|OPEN SPACE ACQUISITION
Open space preservation is essential to protecting and enhancing the quality of life in New Jersey's communities. Uncontrolled, haphazard development is rapidly devouring New Jersey's open space. Poorly designed development threatens our precious water supplies and other vital natural resources by increasing the amount of pavement and impervious cover, preventing rainfall from replenishing underground aquifers. New roads and large, scattered housing sites create currents of stormwater runoff that carry trash, road salts, oil and other contaminants into our streams and rivers. By some estimates, nearly 60 percent of current water pollution is attributed to stormwater runoff.
Preserving open space protects land from development, safeguards our water supplies and other natural resources and provides outdoor recreational opportunities. An acquisition financed through the "Financing Program" must demonstrate a water quality benefit. Headwaters, stream corridors, wetlands, watershed protection, and aquifer recharge areas are among the types of land that would qualify.
While lands purchased through the "Financing Program" cannot be developed, they may be used for passive recreational activities, such as hiking, fishing and horseback riding. Application of a conservation easement on funded parcels assures that the water quality benefits are preserved.
The EIFP works closely with the Green Acres Program to maximize a community's limited funds for land acquisition. Through this partnership, municipalities can receive the resources necessary to purchase larger and/or more expensive parcels before they are lost to development.
If only a portion of a parcel is eligible for "Financing Program" funding, the remaining portion of the land can be financed through open space acquisition programs such as Green Acres or local programs funded by county and municipal open space taxes.
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Last Update: July 7, 2010