It was a proud moment when President George W. Bush signed into law Rep. Frelinghuysen's Highlands Conservation Act. The landmark legislation will help preserve and protect open space and our region's water supply by funding the purchase of land currently at risk of development. The difference between this environmental effort and other, more controversial Highlands preservation programs is that this federal program only affects "willing sellers" of land.
In 2007, competing with land preservation demands nationwide, the Highlands Conservation Act received its first federal funding in the amount of $2 million.
Beyond his leadership on open space and the Highlands, Rep. Frelinghuysen continues to lead the effort to protect New Jersey's environment and make our region a cleaner and healthier place to live.
Rep. Frelinghuysen's other environmental priorities include:
* Secured more than $30 million to preserve and protect open space and critical drinking water supplies in the Highlands region.
* Introducing legislation to establish H.R. 87, the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area in New Jersey. In 2006, President Bush signed legislation creating the Crossroad National Heritage Area.
* Securing a commitment from the National Park Service to rehabilitate the Morristown National Historical Park museum building, located within America's oldest national historic park.
* Securing support from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to purchase more acreage surrounding the Great Swamp Wildlife Refuge to protect its pristine wildlife and establish a visitor's center. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge brochure - Conservation Library - Refuge Brochures
* Championing statewide efforts to clean-up toxic waste at sites on the National Priority List of Superfund sites and demanding real results for the expenditure of dollars dedicated to cleanups.
* Secured funding for the Passaic River Preservation project, which acquires wetlands properties for flood damage prevention.
* Preserving the 4,200 acre Great Piece Meadows near Lincoln Park and Fairfield.
* Worked to protect the original intent of the Endangered Species Act and opposes any attempt to weaken the law.
But there is more to be done. For example, Rep. Frelinghuysen understands that the waters off New Jersey, the Gulf of Mexico and other coastal environments are constantly threatened by development. That's why he opposes petroleum exploration off the New Jersey coast and has actively worked to prevent drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
It would be far better to develop prudent and lasting alternate fuel energies than to risk irreparable damage to North America's most beautiful frontiers and establish a precedent to allow oil and gas development in our few remaining pristine natural areas.