The Green Acres legislation that appropriates funding for the acquisition of land for the purpose of conservation and park or recreation development projects was approved recently by the general assembly. Assembly Republicans Scott Rudder and Christopher J. Brown advocated for the legislation.
“New Jersey is known as ‘The Garden State,’ and the funding provided by these bills will help ensure that our residents and visitors to our state will continue to enjoy the natural resources we were blessed with,” said Rudder. “The Blue Acres program plays an increasingly important role in protecting property which is at the forefront of our concerns since last year’s hurricane and Superstorm Sandy.”
Rudder sponsored two bipartisan bills approved by the assembly.
The first bill, A-3368, appropriates $45 million from the “2009 Green Acres Fund” and $12 million from the “2009 Blue Acres Fund” for the potential acquisition of such lands by the state. Voters previously approved these appropriations three years ago.
The second bill, A-3369, appropriates $55 million from the “2009 Green Acres Fund” and $2.4 million from the “1995 Coastal Blue Acres Fund” for potential land purchase by local governments.
Brown, also sponsored A-3368, and voted to support both measures.
“The bills released today send an important message that New Jersey is committed to preserving and safeguarding its diverse landscape,” Brown said. “We must continue to safeguard the environment and support programs that protect farms, rivers and forests, such as Green Acres, that benefit the people who live and work here.”
Burlington County will receive $650,000 in funding for acquisition projects, and Eastampton, Medford and Evesham, all located in the 8th Legislative District, will also be awarded funding grants under A-3369.
The Green Acres program is intended to provide financial assistance in order to acquire open space for recreation and conservation purposes.
The Blue Acres program is overseen by Green Acres and provides state grants and low-interest loans to help towns and counties purchase properties that may be prone to damage caused by storms. The 1995 Blue Acres monies are available for buying properties on a coastal barrier island or within 150 feet of the mean high water line of any tidal waters.