February 10, 2017 — The Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Acres Program has completed the $620,000 purchase of a wetlands area along Delaware Bay in Cumberland County that will protect habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife.
The DEP used $462,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program and $158,000 from the Green Acres Program to purchase 204 acres of bay wetlands and upland buffers in Maurice River Township. The land will be added to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Heislerville Wildlife Management Area.
“We are very happy to preserve this land for use by a wide variety of wildlife species, including various types of waterfowl, shorebirds, bird of prey, and wading birds,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin in a press release. “The Delaware Bay region is truly a special place, remarkable for its beauty and opportunities for diverse wildlife-related activities, including hiking, fishing, hunting and bird watching.”
Ecotourism is a growing industry in New Jersey, especially in places such as the Delaware Bay region, where nature lovers converge to watch migrations of shorebirds, birds of prey such as eagles, osprey and hawks, and even butterflies and dragonflies. The Delaware Bay region is home to the state’s largest concentration of bald eagles, and is a critical stopover for migrating shorebirds.