When it comes to protecting invaluable clean, safe drinking water, New Jersey communities are grappling with similar issues—pollution, erosion and runoff, just to name a few. In the face of these threats, land conservation is a critical tool to safeguard the forests that protect our drinking water, more efficiently and much cheaper than man-made purification and treatment plants. However, cuts in state, county and local funding—and a lack of data and tools on the local level—mean that many towns aren’t able to target the appropriate lands, which are in danger of being lost forever.
In an exciting turnaround, OSI recently helped a New Jersey county lay the groundwork for drinking water protection with an open space grant. With support from us and on-the-ground partners, Sussex County was able to create a state-of-the-art, science-based open space plan that also helped revive public support for open space funding. Read about Saving Land for Clean Water.