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* What is the purpose of the commission and work group?

The New Jersey Commission on Environmental Education and Interagency Work Group (on Environmental Education) are state level groups charged with guiding the delivery of environmental education for all ages, in formal and informal educational settings, through the development and administration of a state environmental education master plan. Their goal is to nurture an environmentally literate citizenry.

* How were the commission and work group established?

The commission has formally existed through Executive and Administrative Orders since 1989. Both the commission and work group were statutorily established in 1996 through passage of the New Jersey Environmental Education Act (N.J.S.A. 18A:6-91.1 et seq.).

* How are the commission and work group administered?

The commission and work group are administered as "in but not of" groups of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Environmental education staff in DEP's Office of Communications provide support and administer any state funds designated for environmental education and/or for use by the commission and work group.

* What is the membership makeup of the commission?

Commission membership includes representation from environmental, conservation, civic, youth and faith-based organizations, public and private teachers and administrators, school boards, colleges and universities, businesses and industry, environmental commissions, state and local government, agriculture and environmental health. There are 29 voting members on the commission, each of whom are appointed to serve by the governor.

* Which state agencies make up the work group and/or commission?

Membership includes representation from the State Departments of Environmental Protection, Education, Agriculture, Community Affairs, Human Services, Children and Families and the Commission for Higher Education. Some of these agencies also hold voting positions on the commission.

* When and where do the commission and work group meet?

The commission and work group meet jointly at least seven times per year (usually in September, October, November, January, March, May and June). These meetings are held in Trenton at DEP headquarters or in other central locations in New Jersey. They are open to interested members of the public. There are also committee meetings held at various locations around the state that focus on specific projects.

* What is ANJEE's involvement with commission and work group activities?

Members of the state's nonprofit membership association for environmental education, the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE), played pivotal roles in establishing the commission, pursuing passage of the 1996 law, and supporting the continued work of the commission and work group. The Alliance continues to be an active partner in many statewide commission and work group environmental education efforts. Common goals shared by ANJEE, DEP, and the commission and work group, ensure that planning efforts are communicated between groups and that their efforts compliment the needs, goals and activities of each other as well as the field of environmental education. Commission and work group members participate in the annual ANJEE environmental education conference and leadership retreat. Occasional planning meetings are held between these groups and ANJEE members regularly attend commission and work group meetings.

* Who can I contact regarding commission or work group activities?

Persons interested in being appointed to the commission and/or participating in commission and work group activities should contact Tanya Oznowich, Environmental Education Supervisor, DEP Office of Communications, P.O. Box 402, Trenton, New Jersey, 08625-0402. She can be reached at (609) 984-9802 or at tanya.oznowich@dep.state.nj.us.

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