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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2005

Contact: Elaine Makatura
(609) 292-2994

DEP PRESENTS WOMEN'S ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP AWARDS

(05/21) TRENTON -- In celebration of Women's History Month, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today honored five New Jersey women for their leadership roles in environmental protection and historic preservation. The second annual Environmental Leadership Awards ceremony took place at the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton. The museum was one of the first historical sites in the state to be preserved by women.

"These leaders exemplify the central role that New Jersey's women have played in protecting our environment and quality of life," said Commissioner Campbell.

The following award recipients were selected based on the documented environmental benefits, innovation and impact of their work. DEP considered environmental leaders in four categories: Advocacy Leadership, Community Leadership, Government Leadership and Historic Preservation Leadership.

  • Maya van Rossum was awarded the Advocacy Leadership prize for her accomplishments as Executive Director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. She joined the Riverkeeper staff in 1994 as assistant director and was named Executive Director and Delaware Riverkeeper in 1996. Since assuming the role of Riverkeeper, Ms. van Rossum has provided regional leadership on watershed issues such as challenging unnecessary fish kills at the Salem Nuclear Generating Station and opposing dredging that would lead to deposits of contaminated soil on land. Ms. van Rossum is also an advocate of legislation that would reduce the risk of future oil spills by allowing only double-hulled oil tankers on the Delaware River and is fighting to prohibit DuPont from dumping treated chemical waste into the river.

  • Linda Gillick was presented with the Community Leadership award in recognition of her work as chairperson of Citizens Action Committee for Childhood Cancer Cluster (CACCCC) in Dover Township. In 1996, the New Jersey Department of Health found that children in Dover Township were being diagnosed with cancer at a rate over 34 percent higher than the national average. The mission of CACCCC is to provide the public with timely and honest information about the investigation into this increased rate of childhood cancer and to ensure that government agencies serve the public interest. She is also the founder and Executive Director of Oceans of Love, a support group for children with cancer.

  • Lulu Williams was also presented with the Community Leadership award for her dedication as president of the South Camden Citizens in Action (SCCA). The group was organized to provide South Waterfront residents with a voice against environmental discrimination. As president, Miss Williams coordinates SCCA's efforts to educate the public on air quality and protection from environmental contaminants.

  • Eileen Swan received the Government Leadership award in recognition of her involvement on the Highlands Task Force and the New Jersey Highlands Council, as well as her ongoing efforts to preserve open space. She is the former mayor of Lebanon Township in Hunterdon County, and currently serves as the secretary to the Agriculture Advisory Board. She is also the township's Open Space and Farm Preservation Coordinator, and its liaison to the Hunterdon County Agricultural Development Board. In addition, Ms. Swan serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust Fund and is a consultant to the New Jersey Conservation Foundation's Garden State Greenways project, a tool designed to help coordinate open-space preservation by identifying areas of open space and linking them via a system of trails.

  • Anna Aschkenes received the Historic Preservation Leadership award for her role as Executive Director of the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission since 1983. Under her tenure, Middlesex County has embraced its historic resources and developed them into places of interest for visitors and residents and the Commission has become a model for other counties' cultural and heritage offices.

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Last Updated: March 18, 2005