Conservation Blueprint

Land Priorities for Farms, Habitat, Water, and People

About Project

Charting a Future for New Jersey’s Lands and Waters


New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the United States, with studies estimating that full “build-out” will be reached by 2050. This means that our unprotected lands and forests will either be preserved or developed in the next 40 years.
The good news: Despite alarming development trends, land trusts, non-profits and government agencies have protected nearly 30 percent of the land and water that we depend on in New Jersey.
However, there are still 1.5 million acres of high quality, natural lands to be protected. The longer we wait to act, the greater the risk that some of these areas—which safeguard our drinking water, clean our air, maintain fertile soils for growing food, provide recreation and sustain wildlife—could be developed.

A Blueprint for New Jersey Conservation


The Nature Conservancy and New Jersey Conservation Foundation have teamed up with Rowan University and a consortium of 21 conservation-focused groups both governmental and non-profits, to develop a shared, living blueprint of lands to be protected in the next few decades. Together, we have charted a blueprint of conservation priorities to ensure a healthy New Jersey for future generations. This living blueprint is displayed on Rowan University’s NJ MAP, an online, interactive mapping tool that allows everyone to work with GIS data in a way that is easy to understand.

Sponsors > Disclaimer >


The Conservation Blueprint utilizes best available data from a variety of sources. These sources can be made available so users may assess the integrity and objectivity of the data. While attention is given to present the most up to date information, The Conservation Blueprint Project Team, and its funders, assume no responsibility for the spatial accuracy, completeness or timeliness of data used, and expressly disclaim any and all responsibility for errors, misinterpretations, omissions or other inconsistencies depicted arising from or otherwise related to the maps maintained within this site.

Maps and datasets found on this site are for planning activities only and cannot and should not be used for any regulatory purposes - this applies to both the parcel and state-wide levels. The information on this web-site should be used only as a guide; an on-site investigation is the only true way to know which features exist on the ground.

Priority Land rankings for each theme were determined by The Conservation Blueprint Project Team in conjunction with the Conservation Blueprint Steering Committee and corresponding Subcommittees. Priority Lands and Rankings reflect the collaborative input, deliberation and agreed upon determinations of the aforementioned groups. Users acknowledge that Blueprint rankings are not linked to any other state ranking system, and are not directly linked to any funding sources. Blueprint rankings do not replace a municipality or county’s own prioritization, but serve as a precursor to their existing efforts.

Full methodology reports will be available on the Conservation Blueprint web-site. Revisions to methodology will occur periodically based upon the inclusion of updated or new data sets, as well as feedback from The Conservation Blueprint Science Advisory Board.

The Conservation Blueprint Project Team would appreciate feedback on any errors that are discovered when using this site by contacting us at

In the News

Page 5 of the Trail Walker Fall 2017 (New York-New Jersey Trail Conference news journal)
PDF icon Creating a Blueprint to Protect New Jersey’s Last Undeveloped Lands

NJ Municipalities Magazine November 2016
PDF icon New Jersey's Living Blueprint

Steering Committee

  • Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions
  • D&R Greenway Land Trust
  • Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • Isles
  • Land Trust Alliance
  • Monmouth Conservation Foundation
  • Natural Lands Trust
  • New Jersey Agriculture, State Agriculture Development Committee
  • New Jersey Audubon
  • New Jersey Conservation Foundation
  • New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Green Acres
  • New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, State Historic Preservation Office
  • New Jersey Highlands Council
  • Rowan University
  • Rutgers University
  • Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association
  • The Land Conservancy of New Jersey
  • The Nature Conservancy, New Jersey Chapter
  • The Trust for Public Land
  • United States Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Steering Committee Stories

Contact Us


  • Conservation Blueprint Project Team:

    • The Nature Conservancy
    • New Jersey Conservation Foundation
    • Rowan University

    Made possible through the generous support from:

    • The William Penn Foundation
    • The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation