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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2015

Contact: Caryn Shinske (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Bob Considine  (609) 292-2994

HOOKED ON FISHING – NOT ON DRUGS TRAINING PROGRAM SCHEDULED
NOVEMBER 6-8 FOR EDUCATORS, VOLUNTEERS WITH YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS

PROGRAM TEACHES KIDS ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP, IMPORTANT LIFE SKILLS

(15/P99) TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will host a free two-day training for educators on the Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs program that shows youth how to participate in constructive outdoor activities while also teaching critical skills such as patience, teamwork and problem-solving.

The training program is scheduled Friday, November 6 to Sunday, November 8 at the Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education at 7th Street and Navajo Drive in Waretown, in Ocean County. It is geared to teachers, staff and volunteers at schools, youth-centered, community- and faith-based organizations looking to offer an ongoing or year-round youth fishing, conservation and aquatic education program.

The event will be held rain or shine, unless there is extreme weather. Registration is required.

Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs encourages people to participate in constructive outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, camping and crabbing while teaching important life skills. The core message of the program is that a person does not need drugs, alcohol or tobacco to have fun.

“Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs encourages youth to participate in constructive outdoor activities such as fishing and crabbing while teaching important life skills,” said the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Dave Chanda. “The core message of the program is that a person does not need drugs, alcohol or tobacco to have fun.”

The nonprofit Future Fisherman Foundation, an arm of the American Sportfishing Association, created the unique, nationally recognized program. In 2012, Governor Chris Christie signed legislation establishing statewide implementation of Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs. The legislation provided initial funding through a $200,000 appropriation from the state's Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction Fund.

The benefits of a Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs curriculum for students are many. Youths learn about freshwater and marine ecosystems, outdoor ethics, environmental stewardship, respect for themselves and others, how, when and where to fish, and how to prepare and cook their catch.

Organizations that participate in the November 6-8 training program are eligible to receive professional development credits in conservation education and angling skills. Groups may also receive in-kind support such as fishing gear and equipment, education supplies and subsidized field trips such as charter boat fishing. Supplemental activities can be requested for fly-tying and fly-fishing, kayak fishing, crabbing and other outdoor activities.

A $50 deposit is required to reserve a seat at the training, which includes two nights’ lodging, meals, and all workshop materials.

“I have witnessed firsthand the importance of recreation and its ability to help build a better community right here in the City of Passaic,” said Jessica Lezcano, Superintendent of Recreation for the City of Passaic. “Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs provides local children with an opportunity to learn about fishing and the importance of protecting the environment while enjoying the outdoors. This is another component of Passaic’s plan to expand recreation and community activities to provide positive alternatives to our city’s youth and help create cultural ties within our diverse population.”

For information about the training program or to register, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/news/2015/hofnod_train11-15.htm on the Fish and Wildlife website.

To learn more about Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/hofnodnj.htm or contact Liz Jackson at (908) 637-4125, Ext. 122 or Liz.Jackson@dep.nj.gov

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Last Updated: October 29, 2015