- Associated Press - Thursday, May 15, 2014

JACKSON, N.J. (AP) - Government officials and a conservation group are buying nearly 300 acres of land in the fragile Barnegat Bay watershed in Jackson Township.

The 293-acre tract is being bought for $4.5 million from the developer Hovbilt, Inc.

The purchase will help protect water quality of the Cedar Branch and Pole Brook tributaries of the Toms River, which is the source of more than 25 percent of the fresh water running into Barnegat Bay.

These streams also recharge the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer, which is a major drinking water source for central and southern New Jersey.

The state Department of Environmental Protection is paying $500,000, with Jackson paying $2 million, Ocean County contributing $1.75 million, and the Trust For Public Land using a $250,000 grant.

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