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.
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
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."