The Far Hills-based nonprofit transferred 8.8 acres along the Delaware Bay to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The property will become part of the Heislerville Wildlife Management Area, where the East Point Lighthouse is located. The East Point Lighthouse is considered vulnerable to storm damage and coastal erosion due to its location on the Delaware Bay. The Department of Environmental Protection is researching options to protect the iconic lighthouse, which has stood at the mouth of the Maurice River for more than a century and a half.
“The East Point Lighthouse is a true New Jersey gem, the second oldest lighthouse in the state,” said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “We’re happy to know that positive steps are being taken to make sure that future generations will be able to enjoy its beauty and gorgeous location.”
The lighthouse is a popular visitor attraction in Cumberland County, and is open to the public on the third Sunday of each month. It was built in 1849 after Congress allocated $5,000 for its construction.
“East Point Lighthouse is a valuable cultural resource and we are grateful to the New Jersey Conservation Foundation for partnering with the NJDEP as we explore long-term solutions that will protect the structure,” said Ray Bukowski, NJDEP Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources.
“The Historical Society is very excited to hear the land sale at East Point has been completed,” said Nancy Patterson, president of the Maurice River Historical Society. “It's wonderful to see progress in the efforts to restore and secure the mouth of the Maurice River and beach at East Point Lighthouse. Securing the Point is such an important project, it's so good to see everyone working together to protect the area's rich history and wildlife. The State of New Jersey acquiring this land is a step in the right direction.”