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Office of Information and Education

The Office of Information and Education coordinates a number of programs that help thousands of people each year enjoy the outdoors. The office also develops and distributes fish and wildlife information in the form of publications, news releases, media announcements and this Web site. Together, these educational programs and outreach efforts promote the protection, management and wise and enjoyable use of our fish, wildlife and other natural resources. The efforts are equally focused on fostering stewardship that will ensure future generations will be able to enjoy these resources.

The efforts of the Office of Information and Education can be grouped into 4 broad categories: Education, Information, Recreation and Volunteers.

Russell A. Cookingham Scholarship

EDUCATION

A variety of educational facilities, programs and events are available to the public through the Office of Information and Education (I&E). The Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center is our premier facility and offers quality programs to school and organized civic groups as well as the general public. Each month, thousands of visitors enjoy the interpretive center, hatchery tours, fishing education classes and public programs on a wide range of natural resource topics. The annual Open House, held the weekend before the opening of trout season, features a variety of exhibitors and activities.

The division offers another unique learning experience at the Sedge Island Natural Resource Center, located within the 192-acre Sedge Island Wildlife Management Area on Barnegat Bay. The Sedge House, a historic duck-hunting lodge on Sedge Island, has been restored by the division to serve as a residential outdoor education site serving hundreds of teachers, students and youth groups each year.

Formal education programs to train teachers in using wildlife-based curriculum in the classroom are offered through a regular series of workshops under Project WILD and WILD Aquatic. A marine education program features an annual weekend Coastal Workshop for Teachers.

Gaining in popularity are the newer Hooked On Fishing - Not On Drugs and National Archery In the Schools programs. The Trout In the Classroom Program now reaches thousands of students each year.

Fishing Education Programs are presented at Pequest as well as in urban locations as part of the Urban Fishing Program. The goal of the program is to familiarize urban youth with their local waters and the conservation issues associated with those waters. Division staff provide the culminating outdoor experience of fishing in local waters at the end of the series of classroom sessions provided by DEP Division of Science and Research staff.

The Hunter Education program has the goal of placing a safe, responsible, knowledgeable and involved hunter and trapper in the field. Courses are taught by volunteers selected and trained by I&E staff. Thousands of graduates successfully complete the hunter education courses each year.

Although the Division of Fish and Wildlife has been educating the public about New Jersey's bear population since the mid-1980s, the Division intensified its educational efforts in the late 1990s, providing information on how to minimize bear/human conflicts. PSA messages are produced and distributed to radio stations in addition to the printing and distribution of a wide array of black bear educational materials. Additionally, the Division continues to commit significant staff resources in the form of educational presentations to schools, civic groups and municipalities.

INFORMATION

The Office of Information and Education annually produces the Hunting and Trapping, Freshwater Fishing and Saltwater Fishing issues of the Fish and Wildlife Digest, which contain summaries of rules and management information. Most division publications are also produced through the office. Other activities include involvement in outdoor expositions, audio-visual presentations and exhibits, and arranging and participating in public hearings and meetings.

The Division Web site is the most rapidly growing area of providing information to the public. It is a valuable tool that enables us to reach a vast audience with news and information about wildlife in New Jersey. In 2013, the official Fish and Wildlife Mobile App was introduced.

RECREATION

The Office of Information and Education staff also serve fish and wildlife constituents through coordinating a number of other programs. Those programs include the Outstanding Deer Program and Garden State Deer Classic, Governor's Annual Surf Fishing Tournament, Record Fish Program and the Skillful Angler Recognition Program.

VOLUNTEERS

The division is fortunate to have over nearly 2,000 volunteers throughout the state that assist us in performing the many tasks associated with the conservation of the state's fish and wildlife resources. The Office of Information and Education coordinates and manages volunteers within the Wildlife Conservation Corps and Hunter Education programs.

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: January 7, 2013