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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 4/5/01
01/27
CONTACT: Loretta O’Donnell or Amy Collings
609-984-1795 or 609-292-2994

STATE AWARDS 70 LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL GRANTS TOTALLING $165,000

Seventy local environmental agencies will receive $164,500 in grants from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that will enhance projects of their own creation including open space planning, natural resource inventories, trail designs, watershed protection, Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping and educational programs.

The grants are being awarded to environmental commissions and soil conservation districts through DEP’s Office of Business and External Affairs.

“These projects coordinate well with the state’s goals to preserve open space, protect our watersheds and improve overall environmental quality in New Jersey,” said Acting Governor Donald T. DiFranceso.

DEP Commissioner Bob Shinn noted, “Environmental commissions and soil conservation districts play an important role in implementing grassroots projects to protect environmentally sensitive lands and local waterways.”

The Environmental Services matching grants program helps local environmental agencies to inventory and document environmental resources. Funds also are used to develop practices to improve those resources and to prepare and disseminate information about how the public can directly protect the environment.

Examples of projects funded by this year’s grants include: streambank restorations, wildlife enhancement gardens, open space inventories and recreation plans, stream monitoring and stormwater planning, nature trails, environmental newsletters, and natural resource mapping using the computerized GIS.

Formal agreements between the grant recipients and DEP will be finalized by the end of June. Since the program’s inception in 1990, nearly $2 million has been awarded to environmental agencies statewide. For more information, contact the DEP Environmental Services Program at (609) 984-0828.

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