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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 5/22/01
01/54
CONTACT: Loretta O'Donnell or Amy Collings
(609) 984-1795 or 292-2994

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 June.

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.

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Atlantic Region Placemat Image

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