It’s a banner year for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection! We’re celebrating the department’s 50th (plus 2) birthday – and a half-century of protecting the quality of the air, water and land in the Garden State.


So Many Challenges But the Mission Remains the Same

The DEP’s birthday – on April 22 – passed somewhat quietly. No balloons, no cake, no big gathering, but there were huge kudos from the governor, who shared them with his 222.7K Twitter followers. During her weekly broadcast, Commissioner Catherine McCabe offered her many thanks for all that DEP employees did to adjust to a new working world – assuring employees that their efforts were being seen and recognized.

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Governor Orders Statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy

In October 2019, the Pew Research Center surveyed 3,627 U.S. adults about climate change and the environment.

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Murphy Administration Vows Return to Environmental Protection Leadership

It was a year that brought a sea change to environmental protection in New Jersey.

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Coast Guard Cutter Is Scuttled to Forever Save Marine Life

It was late October, the time of year when weather can change in an instant.

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NRD Dollars Fund Clean Up of Lower Passaic River Watershed

Dundee Island Park, on stretch of urban waterfront in Passaic, opened in October.

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Stemming the Tide of Wastewater from Sewer Overflows

The mission of the DEP always has been to protect the environment and the public health – to take care of New Jersey’s air, water and land, and its natural and historic resources.

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Special Campaign Aims to Stop Dumping in State Parks, Open Land

The image is nearly a half-century old … a Native American man is paddling a canoe along seemingly tranquil and pristine water, which becomes increasingly polluted.

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New Jersey Vanquishes Tree-Killing Beetle After Years-Long Battle

In 2013, New Jersey declared victory in a decade-long fight against the Asian long-horned beetle.

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New Jersey Weathers Deluge of Meteorologically Miserable Events

The year 2012 began and ended on a rather tame note in New Jersey, meteorologically speaking.

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New Jersey Warms Up to the Idea of Solar Energy

Most anyone who made it through elementary school science classes knows that the sun is a giant ball of glowing gases. It is the largest object in our solar system and located at its center, with the Earth orbiting 93 million miles away from it.

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Testing the Waters for Offshore Wind Energy Development

The winds of change were blowing strongly in 2010.

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Island in the Delaware Is Being Returned to Nature

When outsiders think about New Jersey, what they envision is tank farms along the New Jersey Turnpike.

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Stewardship Program Applauds Businesses Exceeding Environmental Obligations

Stewardship, as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is...

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Pinelands Wildfire Kindles Plans to Reduce Risk of Blazes

Across the West, hundreds of wildfires are consuming millions of acres of land. From South Dakota to Colorado, Wyoming to Montana and Nevada to California, blazes are burning their way through forests, homes and businesses. Natural lands decimated, neighborhoods destroyed, lives lost

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Highlands’ Twin Lights Becomes a National Historic Landmark

A lighthouse is a beacon – a signal to ships that guides them safely near the shoreline.

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New Jersey Becomes Charter Member of RGGI

The Garden State is a national leader in the fight against climate change – and one of its most potent efforts is the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which is aimed at cleaning up carbon dioxide being spewed into the air in order to reduce global warming.

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Saving the Environmentally Sensitive Highlands Region

The New Jersey Highlands Region has forests, wetlands, streams and reservoirs. It provides habitats for black bears, butterflies, bog turtles and wild trout, as well as many other species of wildlife and more than 100 plants.

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Sowing the Seeds for Environmental Justice Work

A family lives in a Jersey City apartment that has lead paint on the walls.

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Looking to Turn Brownfields into Greener Spaces

Abandoned buildings, piles of trash and weeds growing wild are what remain on many properties that once housed industrial powerhouses in New Jersey. These spaces, often fouled with contaminants, are known as “brownfields.”

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Marine Conservation Zone Promises Protection for Habitat and Wildlife

Deep in Ocean County’s Island Beach State Park is a section known as the Sedge Islands. It is the home of the Sedge Island Conservation Zone – acres and acres of tidal marshes, creeks, ponds and open water that make up a salt marsh ecosystem in which wildlife thrives, including New Jersey’s largest osprey colony.

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Work Begins on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Among Governor Murphy’s ambitious plans to combat climate change is the goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050. And one of the components of that plan is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Here Comes the Rain Again – Courtesy of Hurricane Floyd

In 1999, it was Hurricane Floyd. In 2020, it is Hurricane Isaias. Twenty-one years apart, but Isaias – like Floyd – is whipping up fierce winds and dropping heavy rains on New Jersey.

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Supreme Court Says Most of Ellis Island Is in New Jersey

It’s a good bet most folks think Ellis Island belongs to New York, just like those two football teams.

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A Watershed Moment for Managing a Precious Natural Resource

The Garden State has 151 watersheds, 20 watershed management areas and five water regions.

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Piping Plover Comes Back to the Beach to Build Family

In 2019, there were 114 pairs of piping plovers nesting in New Jersey.

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Establishing Blue Acres Program Will Prove Prescient in Sandy’s Aftermath

Superstorm Sandy slammed into New Jersey on Oct. 29, 2012. By the time the skies cleared – 24 hours later – the merciless wind and water had inflicted $36.8 billion in losses on the Garden State.

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You Say ‘Tuh-May-Toe’ … and the DEP Addresses Mercury in Freshwater Fish

Nothing beats the taste of a Jersey tomato. Nothing. Not one thing.

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Embracing Change in the Workplace and in Cleanup Laws

Who could have imagined, just six months ago, that working remotely would become the norm?

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Singing the Praises of Department’s Environmental Efforts

The year 1992 saw environmental efforts in corners as far flung as space and the ends of the Earth – and as close as Trenton.

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Environment Remains the Focus Through Merger and New Energy Master Plan

The DEP has seen its name change three times. When the department was created on April 22, 1970, it was christened the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

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Oil Spill in Arthur Kill Waterway Spoils the Start of a New Year

At a wildlife care center, an oil-soaked bird gets a gentle sudsing as it is cleaned up. And when it spills into waterways, crude oil and petroleum products refined from it coat everything within reach. Hapless birds and other sea animals become covered in the blackish muck, often a life-ending situation.

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Cape May National Wildlife Refuge Becomes a Reality and Provides Critical Habitat

The red knot makes one of the longest distance migrations known in the animal kingdom.

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Legislation Passed on Ocean Dumping to Keep Beaches Cleaner

A walk on the beach may lead to the discovery of a horseshoe crab, sea glass or a dozen beautiful shells..

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New Jersey Is First State to Mandate Comprehensive Recycling

Separate the trash to save the environment – that was, and remains, the plan on recycling in New Jersey.

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Dollars Allocated for Determining Levels of Radon Danger in Homes

Home always has been considered a safe place, a place free from worry and fear – where we go to leave our troubles behind. But in 1986, it became apparent in New Jersey the very place that was a sanctuary also could harbor a silent, unseen danger – radon gas.

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Bolstering How the Story of South Jersey’s Batsto Village Is Told

History in New Jersey runs long and deep – and in some cases, through forests and streams. During Colonial times, a swath of land in South Jersey made a name for itself when it was discovered to be the ideal spot for bog iron production, thanks to the bog ore of its waterways

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Success Is Hatched in Warren County’s Pequest Valley

It’s spring trout season in New Jersey and have we got a fish story for you. Really, it is a fish story – and a successful one, at that.

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Investigators Dig Up Contamination at Newark Pesticide Plant

Making the list likely means one has earned some celebrity – or, possibly, notoriety.

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Fish & Wildlife Biologists Start N.J. Return of Bald Eagles with Single Chick

There’s a growing family at Duke Farms. The Somerset County nature preserve is home to a pair of bald eagles and, right now, there are two chicks in the nest.

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Taking Care of the State’s Water Resources Becomes a Legislative Priority

Just about every medical expert agrees: One of the best ways to minimize the spread of COVID-19 is to simply wash your hands.

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All Efforts Focused on Jersey Coast Protection and Development

In New Jersey, it’s always been a priority to preserve the space where the sand meets the saltwater.

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Series of Initiatives Spearheaded in ‘Year of Hazardous Waste’

Yes, that is how 1979 was described in the 1980 DEP Annual Report.

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A Plan to Bring Bobcats Back to Woodlands of New Jersey

Fanciers of domesticated felines of all kinds are plentiful in New Jersey.

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Protecting the Pine Barrens Becomes Major Environmental Concern

It’s home to four state forests, two national rivers, orchids and carnivorous plants aplenty, and the Jersey Devil – but became a topic of watercooler conversations the day after a 2001 television appearance.

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Fight Against Cancer Prompts Search for Toxins in Air, Water and More

Whether it’s a proposal for strict new drinking water standards on contaminants linked to cancer or a court battle against a manufacturer alleged to have caused widespread pollution involving cancer-causing solvents, the DEP has devoted considerable efforts to address potential carcinogens in our air, water and land.

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Counties Given Responsibility to Plan Solid Waste Management

You fed the cat, took the dog for a walk and changed into your pajamas. You finally sat on the couch to catch the last couple of minutes of the game when you realized that you forgot to take out the garbage.

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That Annual N.J. Motor Vehicle Inspection Now Includes an Emissions Test

Say you were a teenager in 1974 who wanted to borrow your dad’s car on a Friday night and had to fill the tank before heading out to a movie with friends. If you had 20 bucks in your pocket, how much was that stop for gas going to eat into your going-out cash?

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CAFRA Draws a Line in the Sand to Protect the Jersey Shore

In New Jersey, we actually debate over whether a certain breakfast meat is called Taylor ham or pork roll, whether that sandwich on a long roll is a sub or a hoagie, and if the bits of candy topping an ice cream cone are sprinkles or jimmies.

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Summertime Air Appears Not So Clear in Many New Jersey Cities

In the summer of 72, Johnny Nash was wailing across the radio airways about how he could 'see clearly now … It’s gonna be a bright (bright) / Bright (bright) sunshiny day.'

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It’s 1971, The Public Embraces Opportunity to Call New Environmental Action Line

You fed the cat, took the dog for a walk and changed into your pajamas. You finally sat on the couch to catch the last couple of minutes of the game when you realized that you forgot to take out the garbage.

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A State Agency Charged with Protecting the Environment Is Born

On April 22, 1970 – America’s first official Earth Day – then-Governor William T. Cahill appointed Richard J. Sullivan to lead the newly formed New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

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