These files can be used with your GIS or can be viewed with a free
GIS Data Viewer from ESRI called Explorer for ArcGIS.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is providing a broad range of
Geographical Informational Systems (GIS) data to citizens and professionals to help them gain a
better understanding of the environmental factors, conditions, and constraints that shape development
and guide protection of our State's landscape. The Department is making the data available to each
county for its use during the 2004 New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan Cross Acceptance
process to ensure that the planning goals established within their own master plan are environmentally
sound and realistic.
The DEP GIS data reveal that each community has a unique collection of environmental factors and circumstances
that serve to limit and shape where and how development or resource preservation should occur. The Department urges
counties to carefully consider these GIS data layers, especially if they are seeking to change planning area designations
to better protect resources or attract and accommodate growth. For communities seeking to pursue plan endorsement in
order to designate new centers, the GIS data will greatly aid counties, municipalities and state agencies as they
determine the size, scale and development intensity of the centers.
Some of the environmental features and factors mapped by the Department's GIS data have direct links to regulatory
programs, while others call out areas needing special planning and design consideration. On occasion, users may find
that the GIS data are not current. The Department's GIS data are under constant revision and regulatory site-specific
decisions by DEP are always complemented by on-site verification. It is the DEP's expectation that the data will serve
as a helpful resource to local governments during Cross Acceptance.
Beaches, Cross Acceptance -
beach_ca.zip (0.2 MB, 0.5 MB unzipped)
The NJDEP considers all beach areas to be environmentally significant, and has included them in a
separate layer to be used in the Cross Acceptance process. Beaches were mapped as part of the 1995/97 LU/LC dataset.
Descriptions of the specific beach categories mapped are given in:
All polygons given a TYPE95 code of BEACHES in that 1995/97 LU/LC were selected and put in a separate data layer.
To simplify this layer for use in Cross Acceptance, and additional attribute (BEACH) was added to the .PAT of the
beach coverage. All valid beach polygons were given a BEACH code of 'Y'. The beach layer was dissolved on the
BEACH code, and all resultant polygons with a BEACH code of 'Y' selected for inclusion in the BEACH_CA layer.
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Critical Sub-Watersheds, Cross Acceptance -
crith14_ca.zip (16.2 MB, 40.9 MB unzipped)
Sub-watersheds for use in the Cross Acceptance process are based on the NJDEP HUC14 data set.
A description of this data set can be found at:
The first step in creating the cross acceptance layer was to code the HUC14 sub-watershed
polygons with some additional attributes. The HUC14 layer was merged with the 1995/97 LU/LC layer so that the
mean impervious surface percent of each HUC14 basin could be calculated. The LU/LC layer includes an estimate
of the impervious surface percentage of each polygon mapped in that layer. Using this value, a mean impervious
surface percentage could be calculated for each sub-watershed mapped in the HUC14 layer. Once the mean value
was calculated, all HUC14 basins with a value of less than 10%, could be identified, and coded as such.
Ground Water Recharge Areas, Cross Acceptance -
gwr3_ca.zip (12.3 MB, 31.0 MB unzipped)
The NJDEP Geological Survey (NJGS) developed the original ground water recharge data sets.
NJGS personnel used several data factors, such as land use patterns, impervious surface amounts, soil types,
precipitation, and evaporation rates, among others, to calculate the amount of water each area of the state
normally contributes to the underlying aquifers. The data are reported and mapped in several standard categories,
in units of inches per year. Original data were generated both for each county and for each watershed management
area (WMA). Documentation for the original data sets can be found at
For the Cross Acceptance process, the original ground water recharge data, calculated for
each WMA, were first converted from an inches-per-year rating to a volume-based rating. The volume data were
then grouped into three classes to simplify further analysis, based on the percent contribution to the total
recharge amounts. Once grouped into the three classes, the individual volume-based data were merged into a
single statewide layer. From this layer, only the polygons contributing the highest one-third of the recharge
volume in each WMA were selected for further processing.
The final step in creating this recharge layer was to remove areas within the ground
water recharge polygons which were developed or built-up. This was accomplished by merging the selected
recharge polygons described above, with the developed areas mapped as part of the 1995/97 Land Use/Land
Cover Mapping project. Those portions of the recharge polygons that were also developed were eliminated
from the final recharge layer. The final Ground Water Recharge (Cross Acceptance) layer, therefore,
includes all polygons within the state that were identified as contributing the highest one-third of the
recharge volume in the appropriate WMA, and which were not developed in the 1995/97 LU/LC layer. To
simplify this layer for use in the Cross Acceptance process, an additional attribute, GWR3' was added
to the .PAT of the above layer. All valid recharge polygons were given a GWR3 code of 'Y'. The GWR3
layer was dissolved on the GWR3 code , and all polygons with a GWR3 code of 'Y" were selected for
inclusion in the GWR3_CA layer.
Landscape Project Endangered Species Habitat, Rank 2, Cross Acceptance -
ls2_ca.zip (13.3 MB, 35.6 MB unzipped)
The Landscape Project (Version 2), and the process of generating the critical
habitat rankings is discussed at:
The landscape data used in the creation of the LS2_CA layer are based on the latest
version of the Landscape Project habitat models, which utilize polygons from the NJDEP 1995/97
Land Use/Land Cover (LU/LC) data layer. In this process, appropriate LU/LC polygons were placed
into one of the five basic habitat types modeled in the Landscape Project-- Beach, Emergent, Forest,
Wetland Forests, and Grasslands-and the landscape models were run to identify critical habitat areas.
Each polygon in each habitat layer is given a rank of from 1 to 5, which reflects the critical
nature of that habitat. Habitat areas with Rank 2 are considered habitats of Special Concern
by the Endangered Species Program.
The initial step in creating the LS2_CA layer involved selecting all areas with
Rank 2 in the five habitat types and merging these together into one statewide layer. An item (LS2)
was added to the .PAT of the coverage of merged habitat layers, and all polygons with a Rank code of 2
were given a LS2 Code of 'Y'. The final LS2_CA layer was created by dissolving the merged habitat
layer on the LS2 field, and selecting from the dissolved layer only those polygons that had a LS2 value of 'Y'.
Landscape Project Endangered Species Habitat, Ranks 3,4,5, Cross Acceptance -
ls345_ca.zip (19.2 MB, 50.8 MB unzipped)
The landscape data used in the creation of the LS345_CA layer are based on the latest version
of the Landscape Project habitat models, which utilize polygons from the NJDEP 1995/97
Land Use/Land Cover (LU/LC) data layer. In this process, appropriate LU/LC polygons were
placed into one of the five basic habitat types modeled in the Landscape Project-- Beach,
Emergent, Forest, Wetland Forests, and Grasslands-and the landscape models were run to
identify critical habitat areas. Each polygon in each habitat layer is given a rank of from
1 to 5, which reflects the critical nature of that habitat. Areas with Ranks 3,4,5 are
considered most critical since they represent habitat areas utilized by species on the
State Threatened, State Endangered, and Federal Threatened and Endangered Species lists,
respectively. In addition to the five habitat types, the latest Landscape Project data
also includes separate layers for wood turtle habit and bald eagle foraging habitats.
All areas in the wood turtle layer are given a Rank of 3, and all areas in the eagle
foraging layer are given a Rank of 5, reflective of the endangered status of these two
species. Personnel of the NJDEP Endangered and Non-Game Species Program developed all
initial habitat layers.
All areas ranked 3, 4, or 5 in any of the five basic habitat types, and all areas
mapped in the wood turtle and eagle foraging layers, are considered environmentally
significant in all portions of the state by the NJDEP. The initial step in creating
the LS345_CA layer, therefore, included selecting all areas with Rank 3, 4 or 5 in the
five habitat types and merging these together, along with the wood turtle and eagle
foraging habitat areas, into one statewide layer. An item (LS345) was added to the .PAT
of the coverage of merged habitat layers, and all polygons with a Rank code of 3, 4 or 5
were given a LS345 Code of 'Y'. The final LS345_CA layer was created by dissolving the
merged habitat layer on the LS345 field, and selecting from the dissolved layer only
those polygons that had a LS345 value of 'Y'.
Dedicated Open Space, Cross Acceptance -
openspce_ca.zip (6.3 MB, 13.8 MB unzipped)
The Dedicated Open Space layer for Cross Acceptance is based on several
open space data sets maintained by the Green Acres Program (GA) of NJDEP. The program
maintains separate data sets for state owned properties, as well as for federal and
utility owned properties, and for properties owned by counties, municipalities, and
non-profit organizations. All of these data sets, mapped as of 1/01/04, were made
available for use in creating this open space layer.
While some military owned properties are used as recreational lands, it was decided that
since these properties may be diverted from recreational uses, military properties would
not be included in the dedicated open space category. The first step, therefore, was to
select only the non-military parcels from the federal/utility layer maintained by the GA
Program, and place these in a separate layer. This non-military federal/utility layer
was merged with the state open space layer, and this combined layer then was merged with
the county/local layers and non-profit layers in turn. The resultant open space layer
included all polygons identified as dedicated open space in any of the individual
To simplify the open space layer for use in Cross Acceptance, an additional attribute
(OPENSPCE) was added to the .PAT of the merged open space coverage. All valid open
space polygons were given an OPENSPCE code of 'Y'. The merged open space layer described
above was dissolved on the attribute OPENSPCE, and all resultant polygons with an OPENSPCE
code of 'Y' were selected for inclusion in the OPENSPCE_CA layer.
Natural Heritage Program Priority Sites, Cross Acceptance -
prisite_ca.zip (1.9 MB, 4.7 MB unzipped)
The original Priority Sites layer was created by the Natural Heritage Program
to identify the best habitats for rare plant and animal species and natural communities through
analysis of information in the NJ Natural Heritage Database. A full description of the Priority
Sites can be found at:
For Cross Acceptance purposes, the original Priority Sites layer underwent additional
analysis to identify those areas within the boundaries of the Priority Sites that were already
developed. The developed areas within the Priority Sites were identified by merging the Priority
Site layer with a layer of developed lands selected from the 1995/97 LU/LC data set. Categories of
developed lands mapped in the LU/LC data set are described in:
Once merged, the developed lands within the boundaries could be identified and removed from the
Priority Sites dataset. The remaining layer included all undeveloped lands within the boundaries
of the Priority Sites as mapped by the Natural Heritage Program.
To simplify this layer for use in the Cross Acceptance process, an additional attribute field
(PRISITE) was added to the reselected sites layer described above. All undeveloped polygons
within the boundaries of the Priority sites were given a PRISITE code of 'Y". The final layer
was created by dissolving on the PRISITE attribute, with all resultant polygons with a PRISITE
code of 'Y' selected.
Sewer Service Status, Cross Acceptance -
sewer_ca.zip (8.2 MB, 29.0 MB unzipped)
This layer was created by combining the 'Approved Sewer Service Area' layer
created by NJDEP, with a state boundary layer. The sewer service status of all areas of the
state can, therefore, be determined from this combined layer.
For Cross Acceptance purposes, the NJDEP considers all areas not within the boundaries of an
approved sewer service area, as non-sewer service areas. It also considers those sewer
service areas that are approved for discharges of less than 20,000 gallons per day (GPD),
as well as those areas having holding tanks, or non-discharge areas, as non-sewer service areas.
To identify areas meeting the above criteria, an additional code, STATUS, was added to the
combined layer described above. All areas of the state outside the boundaries of approved
sewer service areas, as well as those areas within the boundaries of the service areas with
discharges of less than 20,000 gpd, or with holding tanks or non-discharge areas, were identified
from the TYPE field, and given a STATUS code of 'Non-Service Area'. All other areas of the state
were given a STATUS code of 'Service Area'.
Water Bodies, Cross Acceptance -
water_ca.zip (9.6 MB, 22.3 MB unzipped)
This data layer contains open water areas for NJ. Included are lakes, ponds, enclosed
tidal bays, and major rivers, reselected from the 1995/97 Land Use/Land Cover (LU/LC) data set. Some of
these water features were originally mapped by the USGS, while others were mapped by NJDEP as part of the
Fresh Water Wetlands Program and the 1986 and 1995 LU/LC projects.
All water features were extracted from 1995/97 LU/LC dataset. Descriptions of the specific water
categories mapped in that layer are given in:
All polygons given a TYPE95 code of WATER in that 1995/97 LU/LC were selected and put in a
separate data layer. To simplify this layer for use in Cross Acceptance, and additional
attribute (WATER) was added to the .PAT of the water coverage. All valid water polygons were
given a WATER code of 'Y'. The beach layer was dissolved on the WATER code, and all resultant
polygons with a WATER code of 'Y' selected for inclusion in the WATER_CA layer.
Wetlands, Cross Acceptance -
wetlands_ca.zip (36.7 MB, 98.7 MB unzipped)
The WETLANDS_CA layer has been extracted from the 1995/97 LU/LC layer. All
polygons with a TYPE95 code of WETLANDS in that layer were extracted from a statewide LU/LC data
set, and placed in a separate layer. This included both tidal and non-tidal wetlands, and natural
and modified wetlands as mapped in the LU/LC project. Descriptions of the specific wetland
categories mapped in the LU/LC data set are given in:
To simply the wetlands layer for use in the Cross Acceptance process, and additional
attribute (WETLANDS) was added to the .PAT of the wetlands coverage. All valid wetlands polygons
were given a WETLANDS code of 'Y'. The full wetlands layer was then dissolved on the WETLANDS
attribute to produce the final WETLANDS_CA layer.
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January 28, 2021