Major Conservation Success in Little Egg Harbor Twp

SBB helped clear the way by successfully opposing a sewer extension along North Green Street (Route 539) in Little Egg Harbor. (SEE MAP) Now the Trust for Public Land – a separate organization from SBB – has scored a major conservation success.
– Read about SBB’s successful battle to stop Rt 539 sewer extension.

In a follow-up to a major, successful Save Barnegat Bay campaign, the Trust for Public Land – a separate organization from SBB – has negotiated the purchase of the 783-acre undeveloped Harbor Group property along North Green Street in Little Egg Harbor Township. The County of Ocean will be the principal purchaser.

Save Barnegat Bay spearheaded the successful effort to prevent a proposed sewer extension along North Green Street (Route 539) from Tuckerton to Exit 58 of the Garden State Parkway. (SEE MAP) The cancellation of the proposed sewer extension decreased the financial potential of development and paved the way for the acquisition.

The Harbor Group acquisition, which will cost approximately five million dollars, will be financed by the County of Ocean Natural Lands Trust program, the federal Coastal Estuarine Land Conservation Program, and the William Penn Foundation. Financial participation by local and state entities is also possible.

In October of 2002 Save Barnegat Bay, in concert with the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, the American Littoral Society, and Tuckerton area conservationists called a mass meeting of local citizens to protest the proposed sewer extension up Route 539. Approximately 300 people attended the meeting at Pinelands Regional High School.

After presentations by the four sponsoring groups, then-Mayor Brian Rumpf arose to announce that the sewer extension proposal would be withdrawn. This paved the way for acquisition of the Harbor Group property by the County of Ocean, which was negotiated by Kathy Haake, project manager for the Trust for Public Land.

The Harbor Group property lies immediately to the west of Route 539 and has over three thousand feet of road frontage on that road.

In a prior involvement in Little Egg Harbor Township, Save Barnegat Bay in 2001 facilitated the addition of 76 acres of oak-pine forest along the east side of Route 539 to the Stafford Forge Wildlife Management Area.

“We are delighted with the work that the Trust for Public Land and the County of Ocean have done,” said Willie deCamp, President of Save Barnegat Bay. “It makes the work of our campaign against the sewer extension feel very worthwhile.”

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