Strengthening policies for the protection of our natural legacy
New Jersey Conservation Foundation has a long history of public policy work, beginning with our founding in 1960 when a group of citizens united to protect what is now the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge from a jetport proposal.
We work on bills in the New Jersey Legislature, as well as regulations and policies put forth by state and regional agencies, and local governments. When federal issues pose an opportunity or a threat to our work in New Jersey, we lobby Congress and the federal agencies to achieve our goals. We litigate in court when we have exhausted our other strategies.
Among the major environmental laws we helped pass were:
- The Pinelands Protection Act (1979)
- The New Jersey Agriculture Retention and Development Act (1981)
- The State Planning Act (1985)
- The New Jersey Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act (1987)
- The Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act (2004)
- The Forest Stewardship Act (2009)
- The Off-Road Vehicles Act (2009)
Through our advocacy work we preserve New Jersey’s biodiversity, our rare plant and animal species, and our wildlife habitat. This policy work is grounded in scientifically-based natural resources conservation principles. We protect lands that safeguard drinking water, mitigate climate change and air pollution, and secure farmland that supplies food for the region. We also protect historic and scenic resources, and provide public recreation opportunities.