Lautenberg, Menendez: NJ Coastal Heritage Trail Funding Bill Passes Energy Committee

Lautenberg, Menendez: NJ Coastal Heritage Trail Funding Bill Passes Energy Committee

Washington - The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources recently approved legislation Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) sponsored to extend funding for the Coastal Heritage Trail in New Jersey until the year 2011.

"We have a responsibility to protect our natural treasures for future generations to teach them about our history and the importance of protecting our environment. The Coastal Heritage trail allows New Jerseyans to enjoy the beauty of our state, and our bill would help protect it for years to come," said Sen. Lautenberg.

"The Coastal Heritage funding will allow the people of New Jersey to experience and enjoy the natural beauty that our Garden State has to offer," said Sen. Menendez, who was an avid advocate at hearings to fund the trail. "I am delighted that we are closer to extending our investment into this historic coastal area."

In 1988, Congress authorized the Secretary of the Interior to designate the Coastal Heritage Trail along coastal New Jersey to provide for public appreciation and enjoyment of important fish and wildlife habitats, geologic and geographical landforms, cultural resources, and migration routes in coastal New Jersey. The 1988 measure was crafted by Sen. Lautenberg and former Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ).

The 300-mile Coastal Heritage Trail divides into five sections that extend south from Perth Amboy to Cape May and west to Deepwater. The funds made available would help with signage and other interpretative devices.

The trail contains historic villages, migrating eagles, boardwalks and the nation's oldest operating lighthouse, among other historic and cultural sites.