EDISON—The Edison Wetlands Association honored Assemblymen Peter J. Barnes III and Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. at their annual Fall Fest held on Sunday, Oct. 25, for the lawmakers’ efforts to protect and preserve the Dismal Swap.
The pair thanked the Edison Wetlands Association for the acknowledgment and praised the group’s never-ending advocacy.
“Efforts to preserve nature’s gifts start with the advocates in our community,” said Barnes (D-Edison), who serves on the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee. “The Edison Wetlands Association was steadfast in their dedication to work with us and our legislative colleagues to create the Commission. They deserve credit for their leadership and dedication to make this council a reality.”
“We are honored to have a full and open dialogue with organizations like the Edison Wetlands Association who are constant partners in crafting smart and effective laws that benefit our community,” said Diegnan (D-South Plainfield).
“Central Jersey needs to protect its pristine lands to be enjoyed by our future generations. The Dismal Swamp Commission will do just that for this land,” added Diegnan.
Dismal Swamp spans 1,200 acres of hardwood forests, EPA-designated priority wetlands and wild meadows in Middlesex County and is home to countless species of wildlife and archaeological artifacts.
Under a new law written by Barnes and Diegnan, the Dismal Swamp Preservation Commission would have regulatory authority over the swamp and would focus on preventing further encroachment into the area through creation of a regional Master Plan. The nine-member Commission would be appointed by officials from Edison, Metuchen, South Plainfield and Middlesex County. There also would be a representative of the Edison Wetlands Association.
“Now, the hard work begins in putting pen to paper to create an effective Master Plan to be created by the Commission that will serve as a roadmap to protecting the land, wildlife and species that are based in the Dismal Swamp,” Barnes added.
Diegnan and Barnes represent the 18th Legislative District which includes East Brunswick, Edison, Helmetta, Metuchen, South Plainfield, South River and Spotswood.
Assemblyman Patrick J Diegnan Jr. (left), Robert Spiegal (center), Edison Wetlands, Assemblyman Peter J. Barnes III (right) at the Fall Fest
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