Ask DEP Deputy Commissioner Debbie Mans where she’d love to spend most of any day outdoors and she’ll offer two options – a hiking trail or the Raritan. No “river” or “bay” necessary, just “the Raritan.”
That should come as no surprise. Appointed to her post in February 2018, Debbie is a veteran environmentalist and advocate.
As Deputy Commissioner, Debbie provides leadership and direction for many of the DEP’s climate change, renewable energy and environmental justice efforts.
Debbie served as Baykeeper and executive director of the Matawan-based NY/NJ Baykeeper from 2008 until joining the DEP. While with Baykeeper, she developed legal and environmental policies and programs to promote the nonprofit’s mission of protecting fishable and swimmable water for the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary. Debbie also formerly worked with the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association (now The Watershed Institute).
Her public service includes a two-year appointment, from 2006 to 2008, as an environmental and energy policy adviser to then-Gov. Jon S. Corzine, assisting in the development of a state Energy Master Plan that charted clean energy efforts through 2020. She also served as the governor’s appointee to the State Planning Commission as smart growth ombudsman.
Debbie received the Estuary Advocate Award in 2016 from the Natural Resources Protective Association, a consortium of conservation groups, sportsman clubs and citizens dedicated to preserving the marine environment of Raritan Bay and Lower New York Harbor.
She also is the 2013 recipient of the Sister Carol Johnston Community Service Award, presented by the Ironbound Community Corporation in Newark. The award is named for Johnston, a member of the Sisters of Charity who championed environmental justice for the Newark community, particularly fighting to remove toxins from the Passaic River.
The Deputy Commissioner is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Vermont Law School. She is the former chair of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters and currently serves as member of the Borough Council in Glen Ridge.Debbie Mans, Deputy Commissioner