Target: Catherine McCabe, Acting Commissioner, NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Goal: Help stop destruction of wildlife habitat to make way for a new golf course area.
Liberty National Golf Course in New Jersey is attempting to turn 21 acres of urban wilderness into another part of their course. Caven Point is a critical wildlife habitat zone, and is a rare public natural area. It serves as an educational area for hundreds of children, and as the last beachfront access for taxpayers. Liberty National is offering a “First Tee” program to help underprivileged children of New Jersey, but this is a sloppy attempt at appeasing citizens and conservationists without real care for public well-being.
Leasing the land to Liberty National will only exacerbate exploitation of the environment by the wealthy. This narrative is what has led to environmental degradation, environmental racism, and environmental injustice across the world. New Jersey has a chance to demonstrate that natural areas belong to the public to enjoy, not to companies to profit off of. Liberty National’s owner believes that expanding the golf course will attract more high-profile golf tournaments and boost the regional economy, but this is simply not feasible. The venue is too small to hold large tournaments, and even hosting minor events will not greatly impact the economy.
The New Jersey Department of Environment needs to reject this land lease proposal, and protect the urban wilderness area. Sign the petition below to call on the department to honor and protect its lands from corporate exploitation.
Dear Ms. McCabe,
Liberty National Golf Course is requesting the Department of Environment to lease land in Liberty State Park to expand its golf course. This expansion will see three golf course holes moved to a critical wildlife habitat area, which serves as an outdoor classroom for hundreds of children, and as a public natural area for citizens. Liberty National claims that it will create a program for underprivileged youth in New Jersey on this land, but they already have undeveloped lands where they can make this plan possible.
I hope that you continue to protect state lands from corporate greed, helping steer the hegemony from exploitation to conservation. The New Jersey Department of Environment has a chance to prove that it cares more for its lands and citizens’ well-being than potential economic profit. Although the owner of Liberty National Golf Course claims that this development will attract major golf tournaments, this is not the case.
Three new added golf course holes will not qualify the golf course as a likely host for these tournaments. It is simply too small. The potential economic benefits of hosting more tournaments, even minor ones, are not significant to the regional economy. I urge you to reject the appeal to lease this land. This area should remain open to the public and wildlife, not to a privileged few.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Michael Karas