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award photo

2013 Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards! The awards ceremony and luncheon were held on Monday afternoon, November 18, at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton. Descriptions and photos for each of our winners are below. Special thanks to this year's event supporters, which include PSEG, Duke Farms, New Jersey Natural Gas, Atlantic County Utilities Authority and Greener by Design.

This award is presented to a nominee demonstrating a commitment to and experience in one or more of the following areas and activities:

  • Reducing air pollution emissions and/or reducing outdoor exposure to toxic air contaminants;
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions or equivalents through energy efficiency projects or green power purchases;
  • Reducing outdoor exposure to toxic air contaminants, and
  • Reducing air deposition loading to land and water.
Governor Jim Florio, Brian O'Rourke, Director of Facilities at RVCC; Ryan Naples, Student and President of RVCC Environment Club, and NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin

Winner: Raritan Valley Community College

In 2009, Raritan Valley Community College in Somerset County signed an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pledging to implement green initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and improve the environment. The school calculates it has reduced its carbon footprint by the equivalent of 22,579 metric tons since signing the agreement. The college accomplishes its goals through an on-campus co-generation plant, a solar array, energy efficiency lighting and equipment, green energy purchasing, energy reduction, and car and van pooling incentives. It also has two electric-car charging stations. Raritan Valley has received several awards recognizing its green initiatives.

This award is presented to a nominee that demonstrates a positive influence in one or more of the following areas and activities:

  • Improving surface or ground water quality;
  • Ensuring sufficient quantities of water through reuse and conservation techniques; and
  • Promotion or development of progressive land use policies and watershed management approaches to improve protection of surface and groundwater sources.
Governor Jim Florio, Jim Baranski, Vice Chair of the Whippany River Watershed Action Committee, and NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin

Winner: Whippany River Watershed Action Committee

The Whippany River Watershed Action Committee is comprised of 12 municipalities in the Whippany River watershed, which encompasses 16 miles of river and almost 70 square miles of watershed in Morris County. The organization received funds from the DEP to develop a watershed protection and restoration plan, and went above and beyond that plan. The committee converted two conventional detention basins into bio-retention basins. They also conducted an extensive amount of modeling, sampling and analysis of water quality data to help prioritize future projects. The committee is also looking into establishing a method to track microbial pathogens in the watershed.

This award is presented to a nominee that demonstrates a commitment to, and experience in, programs or techniques that have resulted in the restoration, protection and enhancement of the State's ecological resources. These resources include wetlands, estuaries and coastal areas, as well as non-game and/or threatened and endangered species.
Governor Jim Florio, Robert Lindaw Jr., Supervising Planner with the Atlantic County Department of Regional Planning and Development, and NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin

Winner: Atlantic County Department of Regional Planning and Development

Several years ago Atlantic County government faced the challenge of providing compensatory wetlands mitigation to offset wetlands disturbances caused by their transportation infrastructure program. So the county undertook a mitigation bank site selection study that selected the Burman property, a 37-acre fallow agricultural area adjacent to Lakes Creek in Egg Harbor Township, as land for a wetlands mitigation bank. The property consists of freshwater, brackish and saltwater areas. Credits accrued through the construction of the bank will be debited against required mitigation with the county’s infrastructure improvements.

This award is presented to a nominee that demonstrates the use or deployment of a new or alternative method, procedure, process, system or facility, which results in greater environmental protection than other technologies in current practice or comparable results at lower costs in terms of energy, natural resources or environmental impacts.
Governor Jim Florio, Karen Wood, Superintendent of the Barnegat Township Public School District, and NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin

Winner: Barnegat Township School District

The Barnegat Township School District embraces energy conservation programs that use technology in innovative ways to help reduce energy use and save money. The district has an Energy Savings Improvement Plan; utilizes solar panels; and has a partnership with Cenergistic, a private firm that focuses on energy use reduction. This effort has resulted in a $1.9 million, or 40 percent, energy cost savings. The program has been the impetus for lighting and equipment upgrades that will provide estimated cost savings to the district of more than $350,000 over a 15-year period. The district also recently installed solar panels at all six of its schools. In just one month, the panels generated 990,597 kilowatts.

This award is presented to a nominee that demonstrates a commitment to, and experience in, the preservation of open space that protects land from future development.
Governor Jim Florio, Andy Buzby and Jack Cimprich with the Salem County Agriculture Development Board, and NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin

Winner: Salem County

Salem County and its Board of Freeholders this year are celebrating the preservation of 30,000 acres of farmland, a significant milestone in this rural county. In 1989 the Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders passed a $1 million bond issue that launched the county on decades of preservation efforts that included working closely with the State Agriculture Development Board to compete against other counties for acquisition funds. The county also partnered with DEP’s Green Acres Program and other state and federal conservation organizations to promote exchanges and farmer donations of land values to stretch preservation dollars. Six of nine municipalities in Salem County now provide a cost share to the program. These efforts have helped protect environmentally sensitive lands along the Delaware Bay, the Delaware River and Oldmans Creek.

This award is presented to a nominee that demonstrates a commitment to, and experience in, any of the following activities:
  • An activity that addresses pollution/waste reduction, recycling, land use, local purchasing, sustainability, resource conservation or product stewardship;
  • Innovative practices or technologies that have resulted in the private or public sector clean up and redevelopment of contaminated/brownfields sites; and
  • Any activity that reduces or eliminates pollution/waste at the source or treats the materials in an environmentally safe manner prior to recycling or disposal.
  • Creation of community-based initiatives that foster involvement, action and effective solutions to the adverse effects of industrial pollution in overburdened and low-income communities.

Governor Jim Florio, Irene Stein, Lauren Wasilauski and Michelle Mistretta with the Montgomery Township Environmental Commission, and NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin

Winner: Montgomery Township Environmental Commission

Formed in 1969, Montgomery Township’s Environmental Commission has long taken an active role in advocating environmental awareness. The commission consults with municipal government staff and elected officials in taking an active role in local decisions, and has also been very active in community outreach. In 2010, the commission engaged in efforts to boost recycling rates. Commission members met with businesses to discuss their activities and educate them about the need to report their recycling tonnage. The commission also organized special community recycling days for electronic waste and other household items and conducted public outreach through mailings, displays, posters, websites, programs and email blasts. As a result, recycling rates have increased significantly in the township.

This award is presented to a nominee that demonstrates a commitment to, and experience in, any of the following activities:
  • An activity that addresses pollution/waste reduction, recycling, land use, local purchasing, sustainability, resource conservation or product stewardship;
  • Innovative practices or technologies that have resulted in the private or public sector clean up and redevelopment of contaminated/brownfields sites; and
  • Creation of community-based initiatives that foster involvement, action and effective solutions to the adverse effects of industrial pollution in overburdened and low-income communities.
Governor Jim Florio, Mary O'Malley, Vice President of Prudential Financial, Inc., and NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin

Winner: Prudential Financial Inc.

In 2009, Newark-based Prudential Financial Inc. issued a corporate-wide environmental commitment to foster use of clean and renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The company has implemented efforts to foster environmental stewardship, including investing more than $2.5 billion in clean energy and solar array projects; recycling more than 900 tons of material from its New Jersey operations in 2012; constructing a gold LEED-certified corporate property in Newark; sponsoring local environmental programs and events; educating employees about sustainable practices; and encouraging employees to volunteer service to local parks and communities.

This award is presented to an educator, student, group of students, or class that has planned and implemented a project or program with measurable, positive environmental impacts.
Governor Jim Florio, William Sciarappa, Ph.D., Associate Professor with the NJ Agricultural Experiment Station and Rutgers University, and NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin

Winner: NJAES, Rutgers: New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers University

The New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) is the research and outreach arm of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Staff members deliver educational programs that focus on agriculture, fisheries, community outreach, youth development, food, nutrition and health, and workforce development. Extension faculty members have developed a training program for rain garden specialists, demonstration rain gardens, and community rain garden walking tours. In addition, NJAES developed online training tools and a certification program for the lawn-care industry to help the DEP implement the state’s fertilizer use law. NJAES also developed online pollution and agriculture courses for undergraduate students, public education efforts about impacts from stormwater, and integrated pest management strategies.

Nominees in this category should demonstrate committed values toward the environment and an appreciation of it and their accomplishments should contribute to the conservation, restoration and protection of New Jersey’s natural resources and environmental quality.
Governor Jim Florio, Eric Fuchs-Stengel, Executive Director of the Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization, and NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin

Winner: Eric J. Fuchs-Stengel

Eric J. Fuchs-Stengel is the founder and executive director of the Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization (MEVO). Fuchs-Stengel founded the organization in 2008, when he was a junior in high school. His goal is to educate residents in Mahwah and throughout New Jersey about being environmental stewards, and to engage them in volunteer projects. Fuchs-Stengel has engaged some 1,500 volunteers who have volunteered more than 20,000 hours to community projects, including trash and tire cleanups, trail construction projects, education projects on community farming and beekeeping, and recycling bins and compost system projects. MEVO is now working with the Bergen County Parks Department on a community farm project.

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Click HERE for previous winners!

Note: The preceding project and winner descriptions are based on information provided by the applicants and/or third party nominators.

  

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