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September 20, 2021

Contact: Caryn Shinske (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795


(21/P027) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection is accepting nominations in a broad range of categories for the annual Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards to recognize community leadership and accomplishments in protecting New Jersey’s land, air, water and natural resources, Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette announced today.

The annual Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards honor outstanding environmental performance, programs and projects around the state.

Award for Governors Environmental ExcellenceAwards will be given in nine categories to individuals, businesses, institutions, communities, organizations, educators and youth who have made significant contributions to protecting the environment in New Jersey. Since its establishment in 2000, the program has honored 195 winners for their environmental achievements.

“This year’s Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards will surpass 200 awards given, representing a small percentage of the people, organizations and communities committed to protecting New Jersey’s environment,” Commissioner LaTourette said. “Their efforts reaffirm the Murphy Administration’s charge to reduce the impacts of climate change, champion environmental justice, repair water infrastructure and improve sustainability.”

The new Environmental Justice category recognizes those who help improve environmental quality and access for historically disadvantaged and overburdened communities by reducing environmental pollution, increasing trees and open space in these communities, and empowering residents to participate in meaningful decision-making that affects their public health and the environment.

Nominations may be submitted through Monday, Oct. 11 in these categories: Environmental Justice, Climate Change and Clean Air, Water Resources, Healthy Ecosystems and Habitats, Landowner of the Year, Healthy and Sustainable Communities, Healthy and Sustainable Businesses, and two categories in Environmental Education: Educator-Led and Student-Led Projects.

The excellence awards program is sponsored by the DEP, New Jersey Infrastructure Bank and the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology. Award winners will be honored at a ceremony to be conducted virtually in December.

“Our environment is an asset to be cherished and nourished by all New Jerseyans,” said David Zimmer, Executive Director of the Infrastructure Bank. “Once again, this year’s award winners have demonstrated a level of creativity and passion that leads the way for others and benefits us all. On behalf of the NJ I-Bank Board and its staff, we celebrate the environmental successes recognized by Governor Murphy and this valuable awards program and are proud to be associated with it.”

The New Jersey Infrastructure Bank is an independent state financing authority that partners with peer agencies to provide low-interest-rate financing of infrastructure projects throughout the state. The bank, in partnership with the DEP, administers the New Jersey Water Bank to make low-interest-rate loans to governmental and public water systems for wastewater, storm water and drinking water infrastructure projects to preserve and protect water quality and public health. Beginning in state fiscal year 2018 the bank also partnered with the state Department of Transportation for transportation infrastructure projects. The bank also has supported sustainable economic development throughout the state.

Completed applications for the 2021 awards program must be received by the DEP by 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11.

For a 2021 nominating application and other awards information, visit

To learn more about the program, email DEP employee Marc Rogoff at

Follow Commissioner LaTourette on Twitter and Instagram @shawnlatur and follow the DEP on Twitter @NewJerseyDEP