DEP DISTRIBUTES WATERSHED PLACE MATS TO DINERS STATEWIDE
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is distributing watershed
awareness place mats depicting each of the state's five watershed regions
to restaurants throughout New Jesey for use during Memorial Weekend and
DEP's Division of Watershed Management is distributing 500,000 paper
place mats free of charge as part of the state's observance of May as
Watershed Awareness Month.
"These place mats are a great way to help spread our message that
everyone shares responsibility for clean water," said DEP Commissioner
Bob Shinn. "As we start the summer swimming season and water quality
is at the forefront of people's minds, this is a good time to remind residents
of all ages that we can modify our actions to reduce water pollution."
The full-color place mats were designed by children in Camden through
the Walt Whitman Cultural Center's Biz-Arts program for middle and high
school students. Biz-Arts, an after-school outreach program, is the only
one of its kind in the region fusing arts and business. Each semester,
the program partners with a local entity to develop outreach materials.
The place mats include regional maps with artwork, information on local
waterways and tips on what residents can do to protect their local waterways
and their watersheds. The five watershed management regions are: the Northwest,
Northeast, Raritan, Lower Delaware and Atlantic Coastal.
The Atlantic Coastal Region place mat, for example, explains that nonpoint
source pollution is "people pollution" from everyday activities
such as fertilizing, pet waste, littering and incorrect disposal of motor
oil. This region extends from Monmouth County to Cape May and includes
rivers that flow into the southern part of Raritan Bay, Barnegat Bay,
the Atlantic Ocean and the western portion of Delaware Bay. The land that
drains to these water bodies is very diverse, including urban and suburban
areas, rural and agricultural areas and the Pinelands National Reserve.
Place mats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis in boxes
of 500 for participating restaurants. An example of the place mats is
available on DEP's website at www.state.nj.us/dep/watershedmgt.
To find out about your watershed address, you also can call 1-877-WTRSHED.
For more information, or to order place mats, call Trish Ingelido in the
Division of Watershed Management at 609-292-0502.