House Passes Garrett's Bill to Preserve and Protect Musconetcong River
Today, the House passed Congressman Garrett's bill to preserve the fragile natural resources of North Jersey and protect the Musconetcong River. Working with local community groups, Garrett introduced H.R. 1307, the Musconetcong Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in March 2005.
"This bill will provide the help needed to improve the water quality of the Musconetcong River as well as recreational enjoyment of the River," said Garrett. "While this legislation will not freeze development, it will work to preserve the existing natural beauty and rural character of the River and its surrounding habitat. Open space is increasingly rare in the most densely populated state in the country," Garrett further stated.
The Act received broad support from all members of the New Jersey delegation, 18 municipalities along the river, and the National Park Service. It calls for a Musconetcong River Management Plan, which has been developed cooperatively and provides for a management framework that acknowledges the importance and preference for local leadership. A key principle of the management framework of the plan is that existing institutions will continue to play primary roles in the long-term protection of the Musconetcong River.
"Congressman Garrett has recognized the exceptional value of the Musconetcong River and the importance of its protection under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act," said Beth Styler Barry, Executive Director of the Musconetcong Watershed Association. "We are grateful for his introduction of legislation which is critical to the future protection of one of New Jersey's great rivers."
"I am proud to have been a part of this effort to protect one of the Garden State's remaining natural treasures," said Garrett. "Community leaders have been toiling tirelessly for this day for nearly two decades and it's a pleasure to work with them to close the deal on their hard work."
The river is the largest New Jersey tributary to the Delaware River, and rests in the middle of the New Jersey Highlands. The river is over 42 miles in length.