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State, Local Agencies to Buy 293 Acres in Ocean County for Watershed Preservation

Officials: purchase will help preserve Barnegat Bay watershed

Photo: NJDEP
Photo: NJDEP
The state Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday announced the $4.5 million purchase of 293 acres in Jackson that will be preserved for open space.

The DEP said in a statement that preservation of the "Cedar Branch'' tract, which has been purchased from Hovbilt, Inc., a developer, will help protect water quality of the Cedar Branch and Pole Brook tributaries of the Toms River, which is the source of more than 25 percent of the fresh water running into Barnegat Bay.

The streams also charged the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer aquifer, which is a major water source for central and southern New Jersey, according to the DEP.

The DEP's Green Acres Program funded $500,000 of the purchase which Jackson Township funded $2 million, Ocean County funded $1.75 million and The Trust for Public Land funded $250,000 through a Green Acres grant.

Slightly more than 57 of the preserved acres will be managed by the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife as an addition to the state's 12,700-acre Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area; another 203 acres will be turned over to Ocean County for a new preserve to be called "Cedar Branch" in Jackson Township; and 32 acres will be managed by Jackson Township as a local park.

"As the pace of real estate development picks back up in Ocean County, now is the time for us to step up our efforts to protect the unique places that make the Pinelands special," said Anthony Cucchi, The Trust for Public Land's New Jersey State Director, in a statement. "We applaud the State of New Jersey, Ocean County and Jackson Township for acting when they did to conserve this property in order to protect our drinking water and the health of Barnegat Bay."
jerseytomato May 16, 2014 at 06:57 AM
No wonder they raised our property taxes. So much for the 'snow removal' excuse.
Heywood May 16, 2014 at 12:01 PM
Some people are never satisfied.
Penn Cross May 16, 2014 at 01:16 PM
It was expensive but still, I was happy the land will be preserved.
Mac May 16, 2014 at 09:51 PM
Fish and Wildlife Management - probably not the place for Mrs. Fine to take Rocky for a walk on his leash

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