After Liberty State Park bill funding cut to $50M, Stack says Caven Point will be preserved


After the Liberty State Park Conservation, Recreation, and Community Inclusion Act was amended to cut funding down to $50 million and increase the size of the task force, state Senator Brian Stack (D-33), a prime sponsor, says Caven Point will be preserved.

The Caven Point section of Liberty State Park. Photo via

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The Task Force can and will have a discussion regarding what type of commercial or private activity is or is not appropriate in appropriate parts of the park. Commercial activities – whether it is a museum, a restaurant, an athletic facility, a theatre, can be privately run (under public oversight and procurement) and enhance great public spaces and public enjoyment,” Stack said in a statement.

“The Task Force will have a discussion regarding the size and scope of possible amenities such as an athletic facility or community center. I strongly support including these items in the Park’s master plan but Hudson County residents deserve the chance to tell us what they want in the park.”

The bill, which is also sponsored by state Senators Sandra Cunningham (D-31) and Nick Sacco (D-32), has been panned by critics largely because it did not have restrictions on large-scale commercialization and Caven Point was not protected from development.

While yesterday’s amendments drops funding from the state Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) from $250 million to $50 million, and expands the task force from 17 to 23 members (the governor, Assembly speaker, and senate president will each have two appointments now), Stack says he will introduce a new bill to protect Caven Point.

“While S2807/A4264 reiterates that Liberty State Park is under DEP control, I will be introducing additional legislation to make clear that Caven Point shall remain as it does today – a nature habitat and public space.”

Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), a prime sponsor of the Liberty State Park Protection Act, said during yesterday’s legislative session that the DEP would be sued if there was any attempt to develop Caven Point.

This bill caused a rare break among the Hudson delegation, given that the Assembly sponsors were Angela McKnight, Will Sampson (both D-31), and Annette Chaparro (D-33).

However, Stack’s remarks from this afternoon indicate that cooler heads have prevailed and the inclusion act should easily clear the full legislature tomorrow.

“Tomorrow, we will pass S2807/A426, without amendments, and begin the public process of designing and funding historic investments into this great park,” he concluded.

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