PolitickerNJ Wire Feed

By Maeghan | December 20th, 2012 - 7:36pm
| More

TRENTON, N.J. – NJ Keep It Green today thanked the Senate for its approval of $79.5 million to support farmland preservation throughout the state. This represents the last of the funds from a 2009 voter-approved bond issue that provided $400 million for Blue Acres, Green Acres, Farmland Preservation and Historic Preservation projects across New Jersey.

“NJ Keep It Green thanks the Senate for its consistent support for New Jersey’s Farmland Preservation program,” said Tom Gilbert, chairman of NJ Keep It Green.  “By continuing our legacy of farmland preservation, we can ensure our agriculture industry remains strong and that our families continue to have access to healthy, locally grown Jersey Fresh food.”

Food and agriculture is New Jersey’s third largest industry. In 2011, the state’s more than 10,000 farms generated $1.1 billion, according to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

Earlier this year, the Farmland Preservation program reached an important milestone when New Jersey’s 200,000th acre of farmland was preserved.  To date, more than 2,100 farms have been permanently protected. Despite this success, an additional 350,000 acres of farmland still need to be preserved to maintain a viable agricultural industry in the Garden State. 

“New Jersey has made tremendous strides in farmland and open space preservation, but significant needs remain,” said Kelly Mooij, coordinator of NJ Keep It Green. “With the last of the 2009 bond funds fully allocated, we look forward to working with Governor Christie, Senate President Sweeney, Speaker Oliver and other elected leaders to develop a bipartisan initiative to sustain funding for Farmland Preservation, Green Acres, Blue Acres and Historic Preservation.”

The remaining farmland preservation funding from the 2009 bond will be allocated as follows:

  • $38.5 million will be used to assist counties in preserving farmland under the County Planning Incentive Grant Program. A participating county can be eligible for a base grant of up to $1 million. A county that spends down its base grant is eligible to compete for additional monies from a $25 million grant fund; the maximum county grant under this program is $6 million.
  • $16.25 million in grants will help 31 municipalities preserve farms under the Municipal Planning Incentive Grant Program. Three towns participating in the program for the first time are eligible for $750,000 each, while the remaining municipalities are eligible for $500,000 each.
  • $20.64 million will allow the State Agriculture Development Committee to directly preserve farms under its State Acquisition Program.
  • $4.1 million in grants will assist four nonprofit organizations in preserving farmland.

The bills now head to the Governor’s desk. A package of bills passed earlier this month that allocate $123 million in Green Acres and Blue Acres funding also await the Governor’s signature.

Public support for funding for Farmland Preservation, Blue Acres, Green Acres and Historic Preservation programs continues to rank high in New Jersey.

According to a recent statewide poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind and co-sponsored by the New Jersey Farm Bureau, 83 percent of New Jersey residents support the continuation of funding for the preservation of open space and farmland.

Additionally, NJ Keep It Green in the spring of 2012 commissioned a survey of 600 registered voters that found 75 percent would support dedicating $200 million annually for 30 years for open space, farmland and historic preservation. The survey also found that 89 percent of voters believe it is important to protect coastal and inland areas prone to or affected by flooding.

Moreover, a recent Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll assessing Hurricane Sandy’s impact on New Jersey found that 80 percent of Garden State residents support using state tax dollars to restore existing wetlands and bays to better absorb storm surges and flooding. Seventy-three percent support using state tax dollars to rebuild boardwalks and other public amenities at the Shore.

Fortunately, through the state’s Blue Acres and Green Acres programs, New Jersey already has effective mechanisms in place that can help achieve these goals.

About NJ Keep It Green
NJ Keep It Green is a coalition of more than 175 park and conservation advocates working to create a long-term, dedicated source of funding for the preservation and stewardship of New Jersey’s natural areas, waterways, parks, farmland and historic sites. NJ Keep It Green led successful campaigns to pass statewide ballot measures in 2006, 2007, and 2009 generating $600 million for state open space, farmland and historic preservation programs. For more information or to sign the NJ Keep It Green Statement of Support, visit www.njkeepitgreen.org.

###

Contact Info: 

Tom Gilbert (267) 261-7325 
Kelly Mooij (732) 539-1693

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 19th

NBC News: Federal charges ruled out for Christie in Bridgegate scandal NBC News tonight is reporting that federal investigators say after nine months of investigating Bridgegate there is 'no evidence" that Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures at the...

Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

Contributors

(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“The fact is that they’ve been digging around for eight months now and have found absolutely nothing. Wrap up your work. Do your job." - Gov. Chris Christie

- PolitickerNJ

Poll

Should the Joint Legisaltive Committee investigating Bridgegate 'wrap it up?':

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources