LoBiondo & Saxton's Coastal Heritage Trail Legislation Approved by House
Congressmen Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) and Jim Saxton (NJ-03) applauded the approval by the full House of their legislation for the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail. The measure, which now returns to the Senate for their approval, would extend the authorization of the Trail to provide additional funding to continue the work began in 1988. It would also require that a strategic plan be created to find additional public and private support for the Trail.
"The New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail incorporates the very best of what the Garden State has to offer in terms of important places and sights along our Shore and across our state," said LoBiondo. "This Trail has helped our residents develop greater pride and awareness of our shared history. I am pleased that the entire delegation worked together to preserve its story for future generations."
"Coastal Heritage Trails can be a path to bring the public closer to our natural environment," said Saxton, a ranking member of the Resources Committee. "If citizens have good access to the environment, I believe they can see first hand what it is we are fighting to protect, and why the fight is worth it."
Since its designation in 1988, the sites making up the Coastal Heritage Trail have attracted millions of tourists and residents to the area. Stretching some 300 miles from Perth Amboy in the north to Cape May in the South and across to Carneys Point in the west, the Coastal Heritage Trail connects numerous places of historic, environmental, maritime and recreational interests. These areas include three National Wildlife Refuges, four tributaries of the Maurice River which has been designated a Wild and Scenic River, a Civil War fort and national cemetery as well as numerous historic sights related to the rich heritage of New Jersey.
Eco-tourism to the area has been especially significant due to the Trail's attractiveness to a wide range of wildlife. Whale and dolphin watching is extremely popular along the Shore and bird watchers from around the world are drawn to the area to see migratory species such as plovers, ospreys and bald eagles. Visitors can also learn of Southern New Jersey's rich maritime history going back to colonial days, including those of crabbing, oystering and shipbuilding.