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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Prepared by:
The Interagency Sustainability Working Group, under the direction of Commissioner Robert C. Shinn, Jr.
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Press Release - 2/6/01- DEP Issues Progress Report on New Sustainability Initiative

Message from Governor Christine Todd Whitman

Message from John J. Degnan, Chair, New Jersey Future

What is Sustainable Development?

How to use this report

GOALS

Economic Vitality

Equity

Strong Community, Culture & Recreation

Quality Education

Good Government

Decent Housing

Healthy People

Efficient Transportation and Land Use

Natural and Ecological Integrity

Protected Natural Resources

Minimal Pollution and Waste

Glossary

Interagency Sustainable Workgroup

Acknowledgements

This document is also in available in PDF format.

Part 1 - Cover to page 15

Part 2 - pages 16 to 27

Part 3 - pages 28 to 37

Part 4 - pages 38 to 47

Part 5 - pages 48 to 57

Part 6 - pages 58 to 69

Introduction

What kind of New Jersey are we passing on to future generations?

This question has increasingly shaped the thinking and activities of Governor Whitman, New Jersey Future, and business, environmental, academic, and civic groups.

In 1995, we began the multi-year Sustainable State Project, which culminated in a "report card" on the long-term trends that will enhance or degrade our quality of life and that of future generations. Originally released in 1999, Living with the Future in Mind articulates the vision of a sustainable New Jersey with an efficient and vibrant economy, a healthy environment, and a just society. This report is the 2000 update of Living with the Future in Mind.

The 11 goals offered in the report are the product of a creative community dialogue about our common future, drawing on the knowledge and concerns of New Jerseyans from all walks of life: environmental and business leaders, social activists, scientists, government officials, and citizens of all ages. The goals were reviewed by citizens as part of our community dialogue.

The 41 indicators were selected – and in some cases, created – by economic, environmental, and social experts to measure specific progress toward our goals.

These are the ambitious goals the state must strive toward to achieve sustainability. The indicators gauge progress in achieving the goals.

Advancing the Sustainable State

Governor Whitman’s Executive Order 96, issued in May 1999, called for the preparation of this report and the upcoming companion report, Governing with the Future in Mind. In the pages that follow, the goals and indicators from the 1999 report are maintained. The 41 indicators have been updated as new data have become available. The descriptions of trends for the indicators have also been updated.

For the first time, this report shows quantitative targets that have been adopted by state agencies through a public process. These targets serve as the point of departure for future deliberations on setting formal sustainability benchmarks for each indicator. Targets put the trends into context, providing a sense of where we think we need to be and what is reasonably achievable.

Indicator updates are the main feature of this report. Also included are brief descriptions of sample strategies that state agencies are pursuing to make sustainability a reality in New Jersey. These strategic initiatives are outlined in greater detail in Governing with the Future in Mind. While updating indicators of progress is very important, developing and presenting strategies and programs is essential. Together, these components form the nucleus of an action plan to attain sustainable development in New Jersey.

The Next Step

Living with the Future in Mind is the blueprint for building our sustainable "house." This update ensures that the blueprint is as current as possible. Governing with the Future in Mind will assemble the boards, nails, and labor to build it. Much work remains, though, before we can move in.

We must continue filling gaps in our knowledge of trends shaping our future. Some quantitative targets have been set, but we need to establish meaningful benchmarks for each indicator, all within the context of sustainability. As we move forward, it is essential to continue the strong partnership between state, non-profit, and business entities created under the Sustainable State Project.

We have made a promising start. These reports, and the other efforts outlined here, show New Jersey’s steadily increasing momentum toward sustainability. Our ultimate success in achieving a sustainable state will require continual nurturing through our collective efforts.

Office of Science
Dr. Gary A. Buchanan, Manager

Mailing Address:
Mail code 428-01, P.O. Box 420
P.O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 0862
Office Location:
428 East State St., 1st floor
Trenton, NJ 08625
Phone: (609) 984-6070
Fax: (609) 292-7340


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P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: November 1, 2010