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Air Quality Awareness Week, May 2 - 6, 2016
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Honorees Announced
12 Ways NJ Kids Can Help Save the Earth
Baltimore student takes on gov't, saves town from more pollution
These Young Leaders Are Shattering the Age & Color Lines of the Mainstream Green Movement
Hackensack Riverkeeper Launches 2016 Eco-Program Season
Reversing the fear of the outdoors in N.J.
Fairfax joins other large school systems in environmental alliance
Help Celebrate the National Wildlife Federation's 80th Birthday!
German Forest Ranger Finds That Trees Have Social Networks, Too
Behind a Shopping Center in New Jersey, Signs of a Mass Extinction
Preschool without walls
Air Quality Awareness Week, May 2 - 6, 2016             (Posted: 5-3-16)

May 2 - 6, 2016 is Air Quality Awareness Week

10-Year Anniversary – Show How You Care About the Air


This year is Air Quality Awareness Week’s 10-year anniversary! Governor Chris Christie has proclaimed May 2 - 6, 2016 to be Air Quality Awareness Week in New Jersey. During Air Quality Awareness Week, people are encouraged to learn about air quality and change everyday routines, especially when air quality is unhealthy. Some simple changes include combining automobile trips, not idling your car, keeping your car’s maintenance up-to-date, using environmentally friendly cleaning products, and checking the Air Quality Index (AQI) before heading outside.

New Jersey’s air quality has improved greatly as a result of better pollution controls on cars, trucks, and power plants. Also, consumer products now contain less volatile organic substances. New Jersey has achieved the national standards set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for fine particulate matter, but is still above the standard set for ozone air pollution (smog), as much of our ozone problem comes from pollution blown in from out of state. Air Quality Awareness Week is timed to the beginning of the ozone season. New Jersey has made significant progress in improving its air quality in the past 10 years, but more work is still needed as the federal ozone standard was just strengthened in 2015.

Take these actions to reduce your exposure to ozone and improve air quality:

  • Reduce driving. Carpool, use public transportation, walk, or bicycle to reduce ozone pollution, especially on hot summer days.
  • On ozone alert days, people—especially sensitive individuals such as older adults, children, and people with lung diseases including asthma and emphysema—should limit outdoor activities.
  • Use household and garden chemicals wisely. Use paints and solvents with little or no volatile organic compounds. Be sure to read labels for proper use and disposal.
  • Keep cars, trucks, gas-powered lawn and garden equipment properly tuned and maintained to reduce air pollution.
  • Monitor your carbon footprint. Be aware of the impact of our activities and take appropriate actions. For more information, visit AQES / Bureau of Energy and Sustainability at .

For more New Jersey air quality facts, suggested actions for Air Quality Awareness Week, and New Jersey rules and programs, visit, New Jersey’s website to educate the public about ground-level ozone in New Jersey. You can follow this effort on Facebook at

Get the daily air quality forecast. Sign up for EnviroFlash, (, a free online alert system, that delivers air quality information straight to your email inbox or cell phone.  Check the Air Quality Index (AQI) for your local air quality. This helps you decide when to limit or avoid over-exertion on bad air days.  If the air is unhealthy, limit physical exertion outdoors and change the time of day of strenuous outdoor activity to early morning or late evening.

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U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Honorees Announced             (Posted: 5-3-16)

Congratulations, 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools
Green Strides Design


          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications & Outreach, Press Office
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC  20202


FOR RELEASE:  April 22, 2016

CONTACT: Press Office (202) 401-1576 or

U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Honorees Announced

Award Honors Schools, Districts, and Postsecondary Institutions for Reducing Environmental Impact and Costs, Improving Health and Wellness, Offering Sustainability Education

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. was joined by Managing Director of the White House Council of Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss today to announce the 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees on the Department's YouTube channel.  Across the country, 47 schools, 15 districts, and 11 postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. 

"I congratulate these schools, districts and postsecondary institutions for their commitment to sustainable facilities, health, and classroom practices," King said. "The healthiest, most inspiring school facilities can and should be another tool to level the playing field, particularly for underserved students. These honorees are 21st century learning environments that encourage every student and teacher to perform at his or her best."

"Earth Day reminds us of the great strides we've made to address climate change and protect our planet, but there is still a long way to go to ensure that our children and grandchildren can experience our earth's natural treasures just as we have," said Goldfuss. "By inspiring young people to connect with their environment every day, today's honorees are creating the next generation of environmental stewards."

The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 25 states, Washington, D.C., and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The honorees include 41 public schools and six private schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 27 elementary, 18 middle, and 14 high schools, with several schools having various K-12 configurations. Fifty-one percent of the 2016 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body. The postsecondary honorees include two community colleges and one work-college.

The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 73 honorees can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to move toward the three Pillars can be found here.

Following is the list of New Jersey's 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability, and Postsecondary Award Honorees:

Whitehouse School—Whitehouse Station, NJ

Egg Harbor Township High School—Egg Harbor Township, NJ

Essex County West Caldwell Tech—West Caldwell, NJ

Triton Regional High School—Runnemede, NJ

Raritan Valley Community College—North Branch, NJ

12 Ways NJ Kids Can Help Save the Earth             (Posted: 5-3-16)

Click HERE.

Baltimore student takes on gov't, saves town from more pollution             (Posted: 5-3-16)

Click HERE.

These Young Leaders Are Shattering the Age & Color Lines of the Mainstream Green Movement             (Posted: 4-15-16)

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Meet Charles Orgbon III—A 20 Year Old CEO Who’s Helping Young People Lead Sustainable Change

The faces of those leading our society to a more sustainable future are more diverse than many are led to believe. Charles Orgbon III shatters the expectation many have of who’s leading our nation’s history-making businesses and nonprofits, when it comes to both age and race. At the tender age of 12, Charles launched a nonprofit that supports young people across the nation in taking environmental action. Now, a junior in college, Charles took some time out of his packed college and work schedule to share with us what inspired him to become the environmental changemaker he is today. 

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6 Inspiring Entrepreneurs STEM & Sustainability Educators Should Know

It’s not enough for students to simply learn STEM from textbooks. To ignite a lasting transformation in students, teachers must make their lessons interactive, practical and relevant. We’ve compiled a list of modern day entrepreneurs and innovators that teachers can reference in their sustainability-infused lessons.

 Read more>>
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The mission of The Barack Obama Green Charter High School is to prepare students to become informed, engaged and independent critical thinkers and to inspire leaders for sustainable development with a focus on our environment. Students are educated in a school community that fosters high expectations for both achievement and conduct and facilitates clear connections between the curriculum, the community and the world.

Hackensack Riverkeeper Launches 2016 Eco-Program Season             (Posted: 3-24-16)

Hackensack Riverkeeper Launches 2016 Eco-Program Season

 40 Open Eco-Cruises, 11 River Cleanups, 9 Full Moon paddles – and more!

Hackensack Riverkeeper is pleased to announce its 2016 Eco-Program schedule. The clean water advocacy group is poised to provide thousands of people with an enjoyable & educational experience of the river, its watershed and wildlife. Riverkeeper’s Eco-Cruises, Guided Paddles, boat rentals, River Cleanups, Bird-Walks and indoor presentations combine environmental education with public service and fun. The new season begins Earth Day Weekend (April 23-24) with the re-opening of the organization’s Paddling Center at Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus and Overpeck Park Kayak Center in Teaneck. The Eco-Program season runs through the end of October.

“It’s coming up past and we’re very much looking forward to our upcoming outdoor season,” said Riverkeeper Captain Bill Sheehan. “During each of the past two years we brought more than ten thousand people to the water and the water’s edge and weather permitting we’ll reach that magic five-figure mark once again. Any way you look at it, the river awaits”

Hackensack Riverkeeper offers a series of eight distinct Eco-Program opportunities:

Eco-Cruises  This is Hackensack Riverkeeper’s signature environmental education program. 

Forty Open Eco-Cruises are scheduled from May 1 through October 15 aboard the 30-foot research vessels Geraldine Theresa and Robert H. Boyle II, which joined the fleet just last year. Open trips are great for individuals, couples and families and can be had for a program donation of $25-$30 per person for adults / $10 for kids 4-12. Three distinct Eco-Cruise itineraries are offered: Meadowlands Discovery, which explores the wetlands & creeks of the river’s estuary; Boating through Bergen, which runs upriver to the center of Hackensack and the museum ship USS Ling; and Excursion Around the Bay, a maritime history tour to Staten Island and back past the port facilities of Newark and Elizabeth. Open trips are not available for group charters.

 Charter Eco-Cruises can be arranged for groups of up to 28 adults for any available date/time May 2 through October 31. Hackensack Riverkeeper asks a donation of $325 per boat for Adult Charter Eco-Cruises and $275 for Youth Charters. Half-day Combo Programs are also available for youth groups of up to 34 persons for a donation of $350. Those interested can call Program Director Captain Hugh Carola at 201-968-0808 x102 for more info or to book a trip.

 Passaic River Eco-Cruises are conducted in partnership with the City of Newark from Riverbank Park, located on Raymond Boulevard in the city’s Ironbound section. Eight spring and summer dates have been chosen for these unique tours, which include both waterfront excursions and trips up the Newark and Elizabeth Shipping Channels off Newark Bay. Those looking to participate in Passaic Eco-Cruises should visit or contact Newark Riverfront Revival at 201-241-8311, 973-733-5868, or

Paddling Center at Laurel Hill Park  Located on the river at Laurel Hill County Park in Secaucus, NJ the Center is open weekends Saturday, April 23 through Sunday, October 30 weather permitting. It offers the use of canoes & kayaks for a donation of $25 per paddler (2-paddler minimum) for up to four hours for independent exploration. Eleven scheduled Guided Paddles will be conducted by Center staff including nine popular Full (and near-full) Moon paddles. Program donation: $30 per paddler / $15 per paddler for those their own boat(s). Private Group Paddle tours can be arranged by calling Capt. Hugh at 201-968-0808 x102 or e-mailing 

Overpeck Park Kayak (and Canoe) Center  2015 marks the fourth year of operation for this popular Bergen County venue. From April 23 through October 30, the Center will be open Wednesday-Friday from noon to sunset; and weekends from 9AM to 6PM. Unlike the tidal waters of the Hackensack River, the impounded waters of Overpeck Creek are generally calm and easy for novice paddlers and families with children to handle. Program donation: only $15 per paddler (2-paddler minimum) for up to two hours; $10 per paddler for each additional hour. Children canoe passengers ride as our guests.

River Cleanups  These active conservation events give people of all ages the opportunity to give back to the environment and their communities. River Cleanups are scheduled at eleven different waterside locations within the Hackensack River Watershed from April 23 through November 6. Riverkeeper provides cleanup tools and supplies as well as refreshments for all volunteers. All they ask is that everyone pitch in and help rid local waterways of litter and other debris. For more information about River Cleanups including group participation and the organization’s Corporate River Stewardship Program, call Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator Caitlin Doran at 201-968-0808 x105 or e-mail her at

 Bird-Walks  For groups interested in birding and nature study, Captain Hugh Carola is available to lead Bird-Walks or hawk watches at local birding hotspots within the Hackensack River Watershed region. For more information, including itinerary options, call him at 201-968-0808 x102. Costs: $150-$200 depending on location and duration of trip. For up to 12 people.

Indoor Presentations  Captains Bill Sheehan and Hugh Carola can conduct multimedia presentations for groups of any size or age range. They have a wealth of materials including PowerPoint slideshows and video screenings that are appropriate for all age groups. Presenters will be sure to bring informational literature for all attendees. Costs: $150 - $200 if presented within the Bergen, Hudson, southern Rockland, eastern Passaic or greater Newark areas; $200 - $300 if presented further afield. Call 201-968-0808 for more information.

“All of us at Hackensack Riverkeeper are getting pretty antsy waiting for the new season to start,” said Program Director Captain Hugh Carola. “When it finally does folks can do, learn, work out, or just sit back and let the boat and their captain do all the work. Whichever you prefer, we know that you’ll go home with a new appreciation of your Hackensack River.”

 All Hackensack Riverkeeper Eco-Program info including descriptions and schedules is available at

 Founded in 1997 by Captain Bill Sheehan, Hackensack Riverkeeper is the leading environmental organization working on Hackensack River issues. A founding member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance, the group engages in a four-point clean water strategy (Action, Advocacy, Education and Litigation) in its ongoing work to protect, preserve and restore the Hackensack River. Their Eco-Programs focus on environmental action and education.

Reversing the fear of the outdoors in N.J.             (Posted: 3-9-16)

Click HERE.

Fairfax joins other large school systems in environmental alliance             (Posted: 2-22-16)

Click HERE.

Help Celebrate the National Wildlife Federation's 80th Birthday!             (Posted: 2-17-16)

Click HERE.

German Forest Ranger Finds That Trees Have Social Networks, Too             (Posted: 2-3-16)

Click HERE.

Behind a Shopping Center in New Jersey, Signs of a Mass Extinction             (Posted: 1-12-16)

Click HERE.

Preschool without walls             (Posted: 1-12-16)

Click HERE.

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