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Dec 06, 2019

New Waterfront Park Coming to Monmouth County

Courtesy of Monmouth Conservation Foundation

At a time when sustainability and waterfront access have never been more important, Monmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF) teamed up with the State of New Jersey Green Acres Program and the Township of Neptune to create a 2.5-acre public waterfront park along the Shark River in the Shark River Hills section of Neptune Township. The property was approved to be developed into a 9-lot single family subdivision had the land not been preserved.

After the area was submerged during Superstorm Sandy, Neptune Township officials lead the effort to ensure the property did not become developed. The location of the land, adjacent to the already popular municipal marina, made it the perfect location for a new park that not only creates new recreation opportunities for the community, but also ensures the landscape remains undeveloped to mitigate against future storm damage. Monmouth Conservation contributed $127,000 of private funding to the overall purchase price of $1,255,000. The remaining funding was provided by the Township of Neptune and the State Green Acres Program.

“Public access to the waterfront and sustainability are two driving priorities of Monmouth Conservation when choosing projects we preserve,” Executive Director for Monmouth Conservation William D. Kastning said. “It was a no-brainer for MCF to provide funding to ensure this land along the Shark River was preserved.  However, it would not have been possible without the thought leadership, vision and sustainability planning efforts shown by the Township of Neptune.”

Mayor Carol Rizzo added, “It is a gift for our residents, especially our young people, to be able to explore this beautiful natural park. There is a time for development and a time for preserving land just for enjoying the richness of our environment. We are so very fortunate to have a staff of professionals who understand and appreciate the importance of preservation and I do wish to acknowledge [Neptune Township Administrator] Mr. [Vito] Gadaleta for his commitment to driving this initiative.”

Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling is the chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee, lifelong resident, former mayor of Neptune Township and dedicated environmental advocate for District 11.

“I’m proud to see Neptune Township continuing its conservation efforts by securing this waterfront land for public access,” Houghtaling said. “It’s important to protect our open spaces for future generations to enjoy, and I’m grateful for Neptune’s excellent leadership in environmental protection within Monmouth County.”

Contact Monmouth Conservation Foundation for more information about land preservation at MonmouthConservation.org or 732-671-7000.

Monmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF), founded in 1977 by Michael Huber and Judith Stanley-Coleman as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is an accredited land trust dedicated to preserving open space and farmland in Monmouth County. MCF has directly preserved thousands of acres of parks, farmland and wildlife habitat throughout Monmouth County. MCF remains steadfast in its mission of creating parks, saving open space, preserving farmland, safeguarding waterways, protecting wildlife and teaching environmental sustainability for the past 42 years.