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The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. Enhancing the quality of life of the citizens of New Jersey is a paramount policy of the State, and the acquisition, preservation, and stewardship of open space, farmland, and historic properties in New Jersey protect and enhance the character and beauty of the State and provide its citizens with greater opportunities for recreation, relaxation, and education;
b. The lands and resources now dedicated to these purposes will not be adequate to meet the needs of an expanding population in years to come, and the open space and farmland that is available and appropriate for these purposes will gradually disappear as the costs of preserving them correspondingly increase;
c. The Delaware River, the Passaic River, and the Raritan River, and their respective tributaries, and many other areas throughout the State have been subject to serious flooding over the years, causing on some occasions loss of life and significant property damage;
d. Beginning on October 28, 2012, the post-tropical storm commonly referred to as “Hurricane Sandy” struck New Jersey, producing unprecedented severe weather conditions, including enormous storm surges, devastating wind, and widespread flooding, crippling entire communities across New Jersey, and inflicting incalculable harm to the economy of the State;
e. The acquisition of properties damaged by Hurricane Sandy and of other damaged and flood-prone properties throughout the State is in the best interests of the State to prevent future losses of life and property;
f. “Blue Acres” is the term used to refer to the acquisition, for recreation and conservation purposes, of lands that have been damaged by, or may be prone to incurring damage caused by, storms or storm-related flooding, or that may buffer or protect other lands from such damage;
g. Under the Blue Acres Program, structures on acquired property are demolished, the debris is removed, and the property is preserved for recreation and conservation purposes;
h. Agriculture plays an integral role in the prosperity and well-being of the State as well as providing a fresh and abundant supply of food for its citizens;
i. Much of the farmland in the State faces an imminent threat of permanent conversion to non-farm uses, and retention and development of an economically viable agricultural industry is of high public priority;
j. There is an urgent need to preserve the State's historic heritage to enable present and future generations to experience, understand, and enjoy the landmarks of New Jersey's role in the birth and development of this nation;
k. The restoration and preservation of properties of historic character and importance in the State are central to meeting this need, and a significant number of these historic properties are located in urban centers, where their restoration and preservation will advance urban revitalization efforts of the State and local governments;
l. There is growing public recognition that the quality of life, economic prosperity, and environmental quality in New Jersey are served by the protection and timely preservation of open space and farmland and better management of the lands, resources, historic properties, and recreational facilities that are already under public ownership or protection;
m. The protection and preservation of New Jersey's water resources, including the quality and quantity of the State's limited water supply, are essential to the quality of life and the economic health of the citizens of the State;
n. The preservation of the existing diversity of animal and plant species is essential to sustaining both the environment and the economy of the Garden State, and the conservation of adequate habitat for endangered, threatened, and other rare species is necessary to preserve this biodiversity;
o. As recognized by the voters of the State when they, on November 4, 2014, approved an amendment to the State Constitution to dedicate a portion of corporation business tax revenues specifically for the purposes of open space, farmland, and historic preservation, there is a need to continue the State open space, farmland, and historic preservation programs previously funded by the “Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2009” (P.L.2009, c. 117), the “Green Acres, Farmland, Blue Acres, and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2007” (P.L.2007, c. 119), Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 7 of the State Constitution, the “Green Acres, Farmland and Historic Preservation, and Blue Acres Bond Act of 1995” (P.L.1995, c. 204), and the nine previous similar bond acts enacted in 1961, 1971, 1974, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1987, 1989, and 1992, and various implementing laws; and
p. It is therefore in the public interest to preserve and protect as much land for recreation and conservation purposes, including lands that protect water supplies and flood-prone lands, and for farmland preservation purposes, and as many historic properties, as possible within the means provided by Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 6 of the State Constitution.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - New Jersey Statutes Title 13. Conservation and Development Parks and Reservations 13 § 8C-44 - last updated February 19, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/nj/title-13-conservation-and-development-parks-and-reservations/nj-st-sect-13-8c-44/
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