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April 15, 2005

Contact: Elaine Makatura
Katie Smith (609) 292-2994


(05/40) TRENTON -- The Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Office of Local Government Assistance has awarded sixty-two local environmental agencies a total of $150,000 in matching grants from the state's Environmental Services Program (ESP).

The grants will be used for projects including open space planning, natural resource inventories, trail designs, watershed protection, geographic information systems (GIS) mapping, educational programs and Sustainable Communities planning projects.

"This funding gives our local partners the ability to focus much-needed attention on environmental concerns and allows them the freedom to develop projects to address the specific needs of the community," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey.

The ESP matching grants help environmental agencies to monitor and develop practices to improve resources and to prepare and disseminate information about how the public can help protect the environment.

"Local environmental partners are critical to effective environmental stewardship," said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "Environmental commissions and soil conservation districts play an important role in implementing grass roots projects to protect environmentally sensitive lands and local waterways within their own borders."

The grants are being awarded to environmental commissions and soil conservation districts. Formal agreements between the grant recipients and the DEP will be finalized by the end of June, and the projects will start immediately thereafter.

Since the program's inception in 1990, over $2 million has been awarded to environmental agencies statewide. Grants range from $1,000 to $2,500 and require a 50 percent match from the local governing body.

For more information, contact the DEP's Environmental Services Program at (609) 984-0828, or visit the Web site at for a full list of recipients.




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