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August 2004

New Jersey Works to Clear Tire Piles in Wildlife Management Area

Trenton, NJ– New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell announced that the DEP was contracting to have more than 2,000 tires removed from a state wildlife management area in Middle Township. Funds for the tire removal were made available through a new appropriation in the FY05 budget signed by Governor McGreevey.

The new state budget includes a fee of $1.50 for each tire sold. A portion of this fee will be appropriated to the State Department of Transportation for snow removal and winter roadwork, while $2.3 million will be appropriated to the DEP annually for tire pile removals statewide.

The tires in Middle Township are on a 70-acre portion of the 12,000-acre Cape May Wetlands Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and were collected during a DEP cleanup of the property in February. In addition to the more than 2,000 tires recovered from the property, DEP also found seven abandoned vehicles – some dating back to the 1930s.

The DEP acquired this part of the WMA in 1999 and has been working to improve and to restore the natural areas for the enjoyment of bird watchers and outdoor enthusiasts. The removal of the tire piles is the latest step in improving these salt marshes that are frequented by migratory birds.

While the Cape May County Mosquito Control Commission had been treating the tire pile on the WMA with larvicide to reduce mosquito populations, the DEP has been working to remove the tires altogether. With the new funding in the FY05 budget, DEP is now soliciting bids for contractors to remove the tires from Middle Township.

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