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September 27, 2004

Contact: Erin Phalon
(609) 984-1795


DEP Acquires 43 Properties that Provide Public Access to Fishing Waters

(04/108) Trenton -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced the acquisition of 43 properties located throughout New Jersey that provide fishing access for New Jersey residents and visitors. The properties, which comprise 3,662 acres of permanently protected open space, were purchased through the DEP Green Acres Program at a total cost of $16,770,000. The purchase of these properties reflects Governor McGreevey's commitment to expand access to fishing waters by purchasing easements.

"New Jersey is a great fishing state," said Governor James E. McGreevey. "With the purchase of these properties, residents and visitors will now be able to wade and walk along the banks, streambeds and shorelines of some of the best fishing streams in the country."

On April 13, 2002- Earth Day -Governor McGreevey directed DEP to use Green Acres funds to purchase permanent easements for access rights along productive fishing streams.

"Governor McGreevey's leadership in increasing fishing access will enable New Jersey residents and visitors to enjoy the state's diverse opportunities to fish," said Commissioner Campbell. "The preservation of these 43 properties through the DEP Green Acres Program will help protect New Jersey's water resources and habitat and provide new locations for recreational fishing."

The funded properties are located in thirteen counties and provide fishing access to more than 30 bodies of water.

In Atlantic County, anglers have new access to parcels along the Atlantic Ocean, Absecon Creek, Absecon Bay and Gravelly Run, a tributary of the Egg Harbor River. DEP also purchased land with fishing access to the Turtle Creek, the Mullica River, the Wading River, the Delaware River and Dredge Harbor in Burlington County. DEP purchased three properties in Cape May County, located on the Cedar Swamp Creek and the Tuckahoe River.

In Cumberland County, DEP offers fishing access points along Stow Creek, Hands Mill Pond, the Cohansey River, the Maurice River and Fortescue Creek. In Gloucester County, anglers now have access to additional fishing locations on the Raccoon Creek and Mantua Creek.

Anglers can also enjoy five new access points in Hunterdon County, located on the Musconetcong River, the Lockatong Creek, the Raritan River, the Lazy Brook and Mulhockway Creek.

Newly purchased properties will provide fishing access to Cheesequake tributaries in Middlesex County and the Musconetcong River and the South Branch of the Raritan River in Morris County. DEP purchased additional land at the Leonardo State Marina in Monmouth County to provide access to Sandy Hook Bay, the Hudson River Bight and the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, DEP purchased access to the Toms River in Ocean County.

DEP also purchased two properties in Salem County, on Paradise Lake and the Salem River. In Sussex County, DEP purchased properties with fishing access at the Paulinskill River, the Flat Brook and the Walkill River. In Warren County, DEP provides new recreation opportunities at five sites along the Paulinskill and Pequest Rivers.

New Jersey's popularity as a fishing destination provides nearly 11 million recreation days for both residents of the state and non-residents. Fishing contributes over $1.4 billion to the state's economy and provides more than 12,000 jobs.

Since Governor McGreevey took office, the Green Acres Program has acquired 68,952 acres of open space-45,873 acres for state projects, 11,797 acres for local projects and 11,282 acres for nonprofit groups. To date, the Green Acres Program has protected more than 551,358 acres of open space and provided funding to develop hundreds of parks statewide. The statewide system of preserved open space and farmland totals more than 1.27 million acres.




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