How to Apply
One award will be presented in each of the categories listed below. You must identify the category of your nomination on the attached application form.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND CLEAN AIR: Nominees in this category should demonstrate a commitment to and experience in one or more of the following areas and activities:
- Reducing air pollution emissions and/or reducing outdoor exposure to toxic air contaminants
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions or equivalents through energy efficiency projects, clean energy vehicles, technologies and infrastructure, or green power purchases to reduce climate change
- Reducing air deposition loading to land and water
WATER RESOURCES: Nominees in this category should demonstrate a commitment to and experience in one or more of the following areas and activities:
- Improving surface or ground water quality and reducing pollution through stormwater and wastewater management strategies and technologies
- Reducing children's exposure to lead in homes/schools or addressing emerging drinking water contaminants
- Ensuring sufficient quantities of water through reuse and conservation techniques and infrastructure
- Promoting or developing land use policies, watershed management approaches and green infrastructure projects to improve protection of water sources or to reduce the impacts of flooding and sea level rise
HEALTHY ECOSYSTEMS AND HABITATS: Nominees in this category should demonstrate a commitment to and experience in programs or techniques that have resulted in the restoration, protection, and resiliency of the state's ecological resources. These include forests, wetlands, estuaries, and coastal areas, as well as habitats for non-game and/or threatened and endangered species and areas prone to sea level rise and flooding.
LANDOWNER OF THE YEAR: Nominees in this category should demonstrate a commitment to and experience in the conservation of open space that protects public or private land from future development and/or demonstrates the improvement, enhancement and preservation of wildlife populations and habitat on the property.
HEALTHY & SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES and HEALTHY & SUSTAINABLE BUSINESSES: Nominees in these two categories should demonstrate a commitment to and experience in one or more of the following areas and activities:
- Any activity addressing issues such as pollution or waste reduction, recycling, land use, local purchasing, sustainability and resiliency, resource conservation, green infrastructure, habitat restoration, public access and product stewardship
- Innovative practices or technologies that have resulted in the private or public sector cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated/brownfields sites
- Creation of community-based initiatives that foster involvement, action and effective solutions to the adverse effects of industrial pollution and climate change on overburdened and low-income communities.
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Nominees in this category should demonstrate a commitment to and experience in one or more of the following areas and activities:
Municipalities participating in the Sustainable JerseyTM Program, should note this involvement in their application.
- Delivering improved environmental quality, public health, and access to natural resources for New Jersey's historically disadvantaged and overburdened communities through the reduction of stressors, such as environmental pollution, and/or the increase of environmental benefits such as trees and open space.
- Empowering residents of disadvantaged and overburdened communities to participate in meaningful decision-making that affects their public health and the environment.
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION / EDUCATOR-LED and STUDENT-LED PROJECTS: Nominees in these two categories should demonstrate implementation of a program or project that has measurable positive impacts in environmental protection and education and focuses on climate change or one of the six categories above. One award will be given to an adult educator and one will be given to students/youth in grades K-12 (student involvement must be emphasized).
Schools or districts participating in the Sustainable Jersey for SchoolsTM Program, Eco-Schools USA or the U.S. Green Ribbon Schools program should note this involvement in their application.
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Nominations will be accepted from individuals, organizations institutions or businesses. You may nominate yourself or your employer as well as another company, individual, institution, or organization that you believe is worthy of recognition. In addition, all applicants/projects must:
- Be located in New Jersey; be active within the year prior to their application submission date (information about additional related experience is welcome); and,
- Agree to have their project shared with others through a written description to appear in the awards program, press materials and on the excellence awards website.
Third-party nominations must be accompanied by written authorization from the nominated party agreeing to consideration for the award. The DEP, other state departments and agencies, as well as state employees are ineligible for awards and cannot submit award applications. Only one application per nominee will be accepted for consideration each year. Previous award recipients are invited to apply again, provided they choose an award category for which they have not been recognized and the activities in the nomination do not include those already recognized.
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