TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Richard Codey and Senator Christopher Bateman that would appropriate $15.696 million to the Department of Environmental Protection for the purpose of funding the acquisition of lands by the state for recreation and conservation purposes advanced from the Senate Environment and Energy Committee today.
“New Jersey’s landscape has many areas that require adequate protection and conservation to ensure that they will be there for future generations to enjoy,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex/Morris). “We cannot afford to neglect the beauty that Mother Nature has bestowed upon our state and this legislation will ensure the preservation for all to enjoy.”
“We must ensure New Jersey’s open spaces are preserved for generations to come,” said Senator Bateman (R-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset). “I have no doubt that, if passed, these funds will go towards worthy projects that will guarantee New Jersey can remain the Garden State.”
The bill, S-3208, would appropriate $12.642 million to the DEP from the “Preserve New Jersey Green Acres Fund” and from remaining funds of the “Diesel Risk Mitigation Fund”, to acquire and fund nine project areas throughout the state:
• Barnegat Bay Watershed Greenway
• Cape May Peninsula
• Crossroads of American Revolution
• Delaware Bay Watershed Greenway
• Highlands Greenway
• Historic Resources
• Natural Areas
• Ridge and Valley Greenway
The bill would also appropriate $3.054 million to the DEP from the “Preserve New Jersey Blue Acres Fund” and from remaining funds of the “Diesel Risk Mitigation Fund.” This funding would provide for the acquisition of properties throughout the state that are prone to, or currently suffer from, flood or storm damage, or land that may protect surrounding areas from damages for the purpose of recreation or conservation.
The bill advanced from committee with a vote of 4-0, and next heads to the full Senate for further consideration.