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news releases

December 3, 2009

Contact: Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994


(09/P29) TRENTON - A project protecting Delaware Bay shorebirds, an effort launched by Monmouth County high school students to distribute compact fluorescent light bulbs to seniors and the needy, an initiative illuminating the iconic George Washington Bridge with energy-saving light fixtures, and a Somerset County photographer who has focused his artistic talents to protect the Piedmont region will be honored tonight as New Jersey’s environmental leaders.

The New Jersey Audubon Society, HelpLight NJ, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Montgomery Township photographer Clem Fiori are among the individuals, government agencies, businesses and organizations to be honored with Governor’s Environmental Excellence and Clean Water New Jersey awards during a ceremony at Drumthwacket, the governor’s official residence. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

“I am proud to shine the spotlight on these people and projects that are making a world of difference in communities across New Jersey,” Governor Corzine said. “Throughout the Garden State, people are rolling up their sleeves and doing remarkable things because they truly care about protecting their environment, helping their neighbors, and making New Jersey a better place to call home.”

“One of New Jersey’s greatest strengths is its environmental activism,” Department of Environmental Protection Acting Commissioner Mark N. Mauriello said. “From the remote and quiet beaches of the Delaware Bay to the venerable GW, one of the world’s busiest bridges, people and organizations are putting their passion for the environment to work - and we are all better off for it.”

This is the 10th anniversary for a state environmental awards program. The DEP established an environmental awards program in 2000. In 2006, the program became known as the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards. Coordinated by the DEP, the program is sponsored by the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. A panel of judges evaluates nominees based on innovation and the long-term benefits the work has achieved.

The DEP’s annual Clean Water New Jersey Award presentations are integrated into the Environmental Excellence program. The Clean Water New Jersey program recognizes exceptional programs by municipalities, public complexes and highway agencies that are regulated under DEP municipal stormwater permits.

To learn more about the program, visit


Clean Air
Hoffman LaRoche, Nutley-Clifton site

This pharmaceuticals company has used a variety of technologies, including cogeneration and energy conservation projects, to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide as well as air pollutants at its Nutley-Clifton site. The company also promotes employee ride-sharing and the use of hybrid and other fuel-efficient vehicles in its motor vehicle fleet.

Environmental Education/Student Activity

As students at Mater Dei High School in Middletown, Monmouth County, Matthew Erickson, John Caddock and Paula Pilipovic launched HelpLightNJ in 2007 to purchase and distribute energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs to needy families and senior citizens. Since graduated, they continue to perform this service, using grants from the New Jersey Clean Energy Program to distribute six-pack bags of bulbs. Their effort has spread to 19 partner schools.

Healthy Ecosystems
New Jersey Audubon Society

For more than a quarter-century, the New Jersey Audubon Society has been a leader in protecting and restoring Delaware Bay ecosystems. The bay region provides a vital feeding stop for migrating shorebirds, including the imperiled red knot. The society's Shorebird Conservation Project works to protect the bay and its resources through research, education and conservation.

Innovative Technology
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The Port Authority installed 156 high flux LED fixtures to light up the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River. This type of lighting has a long lifespan and provides extra-bright light while using significantly less energy than standard lighting. The Port Authority estimates the fixtures will save $49,000 in electricity and maintenance costs annually.

Land Conservation
Conservation Resources Inc., Chester

Conservation Resources Inc. provides technical and financial assistance to conservation organizations across the state, facilitating more than $41 million in conservation funding that has protected and enhanced more than 10,000 acres over the past six years. The group maintains a Web-based Conservation Exchange that connects conservation projects with potential project funding from philanthropic and government sources.

Sustainable and Healthy Communities
Middlesex County

Utilizing a variety of strategies, Middlesex County is working to establish a countywide sustainability and energy efficiency plan. The county is establishing programs to inspire residents, schools, organizations, businesses and municipalities to become more sustainable and is working to establish Green Economic Development Zones.

Water Resources
Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

Now in its 60th year, the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association has been working to protect and enhance the waterways of central New Jersey through conservation, advocacy, science and education. It has grown from a handful of concerned citizens fighting for sound land-use and soil-management practices to become the state’s largest watershed association.

Environmental Leadership
Dr. John J. Kirk

As executive director of the New Jersey School of Conservation at Montclair State University, Dr. Kirk developed a multi-disciplinary approach for teaching environmental education that sets the standard for similar programs in the nation and world. He has lectured on environmental education curriculums throughout the world.

Environmental Stewardship
Clem Fiori

A man of many passions, Clem Fiori is best known for his work as an artist and photographer. His photographs focus on pastoral landscapes of the rolling Piedmont region, as well as intricate details of the environment, such as ice in small streams and details of tree bark. He has helped preserve a network of open space in his hometown of Montgomery Township, Somerset County. He helped secure a federal grant to plant more than a thousand trees on this land, built trails and kestrel houses, and devoted many hours maintaining the land, even ripping out invasive plants.


Tier A Municipality
City of Wildwood

Using more than $437,000 in federal funds and nearly $197,000 in city funds, Wildwood’s public works department installed new tidal valves on most of its back-bay stormwater outfalls to help correct flooding and water quality problems. The department inspects the outfalls weekly.

Highway Agency
Cape May County Department of Public Works

The county public works department combined community involvement and Geographic Information System technology to help municipalities map thousands of stormwater drains and mark them with a logo of a mother turtle and her hatchling, reminding the public that stormwater carries trash and pollutants into waterways. The department also aggressively sweeps county roads on barrier islands.



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