South Branch Watershed Association Receives Green Acres Grant
South Branch Watershed Association
has received a $575,000.00 grant from the New Jersey Green
Acres Program. The funding will be used for open space preservation
efforts in the Highlands region according to Don Einhorn, the
Association’s Executive Director.
Association has been meeting with other non-profits and governmental
agencies to discuss partnering on Highlands acquisitions over the past
year, said Einhorn. An application for funding to assist with this
regional effort was submitted by the Association to the Green Acres
program in February. The application was approved by the Garden State
Preservation Trust in early June. The money must now be appropriated by
the State legislature, which is expected to happen later this year.
are looking at preserving a number of properties that will further our
goal of improving water quality within our watershed.” These will be
multiple party acquisitions involving the Association and other
purchasers, according to Einhorn. “By partnering with others we are
able to accomplish more with the limited funding that is available.
Preserving open space in the Highlands benefits people and wildlife by
protecting natural resources that offer recreational opportunities and
afford habitat for threatened, endangered and rare species. We are also
achieving drinking water protection by safeguarding aquifers and streams
from pollution risks caused by development in appropriate places.” The
Highlands region is the source of water for both Spruce Run and Round
Valley Reservoirs. These reservoirs are part of a system that provides
drinking water to more than 1.2 million central New Jersey residents.
“These acquisitions will also provide us with new sites for conducting our place-based environmental education program as well as future stream restoration projects. We are very excited, and grateful to the Green Acres program for the opportunity to do this work.”