Office of Sustainability
DEP Programs that Support Sustainability
Idling / Diesel Reductions
Unnecessary vehicle idling contributes to health risks, pollution, and harms the environment. Your town or city can be part of the solution. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has designed a program “Idling is Everybody’s Business” which can be adapted by towns, businesses, or schools. Visit this site for more information and resources.
Green Acres Program
The Green Acres Program was created in 1961 to meet New Jersey's growing recreation and conservation needs. Together with public and nonprofit partners, the Green Acres Program has protected open space and provided hundreds of outdoor recreational facilities in communities around the state. Conserving forest land and other open space plays a role in addressing carbon pollution by removing (i.e., sequestering) a portion of total greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more here.
DEP Blue Acres Floodplain Acquisitions
The Blue Acres program is the arm of New Jersey DEP’s Green Acres Program that purchases storm-damaged homes in flood-prone areas, and returns the land to open space. Using federal and state funds, Blue Acres purchases clusters of flood-prone homes or whole neighborhoods from willing sellers, demolishes the houses, and preserves the land permanently as open space, accessible to the public, for passive recreation or conservation. The preserved land returns floodplains to their natural function, and buffers against future storms and floods. The goal of the Blue Acres Program is to dramatically reduce the risk of future catastrophic flood damage, and to help families move out of harm’s way.
The Office of Brownfield Reuse (OBR) was created to serve as the focal point for the Department’s brownfield program. OBR is charged with coordinating remediation and reuse efforts at specific brownfield sites and piloting innovative approaches to expedite the revitalization process.
The New Jersey Community Forestry Program is a unique partnership between government, business, and volunteers caring for trees where people live, work, and play. Under the authority provided by the State legislature within the Community Forestry Assistance Act, the program encourages, promotes, and assists cities and towns in the establishment, retention, and enhancement of trees and forest resources. Trees in urban areas play an especially critical role. For information on the benefits of trees in urban areas visit the American Forests site.
Site provides information on Green Infrastructure (GI) methods and management practices that address stormwater runoff through soils, or reuse. There are a number of Green Infrastructure practices that can be implemented to achieve positive environmental results. Including building Green Roofs which reduce the temperature of urban heat sinks and to increase stormwater storage capacity during rain events.
Office of Coastal and Land Use Planning
The Office of Coastal and Land Use Planning reviews and administers New Jersey’s Coastal Management Program and is responsible for development and implementation of a number of planning activities including Municipal Public Access Planning, sustainable and resilient coastal community planning, and ocean resource planning. The Office also coordinates the Department's Living Shoreline program.
Did you know that each American uses 100 gallons of water on average every day? That is enough water to fill 1,600 bottles of drinking water! When considering summer outdoor water use, some New Jersey residents use in excess of 200 gallons of water per day! This site provides information on water conservation technologies and tips on what consumers can do to reduce water use inside and outside the home.
Wildlife Action Plan
The NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) staff, with help from the general public, the state's conservation groups and other stakeholders, has developed a blueprint for the future conservation of our state's species of greatest conservation need. This blueprint is called the Wildlife Action Plan. To learn more about New Jersey’s Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, including a list of species, click here.