The Office of Local Government Assistance troubleshoots and problem solves environmental issues for New Jersey’s 565 municipalities and 21 counties to help them to better understand DEP’s 75+ programs, which include the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land we walk on, and everything in-between. In 2010, DEP Commissioner Bob Martin directed the Office of Local Government Assistance to become more involved with every community in New Jersey so that DEP could become more aware of the local environmental issues. Cindy Randazzo, Director of the Office of Local Government Assistance, joined Bob Bostock to discuss this program and the benefits it provides to New Jersey.
For more information about the Office of Local Government Assistance, please call 609-633-7700.
During the week of September 10-18, drivers and advocates of electric vehicles across the nation will be holding events as a part of National Drive Electric Week. These events will increase awareness of electric vehicles and inform consumers about their numerous benefits. Ryan Gergely, from DEP’s Bureau of Energy and Sustainability, joined Bob Bostock to discuss this initiative and New Jersey’s involvement.
For more information about National Drive Electric Week, please visit https://www.driveelectricweek.org/. To learn more about electric vehicles in New Jersey, please visit http://www.drivegreen.nj.gov/.
The New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo, taking place on Saturday and Sunday, September 10 & 11, is quickly approaching. From 10 am to 5 pm, people of all ages can come to Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area to participate in a variety of activities and hands-on opportunities to learn outdoor skills. Al Ivany, Chief of the Bureau of Information and Education within DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, joined Bob Bostock to discuss this fun event and its activities.
For more information about the New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo, please visit: http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/expo.htm. If you wish to volunteer at the event, please contact Al Ivany at Alfred.Ivany@dep.nj.gov.
Although the vast majority of those who use our state's open space use this precious resource responsibly, some people illegally treat New Jersey's public lands as dumping grounds, threatening our state’s natural beauty and ecosystems. In 2014, DEP launched ‘Don’t Waste Our Open Space,’ a program that combines enforcement, education, and stewardship to prevent and decrease incidences of illegal dumping. Artie Zanfini, project manager of ‘Don’t Waste Our Open Space,’ joined Bob Bostock to discuss this program, the benefits it provides to the community, and how concerned citizens can get involved.
For more information about the Don’t Waste Our Open Space program, please visit: http://www.stopdumping.nj.gov.
If you have witnessed an incidence of illegal dumping, visit the website above or call 1-877-WARN DEP.
Urban communities have benefitted from the Watershed Education Urban Fishing Program, now in its 20th year. This hands-on, experiential learning program introduces students to their watersheds through fishing. Students involved learn more about water quality, fish consumption advisories, and how their actions can improve water quality and the watershed communities. Harold Nebling, Environmental Specialist at DEP, joined Bob Bostock to discuss this program and the benefits it provides to the students and the community.
“Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs” is a program that was created by the Future Fisherman Foundation. Governor Christie signed legislation in 2012 establishing the statewide implementation of the HOFNOD program. HOFNOD encourages school-aged children to avoid tobacco, drug and alcohol usage by providing them with alternative activities that help them appreciate New Jersey’s incredible aquatic and environmental resources. Liz Jackson, Senior Public Information Specialist in the Division of Fish and Wildlife program in DEP, joined Bob Bostock to discuss this unique and nationally recognized program as well as the opportunities and benefits that it has for the young people of New Jersey.
The AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program is going into its 17th year. This program gives 20 college graduates each year the opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of watersheds and environmental stewardship, and to channel that awareness into action within their communities. The chosen participants monitor the stream health of their assigned watershed by performing visual and biological assessments. Kathy Giordano, coordinator for the Watershed Ambassador program, joins Bob Bostock to discuss this program and the incredible opportunities that it provides.
For more information on the Watershed Ambassador program, please visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/wms/bears/americorps.htm and https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do;jsessionid=letQFF_oq2gn5hWlqxsQfuGQOlULzKWqi1Jxjx4fc9xVSAEQltFU!399265864?id=68288&fromSearch=true.
The piping plover is a shore-loving bird that delights beach-goers of all ages. Although it is on the threatened species list nationally, the piping plover is endangered in the state of New Jersey. Christina Davis, piping plover expert and environmental specialist in the Endangered and Nongame Species Program within DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, joins Bob Bostock to discuss this little bird and its life at the Jersey Shore.
For more information on the piping plover, please visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/ensp/beachnester_info.htm and http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/ensp/pdf/end-thrtened/plover.pdf.
The clinging jellyfish, an invasive species native to the Pacific Ocean, has made an appearance in New Jersey for the first time ever this summer. Although this dime-sized creature has only been found in limited numbers in two rivers, it is important to be informed about its potential effects on New Jersey’s ecosystems as well as its powerful sting. Joe Bilinski, a research scientist at DEP, joined Bob Bostock to discuss the clinging jellyfish and the measures DEP is taking to learn more about this unwelcome visitor to our state.
For more information on the clinging jellyfish, please visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/docs/clinging-jellyfish.pdf and http://njdep.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=b675e280405540a1b212d63be734345b.