MAURICE RIVER TOWNSHIP — The New Jersey Conservation Foundation has sold 8.8 acres along the Delaware Bay to the state to provide more access and protection to the historic East Point Lighthouse.

The property will become part of the Heislerville Wildlife Management Area, where the lighthouse is located, the foundation said.

It is just south of the lighthouse property, and has about 650 feet of waterfront, said the foundation’s Tim Morris.

“The DEP is evaluating the best way to stabilize the shoreline and protect the lighthouse,” said Morris. “By transferring the land to the state, we give them the greatest flexibility in determining the best methods to do that.”

The 150-year old lighthouse at the mouth of the Maurice River is at risk from storm damage and coastal erosion.

As owners, the state will have full control over the process, Morris said.

At about $8,600, the purchase price was a bargain. It allows the foundation to recoup some of its expenses, but still contribute to the state’s efforts to stabilize the shoreline, Morris said.

The nonprofit, based in Far Hills, sold the property to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on July 31, it said in a news release Monday.

“The East Point Lighthouse is a true New Jersey gem, the second-oldest lighthouse in the state,” said Michele S. Byers, executive director of the foundation.

The lighthouse will be open to the public from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday for National Lighthouse Day, and is also open weekends through the end of September, and perhaps into the fall. In the off-season, hours vary. Visit or call 856-785-0349 for more information.

Nancy Patterson, president of the Maurice River Historical Society, which manages the property, said the sale will simplify getting approvals for beach projects.

March’s series of four nor’easters did a lot of damage to the beach and dunes in front of the lighthouse, putting it in danger of flooding, and emergency measures had to be taken to try to rebuild dunes.

Since 1960, the New Jersey Conservation Foundation has protected 125,000 acres of open space, according to its records. For information about the foundation’s programs and preserves, see or call 888-LAND-SAVE (888-526-3728).

Contact: 609-272-7219 Twitter @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments