The New Jersey Commission on Environmental Education and Interagency Work Group (on Environmental Education) are state level groups charged with guiding the delivery of environmental education for all ages, in formal and informal educational settings, through the development and administration of a state environmental education master plan. Their goal is to nurture an environmentally literate citizenry.
The commission has formally existed through Executive and Administrative Orders since 1989. Both the commission and work group were statutorily established in 1996 through passage of the New Jersey Environmental Education Act (N.J.S.A. 18A:6-91.1 et seq.).
The commission and work group are administered as "in but not of" groups of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Environmental education staff in DEP's Office of Communications provide support and administer any state funds designated for environmental education and/or for use by the commission and work group.
Commission membership includes representation from environmental, conservation, civic, youth and faith-based organizations, public and private teachers and administrators, school boards, colleges and universities, businesses and industry, environmental commissions, state and local government, agriculture and environmental health. There are 29 voting members on the commission, each of whom are appointed to serve by the governor.
Membership includes representation from the State Departments of Environmental Protection, Education, Agriculture, Community Affairs, Human Services, Children and Families and the Commission for Higher Education. Some of these agencies also hold voting positions on the commission.
The commission and work group meet jointly at least seven times per year (usually in September, October, November, January, March, May and June). These meetings are held in Trenton at DEP headquarters or in other central locations in New Jersey. They are open to interested members of the public. There are also committee meetings held at various locations around the state that focus on specific projects.
Members of the state's nonprofit membership association for environmental education, the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE), played pivotal roles in establishing the commission, pursuing passage of the 1996 law, and supporting the continued work of the commission and work group. The Alliance continues to be an active partner in many statewide commission and work group environmental education efforts. Common goals shared by ANJEE, DEP, and the commission and work group, ensure that planning efforts are communicated between groups and that their efforts compliment the needs, goals and activities of each other as well as the field of environmental education. Commission and work group members participate in the annual ANJEE environmental education conference and leadership retreat. Occasional planning meetings are held between these groups and ANJEE members regularly attend commission and work group meetings.
Persons interested in being appointed to the commission and/or participating in commission and work group activities should contact Tanya Oznowich, Environmental Education Supervisor, DEP Office of Communications, P.O. Box 402, Trenton, New Jersey, 08625-0402. She can be reached at (609) 984-9802 or at email@example.com.
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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2010
Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402
December 2, 2010