Applications for environmental excellence awards available

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Environmental, academic, businesses, science, government, non-profit and youth leaders from throughout New Jersey are encouraged to show off their environmental accomplishments by participating in the upcoming 2014 Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards, with applications now available.

Applications are due to the DEP by Wednesday, Sept. 17.

The awards program recognizes outstanding environmental performance, programs and projects throughout the state. Since the awards program was established in 2000, 135 groups and persons have been recognized for their accomplishments.

"Through their dedication to environmental protection, these award winners annually set an example of environmental excellence for everyone in New Jersey to follow," said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin, who annually presents the awards to the winners. "The winners and all of those who participate each year set a very high standard for environmental excellence. They demonstrate real environmental leadership through their actions."

Previously honored projects include Princeton University's ongoing work toward sustainability, Linden's redevelopment of a former landfill as a natural area reconnecting residents to urban waterfronts, community-wide efforts to reduce stormwater runoff to Camden's sewer system, and the American Littoral Society's "Bayscape for Barnegat Bay" program which encourages responsible landscaping practices around the bay, among many others.

"The spirit of the Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards Program is to honor the outstanding accomplishments and contributions made by our award recipients each year," said Dr. Richard Magee, technical director for the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology. "My corporation is proud to co-sponsor this program with DEP and I encourage businesses, educators, institutions, communities, youth and others to put forth nominations about their accomplishments for our consideration this year."

In one major change to the program this year, the category for "Environmental Education" has been divided into two awards: one for adult-led educational initiatives and one for projects that are student-led or have succeeded due to a high level of student involvement.

The Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards Program is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology, in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.

Award winners will be honored at a luncheon and program to be held in December. Last year's event supporters included PSEG, Duke Farms, New Jersey Natural Gas, Atlantic County Utilities Authority and Greener by Design.

Completed applications must be received at DEP by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

The 2014 application and other awards information can be found at

Questions about the awards program can be forwarded to:

Tanya Oznowich at 609-984-9802 or

Caroline Kirkland at 609-633-7024 or

The 2013 award winners included:

Clean Air: Raritan Valley Community College Water Resources: Whippany River Watershed Action Committee Healthy Ecosystems: Atlantic County Dept. of Regional Planning and Development Innovative Technology: Barnegat Township School District Land Conservation: Salem County Healthy and Sustainable Businesses: Prudential Financial, Inc.

Healthy and Sustainable Communities: Montgomery Township Environmental Commission Environmental Education: NJ Agriculture Experiment Station, Rutgers University Environmentalist of the Year: Eric J. Fuchs-Stengel

For more information on past winners, visit:

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