DiMaso bill supporting duck habitats, preserving wetlands signed into law

DiMaso bill supporting duck habitats, preserving wetlands signed into law

Serena DiMaso

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso’s bill increasing funds for wildlife conservation and wetlands preservation through the state’s waterfowl stamps was signed into law Monday.

“This law will allow New Jersey to preserve and rehabilitate more land with the goal of promoting healthy duck habitats,” DiMaso (R-Monmouth) said. “I am thankful for the support of hunters who were instrumental in getting this bill to the finish line and who, along with the rest of New Jerseyans, will benefit from access to these additional wildlife areas.”

The bill (A3897) changes the annual fee for a New Jersey waterfowl stamp to $15 from $10 for a person without a valid state firearm hunting or bow and arrow license, and to $10 from $5 for those possessing a hunting license. Waterfowl hunters age 16 years and older are required to purchase a New Jersey waterfowl stamp, also known as the “duck stamp,” in addition to the federal duck stamp, to hunt in the state.

“The waterfowl stamp program gives hunters a direct stake in the preservation of the state’s wetlands and this law will further enhance those efforts from Sussex to Cape May counties and everywhere in between,” DiMaso said.

The state’s duck stamp program began in 1984 and fees were last increased in 1996. By law, the funds from the stamps are earmarked for the acquisition, improvement, and enhancement of waterfowl habitat and wetlands, and public access of waterfowl habitat areas. Revenues cannot be used by the general fund or for administrative costs within the N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife.

The bill passed both houses of the Legislature unanimously.