Trenton, NJ – Continuing the Christie Administration’s strong commitment and record of action to protect New Jersey’s coastal treasures and promote the state’s shore economy, Governor Chris Christie today visited Asbury Park, making stops along the boardwalk to underscore the importance of healthy beaches and water to a vigorous tourism industry.
“Safeguarding the health and sustainability of our beaches, waterways and shore communities is not only our responsibility as stewards of the environment, it is also our obligation to hand these treasures down to our children and future generations. What we do today directly impacts our children’s opportunity to appreciate and enjoy these natural resources and the future of shore communities altogether,” said Governor Christie. “That’s why we have acted with a strong commitment to ensure the protection of our shore and shore economy, with policies to secure these resources now and into the future.”
New Jersey’s shore economy is an indispensible part of the state’s overall tourism economy, representing 193,000 private sector jobs and over $6 billion in wages and salaries in 2010 across Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth and Ocean counties. The shore economy’s success – including the jobs, wages and economic growth it supports – is contingent on the continued health and protection of the natural resources and offerings at its beaches and waterways.
Governor Christie is steadfast in his commitment to protect the Jersey Shore, its beaches, water quality, and businesses.
The Christie Administration has taken action to keep all parks, historic sites and wildlife operations running; restored beach replenishment funding to its full level; opposed off-shore drilling in New Jersey, as well as drilling off the coast of other states that could negatively impact New Jersey's water and beaches, and made significant investments in the maintenance and modernization of the shore’s environmental infrastructure. Only two weeks ago, Governor Christie signed into law legislation that will provide $534 million for 117 projects statewide to help ensure safe drinking water and protect ground and surface water.
In 2011, Governor Christie signed legislation that secures safe and clean water infrastructure for the Garden State, providing $650 million in no-cost and low-cost loans for projects to enhance water quality across New Jersey. New Jersey’s Environmental Infrastructure Trust (EIT) provides no-cost and low-cost financing for environmental infrastructure-related projects, which also helps create jobs. The Governor has been a champion of open space preservation efforts, having previously signed Green Acres legislation to make nearly $157 million available for open-space acquisition and recreational development projects across the Garden State. Most recently, the State closed on a $4.6 million deal to preserve 835 acres in North Jersey’s environmentally sensitive Highlands region that previously had been slated for residential development.