Connors, Rumpf and Gove Applaud New Open Space Law

Includes Areas In 9th Legislative District
May 17, 2017

Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove have praised the signing of legislation that appropriates nearly $60 million for open space projects throughout the state, including areas within the 9th District. The measure “appropriates $59,532,000 from constitutionally dedicated CBT (corporation business tax) revenues for state acquisition of lands for recreation and conservation purposes, including Blue Acres projects, and capital and park development projects.”

Barnegat Light borough, Barnegat Township, Beach Haven borough, Eagleswood Township, Harvey Cedars borough, Little Egg Harbor Township, Long Beach Township, Ocean Township, Ship Bottom borough, Stafford Township, Surf City borough and Tuckerton borough are all listed under the Blue Acres segment of the legislation. As the bill explains, Blue Acres refers to “the acquisition, for recreation and conservation purposes, of lands that have been damaged by, or may be prone to incurring damage caused by, storms or storm-related flooding, or that may buffer or protect other lands from such damage.”

Meanwhile, Barnegat, Eagleswood, Little Egg Harbor, Ocean and Stafford townships and Tuckerton borough are noted under the section dedicated to funding for Green Acres – the acquisition of lands for recreation and conservation purposes – for the Pinelands.

“Open space preservation is among the most important environmental priorities for our constituency,” the members of the 9th District delegation said in a joint statement. “Notably, this open space initiative enjoyed the support of environmental organizations, which were instrumental in advancing the bill through the legislative process.

“Each of the 24 municipalities in our legislative district stand to benefit from this open space law, primarily those located in the Pinelands and along the Atlantic Basin. However, state law requires the Green Acres program to purchase property from willing sellers only.”

They added, “Many of our constituents see open space preservation as a quality-of-life issue, including outdoor enthusiasts, hunters, fishermen and boaters. Open space preservation is essential to protecting drinking water supplies as well as wildlife habitats, curbing unwanted development and preserving air quality.”

The legislation was introduced in February by Sen. Bob Smith (17th Dist.), Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (both 16th Dist.), Assemblyman Troy Singleton (7th Dist.) and Assemblywoman Elizabeth Maher Muoio (15th Dist.).

A complete listing of projects and the affiliated municipalities is available online at —J.K.-H.

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