In Seventeenth Year, Final Barnegat Bay Environmental Grants Awarded

April 25, 2011
Ocean County, NJ

Ten Barnegat Bay watershed projects were awarded grants to promote environmental education, research, and stewardship in the Barnegat Bay and its watershed, The Trust for Public Land announced today.

Recipients of the seventeenth annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund (BBEGF) awards received more than $40,000 from a $2.5 million New Jersey state fund administered by The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national conservation organization. After seventeen years, program funding has been exhausted and this year's awards go to the program's final recipients.

Grantees for 2011 include: American Littoral Society ($6,000), Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey ($4,000), Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey ($8,491), Forked River Mountain Coalition, Inc. ($3,500), Master Gardeners of Ocean County, Inc. ($1,500), Natural Resource Education Foundation of New Jersey ($3,850), NJ Audubon Society ($2,500), Pinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA) ($3,000), Projects for Environmental Health, Knowledge, & Action, Inc. ($6,000), and ReClam the Bay ($2,000). For details on grantee projects, visit
www.tpl.org/barnegatbay.
 
"We have been able to support some fantastic projects over the past 16 years," said Kathy Haake, project manager for The Trust for Public Land. "A diverse mix of groups have benefited from the Fund since its inception in 1994. Hopefully the projects will have long lasting effects to support the Governor's renewed focus on the challenges that we face for the health of the Barnegat Bay."

TPL was appointed funds administrator for the Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund, which is part of a $2.5 million contribution by the Ciba-Geigy Corporation (now part of BASF) to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Since 1994, 140 grants have been awarded, and recipients are chosen by a volunteer board consisting of local advocates and members of various environmental organizations.

Later this year, the Barnegat Bay Partnership, which is one of only 28 national estuary programs Congressionally designated to work to improve the health of significant estuaries, will reintroduce its existing grant fund to compensate for the concluded BBEGF. According to Angela Contillo Anderson, BBGEF Board member and Chairperson for Barnegat Bay Partnership's Communication and Education Committee, "The Barnegat Bay Partnership plans to evaluate the effectiveness of the BBEGF and our own public outreach mini-grant program. Our program ran strong for more than ten years along side the BBEGF. It is being revamped this year and we intend for it to return in a stronger, more focused way aligned with the partnership's plan to restore the bay, complimenting some of the more scientific goals."

The Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund is one component of TPL's Barnegat Bay Initiative, a long-term protection strategy for the Bay, including public education, scientific research, land planning, and acquisition of critical properties. TPL has protected more than 24,000 acres in New Jersey, including over
11,000 acres in the Barnegat Bay watershed. TPL's scientific framework
for prioritizing sites for protection grew from The Century Plan,
published in 1995 and its sequel, Beyond the Century Plan (1997). The
Century Plan and TPL's most recent study of the Bay watershed, Barnegat Bay 2020, A Vision for the future of Conservation, are available on www.tpl.org.

For more information on the program and awards, visit www.tpl.org/barnegatbay.