Since coming to Congress, I have made it a priority to work to preserve open space and protect the environment across our nation and in New Jersey.
I sponsored the Federal Highlands Conservation Act, which was signed into law in 2004. The landmark legislation helps protect open space and our region’s water supplies by funding the purchase of land currently at risk of development. The difference between this environmental effort and the other, more controversial state Highlands preservation programs is that this federal program only deals with “willing sellers” of land. The Highlands Conservation Act receives federal funding.
I will continue to lead the effort to protect New Jersey’s environment and make our state a cleaner and healthier place to live. In recent years, I worked to:
- Worked to preserve and protect open space and critical drinking water supplies in the Highlands region.
- Introduce legislation to establish the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area in New Jersey. (http://www.nps.gov/crossroads/). The Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area's Management Plan can be viewed at (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=30562).
- Secure a commitment from the National Park Service which led to the rehabilitation of the Morristown National Historical Park museum building, located within America’s oldest national historic park.(http://www.nps.gov/morr/)
- Secure support from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to purchase more acreage surrounding the Great Swamp Wildlife Refuge to protect its pristine wildlife and establish a visitor’s center. (http://www.fws.gov/northeast/greatswamp/PDF/GS%20general%20brochure%202008.pdf)
- Champion statewide efforts to clean-up toxic waste at sites on the National Priority List of Superfund sites and demanding real results for the expenditure of dollars dedicated to cleanups.
- Work with the Environmental Protection Agency and members of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation to clean up the Passaic River- one of the dirtiest waterways in America. In June of 2008, an agreement was reached to remove 200,000 cubic yards of contaminated material from the river.
- Secure funding for the Passaic River Preservation project, which acquires wetlands properties for flood damage prevention.
- Preserve the 4,200 acre Great Piece Meadows near Lincoln Park and Fairfield.
- Work to protect the original intent of the Endangered Species Act and oppose any attempt to weaken the law.