By David Madden
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – New Jersey has taken possession of some 5,000 acres of open space in Atlantic County, one of the largest such acquisitions in state history.
$9.7 million will save woodlands and wetlands in the Great Egg Harbor River watershed, most of it flanking Route 50 in Estelle Manor.
It was a high priority for Bob Martin, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, mostly because it’s been well managed privately, up till now.
“It’s got meadows. It’s got forests. It’s got wetlands. It’s actually a spectacular piece of land for outdoors, hiking or for families to be outside. It’s also an incredibly beautiful habitat for all kinds of animals and birds,” everything from the barred owl to the timber rattlesnake says Martin.
The land links the expansive Pine Barrens with coastal habitats. The acquisition is the largest in recent years, and the fifth largest in the 50 year history of the state’s Green Acres program.