The final round of Green Acres and Blue Acres funding was approved by the state Assembly Appropriations Committee Monday morning, which includes millions of dollars for pre-approved land acquisitions to reduce damage from storm flooding.
The appropriation of $123 million is the final installment of the $400 million raised in a 2009 referendum specifically to pay for open space, farmland and historic preservation projects across New Jersey.
Among the appropriations are $2.4 million in grants for three cities, including Linwood and Cape May City. The 50 percent match grants are to pay for acquisition of land in coastal zones that have been damaged by a storm or storm-related flooding.
The appropriations also include $9 million for Green Acres funding for coastal watershed preservation. That money includes $2 million for land in the Cape May Penisula, $4 million in the Delaware Bay watershed and $3 million in the Barnegat Bay watershed.
All projects were approved prior to the devastating damage of Hurricane Sandy, but NJ Keep It Green chairman Tom Gilbert said the funding approval was critical to flood control and mitigation. “The members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee clearly understand that open space helps protect against flooding and is becoming increasingly important with the more frequent occurrence of superstorms like Hurricane Sandy,” Gilbert stated in a news release.