The CLEAR Act, which the House passed today with Rep. Rush Holt's (NJ-12) support, includes a provision requiring full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). Holt has been a strong supporter of the LWCF and its State Assistance program, which provides matching funds to states and communities to preserve open spaces. During his first term in Congress, Holt secured the passage of a key amendment resurrecting the state-side grant portion of the program, and he has since fought to retain and increase funding for it.
"This bill assures the much needed funding to protect and preserve our natural resources for future generations," Holt said. "Full funding will help preserve land that otherwise would be sprouting strip malls and parking lots."
The LWCF State Assistance program has aided local recreation projects in over 98 percent of all U.S. counties, including the preservation of over 73,000 acres of land in New Jersey alone. This land has been used to clean up playgrounds, build baseball fields, develop waterfront parks, and restore open spaces. This is land that otherwise may have been developed for private use or otherwise rendered unusable.
In the past decade, communities throughout New Jersey have received funding from the LWCF. For example, the Swimming River Reservoir in Monmouth County received $3.16 million, South Branch Linear Park in Hunterdon County received $660,900, and Veterans Park in Mercer County received $518,000.