Sunday, June 24, 2018

Environmental funding bills on NJ governor’s desk

Camping at High Point State Park in NJ

Two bills that would appropriate constitutionally dedicated funding to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the acquisition of lands for recreational and conservation purposes, including for Blue Acres projects, and provide funding for capital projects and park development, were approved by both houses of the state legislature on Thursday.

The first bill,
S2728/A4210,appropriates $12.3 million to the state Department of Environmental Protection to fund the acquisition of lands in the following Green Acre project areas:

     * Barnegat Bay Watershed Greenway
     * Cape May Peninsula
     * Crossroads of American Revolution
     * Delaware Watershed Greenway
     * Highlands Greenway
     * Historic Resources
     * Natural areas
     * Pinelands
     * Ridge and Valley Greenway

An additional $3 million would be appropriated for recreation and conservation purposes of lands that have been damaged by or may be prone to incurring damage from storms or storm-related flooding, or that may buffer other lands from such damage.

The second bill,
S2729/A4211, appropriates roughly $9.7 million to the DEP for funding capital projects and park development. Projects receiving funding would include:

     * Boating and Fishing Access
     * Camping Development
     * Habitat Enhancement and Access
     * Infrastructure (Including bridge repairs, building repairs and renovations, recreational development, road repairs and historic structure stabilization and repairs

Both bills are now in place for signing by Gov. Phil Murphy

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