Says Environmental Preservation Crosses Party Lines
TRENTON – Noting that preserving the environmental quality of New Jersey crosses party lines, State Senator Jim Whelan today applauded Governor Christie for signing a series of open space bills which will bring millions of dollars in Green Acres funding to Atlantic County.
“Open space acquisition and environmental preservation are absolutely essential to ensuring the quality of life that we enjoy in New Jersey, and should be beyond politicization,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic. “While I’ve certainly disagreed with the Governor in the past over policy, I believe that living up to our environmental responsibility under the Green Acres program is the right thing to do. The projects funded under the three open space laws signed earlier today will result in hundreds of acres of land protected from development and suburban sprawl in Atlantic County alone.”
At a public bill signing in Hillsborough, Somerset County, Governor Christie signed a trio of bipartisan Green Acres open space bills which would distribute $157 million in open space dollars statewide. Included in the funding is $900,000 for open space acquisition in Atlantic County; $675,000 for a park / beach parking lot on Ventnor Ave. in Margate; funds to nonprofit organizations to expand preservation efforts to land attached to the Ellwood Corridor greenway and Hirst Ponds nature preserve – both valuable projects connected with Pine Barrens preservation, and $5 million for continued preservation in the Pinelands region.
“As one of the most densely populated states in the nation, New Jersey faces a huge amount of pressure to develop every available acre of land,” said Senator Whelan. “Through programs like the Green Acres program, we can preserve valuable, vulnerable open space, protect New Jersey’s agrarian heritage, and create recreational opportunities for local families and visitors alike. I applaud Governor Christie for doing the right thing and signing these bipartisan environmental preservation bills.”