Episode 91-Trail Tracker with Heather Merring

March 23, 2018

New Jersey’s state parks are home to about 1,000 miles of official trails and, thanks to the State Park Service, every mile is now available on Trail Tracker. Trail Tracker allows you to track your current location, view trails and points of interest, search for park activities, and download PDF maps of New Jersey’s state parks. This app is helpful in planning for trips to state parks and can also be used in real-time to track your location in any of our state parks, forests or recreation areas. Listen as Heather Merring, one of Trail Tracker’s creators, sits down with Gladys Giron to discuss how this app got its start and the resources it offers.

To get started, visit: www.spstrailtracker.nj.gov or www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/



Episode 90-Americorps Week

March 12, 2018

This week (March 11-17) is AmeriCorps Week, which celebrates AmeriCorps members and alumni for their commitment to educating the public about the environment, stewardship, and the impact their work has around the state and nation. In fact, DEP’s own AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors are celebrating throughout the state. In this week’s Discover DEP episode, Gladys Giron talks about AmeriCorps Week with Amanda Lotto, current AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador Program Manager and former Watershed Ambassador, Lauren Cromie, Ambassador for the Mullica River Watershed, and Isabella Castiglioni, Ambassador for the Rancocas Creek Watershed.

To learn more about AmeriCorps Week 2018, visit: https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps

For more about the AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/wms/bears/americorps.htm

To learn more about DEP’s Division of Water Monitoring and Standards program, visit: www.nj.gov/dep.wms

Like the AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassador Program on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NJWAP/

Listen to Discover DEP’s previous Watershed Ambassador Program episode here: http://njdep.podbean.com/e/episode-46-americorps-new-jersey-watershed-ambassadors-program-with-ismail-sukkar-and-alexis-bowman/


From l-r: Lauren Cromie, Amanda Lotto, Isabella Castiglioni


Episode 89-Highpoint State Park with Rebecca Fitzgerald

March 6, 2018

With spectacular views of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, as well as many superb trails, High Point State Park is one you shouldn’t miss. As its name suggests, High Point is nearly at the northern-most point of our state. It is also home to the highest point of elevation in the state. Listen in as Gladys Giron talks with Rebecca Fitzgerald, Superintendent of High Point State Park, about this park’s unique amenities, opportunities, programs and natural areas.

Learn more about High Point State Park here: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/highpoint.html

Want to know more about High Point State Park’s nature programs and events? Click here: http://www.nj.gov/dep/seeds/hpcal.htm

Like High Point State Park on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighPointStatePark/




Episode 88-Fluorescent Minerals with Chris Adair

February 23, 2018

Last year, the lobby in DEP’s main building in Trenton featured a display highlighting the connection between baseball and New Jersey’s geology. Now, this latest display features a new aspect of New Jersey’s geology – fluorescent minerals. Under ultraviolet light, certain minerals glow with an amazing array of vibrant colors. This is known as fluorescence. Bob Bostock sits down with Chris Adair, part time assistant geologist in DEP’s Division of Water Supply & Geoscience, to discuss this new display and these intriguing rocks.

Click the following links to learn more about fluorescent minerals:

Learn about Sterling Hill Mining Museum here.

Learn about Franklin Mineral Museum here.



Episode 87-Resource Interpretive Specialists with Diane Hewlett-Lowrie

February 16, 2018

Resource Interpretive Specialists tell the story of New Jersey’s history, nature and our world, helping people connect to their environment through public programs, hikes, exhibits, recreation, ecotourism and education. Bob Bostock sits down with Diane Hewlett-Lowrie, a Resource Interpretive Specialist for New Jersey’s State Park Service, to discuss her experiences as a naturalist at DEP and programs she has spearheaded.

Visit http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/parkindex.html to learn about New Jersey’s state parks, forests, recreation areas and marinas.

Visit www.spstrailtracker.nj.gov to use the Trail Tracker web app, and stay tuned for an upcoming podcast about it.

Visit http://www.nj.gov/dep/docs/monarch-guide.pdf to view DEP’s Monarch Butterfly Conservation Guide.



Episode 86-Maple Sugaring with Wayne Henderek

February 5, 2018

Maple sugaring is a tradition in the Northeast that began centuries ago with Native Americans and colonists. Now, organizations around the country have maple sugaring programs to bring this tradition to life for people of all ages to see and enjoy. Wayne Henderek, Resource Interpretive Specialist at the Washington Crossing State Park Nature Center, sits down with Bob Bostock to discuss the processes of sap collecting and syrup making, as well as the maple sugaring program at Washington Crossing State Park, a participatory demonstration of the procedures of home maple sugar production.

To reserve a group demonstration or to reserve a spot in the public weekend programs, call the park nature center at (609) 737-0609.

For directions, a map and other information on Washington Crossing State Park, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/parks/washcros.html




Episode 85-Permit Coordination with John Gray

January 22, 2018

With more than 160 federal and state laws passed over the past 20 years dealing with the environment and permits, things can become enormously complex. The Office of Permit Coordination and Environmental Review was established to coordinate and facilitate the permitting of large complex projects across multiple DEP programs. John Gray, Director of the Office of Permit Coordination and Environmental Review and Deputy Chief of Staff, sits down with Bob Bostock to discuss how this office helps to enable timely, predictable and positive permit decisions.

Click the link to find out more about DEP’s Office of Permit Coordination and Environmental Review: http://www.nj.gov/dep/pcer/


Episode 84-Air Quality, Energy and Sustainability with Assistant Commissioner Paul Baldauf

January 19, 2018

The mission of Air Quality, Energy & Sustainability (AQES) is to ensure that  New Jersey’s air is clean and safe to breathe, evaluate and support the development and implementation of secure and resilient energy systems, and promote sustainable environmental practices. Bob Bostock sits down with Paul Baldauf, Assistant Commissioner of AQES, to discuss his program’s accomplishments in areas such as emissions from out-of-state sources, electric vehicles, and recycling.

Learn more about AQES here: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/aqes/



Episode 83-Site Remediation and Waste Management with Assistant Commissioner Mark Pedersen

January 17, 2018

Site Remediation and Waste Management Program (SRWMP) is the DEP’s program area that administers laws and regulations concerning contaminated sites, recycling and disposal of solid wastes in the state. Mark Pedersen, Assistant Commissioner of the Site Remediation and Waste Management Program, sits down with Bob Bostock to discuss the changes set forth by the Site Remediation Reform Act, the LSRP program and regulatory reform.

Learn more about Site Remediation and Waste Management in New Jersey here: http://nj.gov/dep/srp/



Episode 82 - Local Government Assistance with Kerry Kirk Pflugh

January 16, 2018

The Office of Local Government Assistance plays a crucial role as a liaison between local governments and DEP. This office makes sure that the lines of communication are open between New Jersey’s county and municipal leaders and DEP, and that local issues are heard and addressed. Bob Bostock sits down with Kerry Kirk Pflugh, the director of Local Government Assistance, to discuss the role DEP plays in local government as well as her experiences and accomplishments as a part of this program.

For more information about the Office of Local Government Assistance, click here: http://www.nj.gov/dep/lga/