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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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news releases

May 1, 2007

Contact: Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994
Karen Hershey (609) 984-1795


(07/25) TRENTON -Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today released new information showing land use changes and development trends throughout New Jersey.

The DEP will use the findings from the new study to develop strategies to curb overdevelopment. Among the initiatives that are being considered are increased flood hazard control measures, sustainable growth planning and regulatory protections for threatened and endangered species.

"Our land use cover data is continually updated," DEP Deputy Commissioner John S. Watson said. "This mapping program will assist local officials, developers and homeowners in their decision-making."

Using high-resolution aerial photographs, the DEP created a snapshot of New Jersey's landscape, comparing the results with data from prior years. The results indicate that New Jersey is losing open space at the rate of 15,000 acres a year, roughly the same rate as reported between 1986 and 1995.

This latest release of land use information is part of an ongoing effort to provide the public with current and reliable information about New Jersey’s environment. The land use data has been incorporated into the Department’s interactive mapping tool, i-MapNJ.

Just last week Commissioner Jackson announced two major proposals that will protect open space areas. The proposed water quality management rules promote regional planning and direct development away from environmentally sensitive lands. The second proposal gives the highest level of protection to more than 900 miles of waterways and 1300 acres of reservoirs, limiting development near these critical waterways. The i-MapNJ program allows the public to access data from DEP programs and overlay the information on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) maps of New Jersey. The DEP's GIS maps include land use areas, locations of contaminated sites and location of natural resources.

I-MapNJ can be accessed online at the DEP's Web site

To access the updated land use cover data visit the DEP's Web site at:




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Last Updated: May 1, 2007