present-day Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has its
origins in a number of conservation-related state agencies and commissions
established in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.
These include various offices that monitored and regulated the supply
and quality of natural resources (e.g., water, wildlife, shellfish,
forests and parks) and the New Jersey Geological Survey.
first consolidation of these functions occurred in 1915 with the
creation of the Department of Conservation and Development. In 1944,
the Department of Economic Development was established separately,
and the following year the Department of Conservation and Development
was renamed to the Department of Conservation. In 1948, the two
departments were united as the Department of Conservation and Economic
Development. This became DEP by 1970 law. During 1991-1994 the department
also had energy-related functions and held the name Department of
Environmental Protection and Energy.