Prioritizing Land and Park Preservation
- Pass a bill to ban single-use plastic bags, paper bags, Styrofoam and other sources of plastic pollution to protect our health;
- Increase staffing for the Green Acres Program within New Jersey DEP, and;
- Pass the Palisades Protection Act.
Why is this on our agenda?
New Jersey is slated to reach full build out by mid-century, which means that prioritizing our open space, farmland, parks, and historic sites is essential. This is how we ensure future generations have safe, accessible parks to play in, clean water to drink, locally grown fresh foods, and access to our diverse cultural heritage. New Jersey’s green spaces reduce destructive flooding, protect our drinking water supply, and promote outdoor recreational activities that provide substantial economic benefits and job creation. Moreover, conserved land provides economic benefits of more than 10 times the cost of preservation.
Development is a major challenge threatening our green spaces such as the Palisades, a pristine stretch of land along the west bank of the Hudson River running through northeastern New Jersey and southern New York. New Jersey has the opportunity to preserve such an important space by supporting a bill to prohibit building over 35 feet in height in the Hudson River Palisades viewshed.
Programs like Green Acres ensure we can continue to preserve unique spaces, and must be adequately staffed.
To improve the health of our waterways and open spaces, passing a Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban is essential. New Jersey residents alone use 4.4 billion plastic bags annually, the effects of which are not hard to see. Plastic bags are stuck in trees, rolling down highways, doomed to persist in our green spaces for centuries. Currently in New Jersey, local municipalities are leading the way in curbing plastic pollution, with a variety of over 100 ordinances passed by local governments aimed at reducing plastic and paper in some way. Paper bags, though often seen as less of a threat compared to plastic bags, are equally as insidious to the environment. The production of paper bags results in 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bag production, and to satiate New Jersey’s demand for paper bags, over 1,000 football fields of forest are cut down every year. New Jersey LCV and its partners have been working hard to make sure the State follows suit by enacting one of the most comprehensive statewide bans on these products and will continue to make it a priority.