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Jul 2024

More Land at Good Luck Point to be Preserved

By Eric San Juan
Berkeley Township is in a somewhat unique position, being located simultaneously in the environmentally-sensitive Pine Barrens and along the delicate coastal waters of the Barnegat Bay. Because of that, portions of town have been targeted for preservation by the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust, especially those along the coast.
Such was the case again last month, when the Trust added another parcel on Good Luck Point into its roster of preserved lands. This time it was a small parcel, not even an acre in size, but it’s adjacent to existing natural lands.
Located off Dorrance Drive, the lot is next to 10 acres of open space in the Good Luck Point area, which itself is boasts large swaths of preserved land.
"This is an area of Ocean County that was devastated when Superstorm Sandy came ashore in October 2012," Ocean County Commissioner Virginia Haines said in a written statement. "It's important to continue to protect this area so future storms will not have the same effect."
A portion of the $247,000 paid for the land came from Blue Acres funding. Blue Acres is a program administered by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) which, since 1995, has worked to acquire property that has been repeatedly hit with flooding. 
"This area has been a priority," Haines said. "The purchase of these lands preserve the coastal marsh which mitigates coastal flooding and also maintains the unique marsh habitat."
It’s not the first time that preservation efforts in the area were intended to help with flooding.
In 2019, the town donated parcels in the area to the Trust as part of its efforts to mitigate coastal flooding there. Several lots at Good Luck Point and along the Barnegat Branch Trail were vacated and turned over to the County. Previously township-owned, some of these lots were “repetitive loss” properties that had repeatedly been hit with major flooding. 
They are also adjacent to already protected lands, making it an easy choice to turn them over to the Trust.
In fact, Good Luck Point has been targeted for preservation for decades now.
A 175-acre tract of land there was donated to the Trust under then Mayor Jason Varano as part of a three-way deal that created what was then about 900 acres of contiguous open space on the bay. That parcel was adjacent to yet another piece of land, 126 acres once called the Veeder Lane tract, that was once threatened with 367 townhomes until it was purchased for preservation. The 220 acres on Good Luck Point commonly called the AT&T Property, a site once known for its “antennae farm,” is also part of the swath of open space there.
Going all the way back to 1998, another 367 acres was preserved by the Trust on Good Luck Point, one of the first purchases the Trust ever made.
Approved by county voters in the late 1990s, the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund was created to purchase and preserve environmentally sensitive lands, natural areas and open space for preservation against development. It collects funds through a 1.2-cent addition to the tax rate, and then directs those funds towards purchasing undeveloped land for the purposes of keeping that land undeveloped.
To date, over 25,000 acres have been purchased and preserved through the program, some preserved as pure open space and some open to the public for recreation such as hiking, fishing, hunting, and biking.
For more information on the Trust, including an interactive map of preserved lands, visit