DEP RECOGNIZES ENVIRONMENTAL
EXCELLENCE AT SIXTH ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY
(05/127) ATLANTIC CITY -- New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell honored environmental
leaders at a ceremony last evening, announcing this year's Environmental
Excellence Awards winners. The awards go to individuals, businesses,
and communities who have made significant contributions to environmental
protection in New Jersey.
"The best environmental policies and practices come not from
Trenton, but from leaders like these," said Campbell. "This
year's winners exemplify the best leaders in our communities while
raising the bar for all others to follow."
Winners are judged on the basis of documented environmental benefits,
innovation, and long-term impacts of their work in the environmental
field. The nine award categories include achievements in Environmental
Education, Clean Air, Clean and Plentiful Water, Safe and Healthy
Communities, Land Conservation, Healthy Ecosystems, Innovative Technology,
Environmental Stewardship and Environmental Leadership.
This is the sixth year the awards, co-sponsored by DEP, the New
Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology (NJCAT), and the NJ League
of Municipalities, have been handed out to state environmental leaders.
Below is a list of this year's winners and honorable mentions:
Clean Air Winner -
Ocean County College
For more than 35 years, Ocean County College, a public two-year
community college, has provided area residents with the opportunity
to benefit from higher education. Ocean County College is receiving
a 2005 award for installing a 250-kilowatt fuel cell to provide
onsite power and heat to their Academic Building. Use of the fuel
cell eliminates significant air contaminants and has higher efficiencies
than their fossil fuel combustion system counterpart. The college's
main campus is located in Toms River and has off-site campuses located
in Manahawkin and Brick Township.
Clean and Plentiful Water Winner - Lake
The Lake Hopatcong Commission (LHC) was created in 2001 and functions
as the steward of Lake Hopatcong. The LHC received their award in
recognition of their phosphorus-free fertilizer campaign and aquatic
weed-harvesting program fostering the improvement of surface water
quality for the lake. The Commission works with governmental bodies
and the public in the Lake Hopatcong watershed to monitor, protect,
and restore the lake's water quality and its associated natural
resources. At nearly 2,700 acres, Lake Hopatcong is New Jersey's
largest inland lake with 38 miles of shoreline within the State's
Clean and Plentiful Water Honorable Mention
- Delaware River Basin Commission
The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) was formed in 1961 to
share the responsibility of managing the water resources within
the multi-state basin. The DRBC received recognition for adopting
a new rule that establishes pollutant minimization requirements
to reduce PCB's in the Delaware River estuary. The Commission has
developed a regulatory tool - the Pollutant Minimization Plan -
to achieve pollutant reductions. The Commission's new plan regulation
has great potential for widespread application to other bioaccumulative
Environmental Education Winner - Cub Scout
Cub Scout Pack 30 received their award for continuing efforts to
improve the water quality of the Rahway River through organized
clean- ups and educational outreach. Cub Scout Pack 30 operates
out of St. John the Apostle Church in Clark/Linden. The Pack attracts
youth from urban and suburban communities including Linden, Rahway,
Elizabeth, Clark and Cranford. The Pack formally entered into an
agreement with the County of Union under its Adopt-A-Park program.
Under this program, the Pack sponsor and organize regular clean-up
efforts in the Rahway River that promote the health and viability
of the river and educate youth and citizens about the important
role they play as stewards of the environment.
Healthy Ecosystems Winner - East Brunswick
The East Brunswick Environmental Commission received their award
for their Beekman Road Vernal Pool Protection Plan, which is designed
to minimize contact between amphibians and automobiles. The Environmental
Commission is active in local environmental protection including
creating and managing the East Brunswick Butterfly Park, an 11-acre
park dedicated to conservation, education and enjoyment of butterflies
and their habitats, and the first municipal butterfly park in New
Jersey. In addition, the commission reviews all development proposals
in town and recently initiated the East Brunswick Birding Big Day
designed to spotlight the birds of our town and parks.
Healthy Ecosystems Honorable Mention -
Naval Air Engineering Station, Lakehurst
The Naval Air Engineering Station in Lakehurst received an honorable
mention for their efforts to protect and increase bird grassland
habitat at their base. The Naval Air Engineering Station is a 7,430
acre military installation which is the center of the Navy's research,
development and testing related to aircraft. The base is located
in northern Ocean County in the northeast portion of the Pinelands
The natural resources management program includes 4,700 acres of
forest, 1,700 acres of grasslands and three 20-acre lakes. More
than 20 state-listed threatened and endangered species are found
on the installation.
Innovative Technology Winner - PNC Financial
Services Group, Inc.
PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. received their award for their
construction of "Green Buildings" using environmentally
sensitive processes and materials. The PNC Services Group, Inc.,
is one of the largest diversified financial services companies in
the U.S. PNC provides products and services in Pennsylvania, New
Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Kentucky, Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.
In 2003, PNC constructed the first green building in Delaware as
the corporate headquarters for PNC's mutual fund processing affiliate.
Additionally, PNC has completed eleven new "green" branches,
including six in New Jersey and was recognized for having the State's
first LEED certified building. Eight more new branches are currently
under development or construction in New Jersey.
Land Conservation Winner - Trustees of
The Trustees of Princeton University received their award for their
land conservation initiatives in the vicinity of the historic Village
of Kingston including preservation of numerous historic buildings
and more than 200 acres of land near the Delaware and Raritan canal
in Middlesex County. Moreover, the Trustees of Princeton University
contributed financially, so the state could acquire additional property
in the same area. Fully coeducational since 1969, Princeton for
the past academic year (2003-2004) enrolled 6,654 students - 4,676
undergraduates (607 of whom are New Jersey residents, representing
every county in the state) and 1,978 graduate students (degree candidates
only). The University, with 5,291 employees, is Mercer County's
largest private employer and one of the largest in the region. It
plays a major role in the educational, cultural, and economic life
in the area by bringing more than 500,000 visitors and $1.9 billion
in economic activity to the region.
Land Conservation Honorable Mention -
Morris Land Conservancy
The Morris Land Conservancy received an honorable mention for their
"Partners for Greener Communities" program that provides
technical services to help municipalities preserve park land and
open space. Morris Land Conservancy is a non-profit member supported
organization that has been preserving open space and protecting
water resources since 1981. The Conservancy helped preserve more
than 8,500 acres of land in the past nine years. The Conservancy's
Partners for Greener Communities program is the cornerstone of their
preservation efforts. The Partners for Greener Communities program
has worked with local communities to close 88 land deals, preserving
5,400 acres in 21 communities. Through this program, the Conservancy
has helped towns obtain over $94 million in federal, state, and
county grants to acquire land.
Safe and Healthy Communities Winner -
Teaneck Creek Conservancy, Inc.
The Teaneck Creek Conservancy, Inc. received their award for remediating
brownfields into wetlands and passive outdoor recreation areas in
Bergen County. Associated with this project is an agreement with
Rutgers University for the Teaneck Creek Conservancy to provide
access for scientists and students, promote wetlands protection
and restoration, and to promote use of a new regional eco-park as
an outdoor classroom and research site. Since 2001, the Teaneck
Conservancy has been leading a public/private partnership that is
transforming historic Overpeck Park into an eco-park, outdoor education
center, and cultural destination as well as improving water quality
in the Hackensack River watershed.
Environmental Stewardship Winner - Jacqueline
The Environmental Stewardship award is given to Dr. Jacqueline Royce
for her continued commitment to environmental issues. During ten
years of community activism in Atlantic Highlands, Dr. Royce led
efforts to document natural resources, preserve open space, restore
saltmarsh and habitat, plan greenway/trail/stream buffers, improve
stormwater management, provide recreational opportunities, build
community awareness, and raise funds for these efforts. After helping
to create the Atlantic Highlands Environmental Commission in 1998,
she has served as its Vice Chair. She co-authored "Our Town's
Environment", the basic inventory needed for all future efforts.
Her work covers a range of policy development, program design, hands-on
management and public outreach.
Environmental Leadership Winner - Mayor
Mayor Meryl Frank, Highland Park, has proposed a long-term vision
for the Borough, Highland Park 2020, which has been described as
one of the most ambitious experiments in "smart growth"
planning ever attempted in this part of New Jersey. The HP 2020
plan focuses on creating a community, which is sustainable economically,
environmentally and socially, focusing on affordability, conservation
and on building strong community relations. Meryl Frank was sworn
in as Mayor of the Borough of Highland Park in January of 2000.
As mayor she worked to forge a council and staff commitment to the
principles of good government. She has established a reputation
as a creative and innovative leader.