Episode 75-History and Legends in the Pinelands with Tom Gerber

December 1, 2017

This episode concludes Discover DEP’s three-part series focusing on the Pine Barrens. In this third and final episode, Bob Bostock sits down with Tom Gerber, Section Forest Fire Warden and long-time DEP employee, to talk about the history and legends of the Pine Barrens. A New Jersey native, Tom shares his extensive knowledge of the area including early settlements and industries, forest fires, local folklore and the Jersey Devil.

Click here to learn more about the history of the Pine Barrens.

Click here to learn more about the book “The Pine Barrens” by John McPhee.

Click the highlighted links to learn more about Batsto Village and Wharton State Forest.



Episode 74-Pinelands Fauna with John Heilferty

November 20, 2017

The Discover DEP team is in the midst of a three-part series focusing on the Pine Barrens. This second episode focuses on the fauna of the Pinelands. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and bugs are important residents of this area and are greatly affected by the region’s ecosystem and climate. Listen in as Bob Bostock sits down with John Heilferty, Supervisor of the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species program, to talk about the various species found in the Pine Barrens as well as DEP’s conservation and management efforts.

Click here to listen to our first episode, The Flora of the Pinelands with Bernie Isaacson. Stay tuned for our third and final episode in this series to hear about the area’s rich history and legends from Tom Gerber.

Click here to learn more about the animals of the Pinelands.

Click here for a full list of New Jersey’s Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

Click here to listen to the podcast episode on Bald Eagles with Kathy Clark.



Episode 73 - Pinelands Flora with Bernie Isaacson

November 14, 2017

The Discover DEP team is embarking on a three-part series focusing on the Pine Barrens. The Pine Barrens is a unique part of New Jersey’s landscape. From pygmy pines to “ghost forests,” the flora of the Pine Barrens has an interesting story to tell. Bernie Isaacson, Assistant Regional Forester, sits down with Bob Bostock to kick off this three-part series to give a forester’s assessment of the Pine Barrens, discussing the plants supported by the ecology of the area as well as the challenges that this region faces.

Stay tuned for the next two episodes in this series about the Pine Barrens, which will explain more about the animals and history of this area.

Click here to learn about DEP’s Forest Service.

Click here to learn about the Pinelands Commission.

Click here to read the NJ.com article: “Why sections of the Pine Barrens are turning into ‘ghost forests’”.




Episode 72-Engineering and Construction with Dave Rosenblatt

October 30, 2017

The Engineering & Construction program is responsible for administering shore protection, dam restoration and flood control projects throughout the State of New Jersey. This program has been responsible for managing more than $1.5 billion in federal post-Superstorm Sandy projects. Bob Bostock sits down with Dave Rosenblatt, Assistant Commissioner of Engineering & Construction, during the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy to discuss this important program area and the work they do to protect the New Jersey’s coastline and inland flood prone areas.

Click here to learn more about DEP’s Engineering and Construction Ppogram.

Click here and here to learn more about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the projects they are completing around the state.



Episode 71-Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms with Victor Poretti and Rob Newby

October 18, 2017

Cyanobacteria are naturally present in lakes and streams, usually in low numbers. However, under suitable environmental conditions, they can form dense blooms. Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms, or CyanoHABs, can discolor water and potentially harm fish and other aquatic organisms. They can also threaten human health and the health of pets that may come in contact with them. Listen in as Bob Bostock sits down with Victor Poretti and Rob Newby from DEP’s Division of Water Monitoring & Standards and Division of Science, Research and Environmental Health as they tell us more about CyanoHABs.

To learn more about CyanoHABs, please visit http://www.state.nj.us/dep/wms/bfbm/CyanoHABHome.html

To report a potential harmful algal bloom, call 1-877-WARNDEP (1-877-927-6337) or use the WARN NJDEP mobile app

To learn more about DWM&S’ Bureau of Freshwater and Biological Monitoring, please visit http://www.state.nj.us/dep/wms/bfbm/index.html

To learn more about the Division of Science, Research & Environmental Health, please visit http://www.nj.gov/dep/dsr/

For Drinking Water information, please visit http://www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply/

Photo: Victor Poretti (l) and Rob Newby (r).


Episode 70-High Points in New Jersey with John O’Brien and Jeff Hoffman

October 5, 2017

Have you ever wondered about why some New Jersey towns have the word “Mount” in their names, such as Mount Holly and Mount Ephraim, when their topography seems so flat? This quirky fact sparked the interest of John O’Brien, cartoonist for the New Yorker and inspired him to draw a cartoon that was published in the New York Times in 1995. Jeff Hoffman, DEP’s State Geologist, saw this cartoon and was, in turn, inspired to write a report entitled “Highest Elevations by County in New Jersey.” Listen in as Bob Bostock sits down with John and Jeff to hear the story behind the cartoon and the report it inspired.

Click here to view the “Highest Elevations by County in New Jersey” report.

Click here to visit the New Jersey Geological and Water Survey website.

Click here to explore John O’Brien’s website.

Photo: John O'Brien (left) and Jeff Hoffman (right).

Cartoon by John O'Brien

Photo: (left to right) John O'Brien, Commissioner Bob Martin, Jeff Hoffman


Episode 69-Fish Smart Eat Smart Guide with Gary Buchanan and Bruce Ruppel

September 20, 2017

The nutritional value of fish is hard to deny – they are full of protein, minerals and vitamins and are a part of a well-balanced diet. However, fish and crabs can harbor contaminants such as mercury, PCBs and dioxin. Scientists have performed numerous studies on the presence of these chemicals in fish and have developed the “Fish Smart Eat Smart” guide. This guide provides consumption advisories for fish and crabs found in the state. Gary Buchanan, Director of the Division of Science, Research and Environmental Health, and Bruce Ruppel, Environmental Specialist, sat down with Bob Bostock to discuss the extensive work that went into the creation of this guide and the recommendations that it provides.

To learn more about the Fish Smart, Eat Smart guide, please visit www.fishsmarteatsmartnj.org


Bruce Ruppel (left) and Gary Buchanan (right)


Episode 68-Equal Employment Opportunity with Hester Agudosi

September 11, 2017

DEP’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Public Contract Assistance is committed to maintaining an environment that promotes equal employment opportunity and equal access to the benefits of employment for all employees and to ensure that socially and economically disadvantaged businesses have an opportunity to compete for construction and procurement contracts.

Hester Agudosi, who joined DEP as the office’s director in February 2017, sat down with Bob Bostock to discuss the importance of this office, her initiatives as director, and the process by which employees can report any issues they may be having.

To learn more about the Office of Equal Opportunity and Public Contract Assistance at DEP, please visit http://www.nj.gov/dep/eo/index.htm

To reach the Office of Equal Opportunity and Public Contract Assistance at DEP, please call 609-984-9742.

DEP employees can visit http://depnet/dep-intranet/equal_op/index.htm for more detailed information.



Episode 67-Ellis Island-New Jersey v. New York with Bob Marshall

September 1, 2017

Nearly 12 million immigrants went through Ellis Island’s immigration inspection station in its 60 years of operation, making it a significant part of the history of the United States. But have you ever wondered if Ellis Island resides within the confines of New Jersey or New York? If you have, you’re not alone – these two states squabbled over this land for years. Bob Marshall, special advisor to the Commissioner for Energy and the Environment, sits down with Bob Bostock to answer this decades-old debate over the rightful jurisdiction over Ellis Island. As Deputy Attorney General in the 1998 New Jersey v. New York United States Supreme Court case, the first trial ever held in the U.S. Supreme Court building, Bob Marshall played an integral role in the decision that the vast majority of Ellis Island is within the jurisdiction of New Jersey.

To learn more about Ellis Island, click here.

To learn more about the 1998 New Jersey v. New York United States Supreme Court case, click here.

To view the Ellis Island quarter, released as a part of the 2017 America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, click here.



Episode 66-Environmental Trends and Key Performance Indicators with Dr. Sandra Goodrow and Jennifer Feltis-Cortese

August 25, 2017

In a data-driven organization such as the DEP, long-term environmental trend reports can help employees understand how their work affects the environment and determine where resources should be directed to achieve DEP priorities and goals. Trend reports also inform the public whether we’re meeting our mission to preserve and protect New Jersey’s air, land, water and natural and historic resources. In addition to the importance of these reports, Governor Christie’s Performance Center initiative tracks the operations and performance of each department of state government with a focus on effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness and service quality. Listen to the latest DEP podcast where Dr. Sandra Goodrow, a Research Scientist in DEP’s Division of Science, Research and Environmental Health, and Jennifer Feltis-Cortese of DEP Water Resource Management and co-coordinator of the DEP Performance Indicator Team talk with Bob Bostock about how metrics such as performance indicators and long-term Environmental Trend Reports serve the public.

To view the Environmental Trends Reports and Performance Indicators, visit http://www.nj.gov/dep/citizen_mynj.html and http://www.yourmoney.nj.gov/transparency/performance/dep/index.html

Jennifer Feltis-Cortese (left) and Dr. Sandra Goodrow (right)