The Sacramento Bee reports that after meeting with President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez agreed to donate Petty’s Island back to New Jersey, to hopefully go into the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust. The island has been owned by CITGO, the U.S. subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil. Chavez also reportedly threw in $3 million for maintenance and to support it as a nature preserve. Since most of the land is currently underutilized, various plant and animal species already call Petty’s Island home.
As a site of European exploration, Lenni Lenape encampent, as well as a former slave-trade grounds (to avoid Pennsylvania taxation), Petty’s Island is one of the few places in the country that represents an intersection of Native American, African American, and European American history.