LoBiondo Praises Passage of Coastal Heritage Trail Legislation
Measure Now Heads to President to be Signed into Law
U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) applauded the passage of his legislation reauthorizing the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail through September 30, 2011. The legislation would extend the authorization to allow time for a strategic plan to be created to find additional public and private support for the Trail, which has attracted millions of tourists and residents to the area since its inception in 1988. The measure was approved by the full House late last night and now goes to the President for his signature.
"The New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail incorporates some of New Jersey's most popular destinations, providing additional support to local businesses and communities that rely on tourism dollars for economic survival," said LoBiondo. "This Trail has also helped our residents develop greater pride and awareness of our shared history. As the region experiences these challenging economic times, I will continue to fight to protect the federal dollars being awarded to our state that support our critical tourism industry."
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 in 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.
In July 2007, LoBiondo testified at a Congressional hearing on the importance of state's Coastal Heritage Trail. Also testifying was Meghan Wren, the Executive Director of the Bayshore Discovery Project in Bivalve (http://www.ajmeerwald.org). The Project operates the Delaware Bay Museum from the historic Bivalve oyster Shipping Sheds and Wharves which serve as a tourism destination, a maritime community center and the homeport to New Jersey's Official Tall Ship, the A. J. Meerwald. The restored Delaware Bay oyster schooner serves as a living history educational classroom providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience for 5,000 kids each year.