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Retiring Congressman Saxton Honored by Environmentalists

October 24, 2008 | New Jersey Conservation Foundation (NJ)

For immediate release

 

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Sandy Stuart Perry
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E-mail: sandy@njconservation.org

Retiring Congressman Saxton honored by environmentalists


Tuckerton, NJ - Calling Jim Saxton “a champion for conservation,” New Jersey environmental leaders lauded the retiring congressman on Friday, Oct. 24, at a luncheon at the Jacques Cousteau Education Center.

More than 50 people attended the luncheon to honor Saxton, who is retiring from the House of Representatives after 24 years representing New Jersey’s Third District. To thank Saxton for his work, the environmental groups presented him with a plaque and a framed photograph by New Jersey nature photographer Dwight Hiscano. A conference room at the Cousteau Center was also named in his honor.

“Today is a topper,” said Saxton after accepting the awards. “It’s been one of the highlights of my life, to be here with you.”

Speaker after speaker at the luncheon praised Saxton for his conservation legacy.

"Jim Saxton has worked tirelessly to protect New Jersey's environment. His work on the 2008 Farm Bill, the conservation easement tax incentive and the recent passing of his bipartisan Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program Act in the House will help us protect more precious lands and natural resources," said Michele S. Byers, Executive Director, New Jersey Conservation Foundation. "His voice and impact in the U.S. Congress will be missed."

During his tenure, Saxton established a reputation as a leading conservationist in Congress, working for clean water, clean air, open space, and coastal and wildlife protection. His diverse district reaches from the banks of the Delaware River to the shores of Long Beach Island, including nearly half of the federally protected, 1.1 million-acre Pinelands National Reserve, vast farmlands, over 35 miles of shoreline, barrier islands, three bays and estuaries.

Saxton was chairman of the House Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans Subcommittee from 1994-2000, and was the Vice Chairman of the House Fish and Oceans Subcommittee from 2001-2006. He currently serves as the No. 2 Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee.

“Congressman Jim Saxton has been a champion for conservation during his distinguished career in Congress. His record of improving conservation here in New Jersey and across the nation is remarkable," said Barbara Brummer, Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy, New Jersey Chapter. “On behalf of The Nature Conservancy, I wish to convey our deepest thanks to Congressman Saxton for all he has done to protect and restore our nation's natural treasures."

“Few elected officials have the courage of leadership to simply do the right thing,” added Eric Stiles, Vice President for Conservation and Stewardship, New Jersey Audubon Society. “Congressman Jim Saxton has distinguished himself as a national hero in championing wildlife and open space conservation. We hope others follow his non-partisan path of bravery for future generations.”

“Congressman Saxton is a long standing supporter of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge and the entire 96-million acre National Wildlife Refuge System and has an outstanding conservation record,” said Steve Atzert, project leader, Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. “The Congressman sponsored the National Wildlife Refuge System Volunteer and Partnership Enhancement Act of 1998, which allowed the Service to take giant steps in three very important areas: recruitment and use of volunteers, expansion and use of partnerships, and simplifying the rules governing financial donations to specific refuges.”

“From his early days as a state legislator through his long tenure in Congress, Jim Saxton has been a staunch advocate for our natural resources.  Thanks to his leadership, future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy clean water, natural areas and wildlife. He will be sorely missed,” said Michael Catania, President of Conservation Resources Inc.

“Congressman Saxton's dedication and commitment to conservation has advanced understanding, management and protection of the nation's coasts and estuaries,” stated Mike DeLuca, senior associate director, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University. “His passionate stewardship, legislative acumen, and devotion to protecting coastal resources will enable future generations to enjoy these wonderful treasures.  He is truly a champion of the coast.”

Carleton Montgomery, executive director, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, said, "In championing the Pinelands Limited Practical Use program, Congressman Saxton creatively combined his commitment to open space preservation with his concern for the impacts of environmental regulations on individual landowners.” Montgomery added, “The program has benefited hundreds of landowners and protected more than a thousand of acres of Pinelands forests and wetlands."

“Congressman Saxon has been a steadfast champion for the oceans and coast,” said Tim Dillingham, executive director, American Littoral Society. “His leadership, vision and commitment will be hard to replace.”

Cosponsoring the event were the Institute of Marine & Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University; New Jersey Conservation Foundation; The Nature Conservancy, New Jersey Chapter; American Littoral Society; Pinelands Preservation Alliance; Conservation Resources, Inc.; New Jersey Audubon Society; The Trust for Public Land and the Barnegat Bay National Estuary Program.

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WHAT IS THE CONSERVATION COMMUNITY SAYING ABOUT JIM SAXTON?

"Jim Saxton has worked tirelessly to protect New Jersey's environment. His work on the 2008 Farm Bill, the conservation easement tax incentive and the recent passing of his bipartisan Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program Act in the House will help us protect more precious lands and natural resources. His voice and impact in the U.S. Congress will be missed."
- Michele Byers, executive director, New Jersey Conservation Foundation

“Congressman Saxton is a long standing supporter of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge and the entire 96-million acre National Wildlife Refuge System and has an outstanding conservation record. The Congressman co-founded the bipartisan House Wildlife Refuge Caucus in 2006 and is its co-chair. There are now 146 members representing 42 States in the caucus. The Congressman sponsored the National Wildlife Refuge System Volunteer and Partnership Enhancement Act of 1998. The Act allowed the Service to take giant steps in three very important areas: recruitment and use of volunteers, expansion and use of partnerships, and simplifying the rules governing financial donations to specific refuges. Congressman Saxton understood that there are areas in New Jersey essential to safeguarding this Nation's fish and wildlife and plant community treasures for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans and he supported appropriations to protect those areas.”
- Steve Atzert, project leader, Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge

"The Trust for Public Land salutes Congressman Saxton for his tremendous support of conservation in the Barnegat Bay watershed, the New Jersey Pinelands, and across the nation throughout his 24-year career in Congress. His leadership was key in establishing the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program, which has enabled communities in New Jersey to protect critical shoreline areas and ensure greater public access to the coast. Congressman Saxton's strong commitment to protecting these special places has left a lasting legacy for future generations and we wish him the best of luck in his retirement."
- Anthony Cucchi, New Jersey field office director of the Trust for Public Land

“People living in coastal communities anywhere owe Jim Saxton their gratitude for his decades of steadfast commitment to protect the environment and its natural resources. Congressman Saxton has always recognized that clean water and air and healthy coastal ecosystems are the foundations that sustain the economies and quality of life in our Nation’s coastal communities.  Without his support, the many successes of the National Estuary Program in tackling tough environmental issues, using sound science to achieve consensus, leveraging funding to restore wetlands, improving public education about estuaries, and engaging the public would not have been possible.”
- Stanton Hales, program director of the Barnegat Bay National Estuary Program

"In championing the Pinelands Limited Practical Use program, Congressman Saxton creatively combined his commitment to open space preservation with his concern for the impacts of environmental regulations on individual landowners. The program compensates people who own very small, unbuildable lots in the Pinelands in exchange for preserving these parcels.  It has benefited hundreds of landowners and protected more than a thousand of acres of Pinelands forests and wetlands."
- Carleton Montgomery, executive director, Pinelands Preservation Alliance

“Congressman Saxon has been a steadfast champion for the oceans and coast. His leadership, vision and commitment will be hard to replace.”
- Tim Dillingham, executive director, American Littoral Society

“From his early days as a state legislator through his long tenure in Congress, Jim Saxton has been a staunch advocate for our natural resources.  Thanks to his leadership, future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy clean water, natural areas and wildlife. He will be sorely missed.”
- Michael Catania, President of Conservation Resources Inc.

“Congressman Saxton's dedication and commitment to conservation has advanced understanding, management and protection of the nation's coasts and estuaries. His passionate stewardship, legislative acumen, and devotion to protecting coastal resources will enable future generations to enjoy these wonderful treasures. He is truly a champion of the coast.”
- Mike DeLuca, senior associate director, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University

“Few elected officials have the courage of leadership to simply do the right thing. Congressman Jim Saxton has distinguished himself as a national hero in championing wildlife and open space conservation. We hope others follow his non-partisan path of bravery for future generations.”
- Eric Stiles, Vice President for Conservation and Stewardship, New Jersey Audubon Society

"Congressman Jim Saxton has been a champion for conservation during his distinguished career in Congress. His record of improving conservation here in New Jersey and across the nation is remarkable. On behalf of The Nature Conservancy, I wish to convey our deepest thanks to Congressman Saxton for all he has done to protect and restore our nation's natural treasures."
- Barbara Brummer, Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy, New Jersey Chapter

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