Posted Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

The Morris County Freeholders are urging the county’s academic, environmental, business, science, government, non-profit and youth sectors to showcase the county’s environmental accomplishments by submitting nominations to the state DEP for the 2015 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards.

Applications are due by Sept. 30.

Morris County Schools, Businesses, Environmental Groups and Government Agencies are Urged to Show Off their Environmental Accomplishments
(l/r) DEP Assistant Commissioner John Giordano; Laura Szwak,
Vice Chair of Morris County Flood Mitigation Committee;
Jennifer McCulloch, Morris County Flood Mitigation Coordinator;
and DEP Commissioner Bob Martin

Morris County government won a 2014 Governor’s Award in the land conservation category for the Morris County Flood Mitigation Program, and the Whippany River Watershed Action Committee won in 2013 in the water conservation category for its watershed protection and restoration efforts.

“The residents of our county value the precious natural lands, clean water supply, and habitats for so many animal and plant species that are available in Morris County. That is why this freeholder board continues to fund our open space trust fund,’’ said Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo. 

“Our county’s schools and businesses and environmental and government organizations are leaders in this state on environmental education and projects, so we encourage them to show off their efforts in this annual statewide competition,’’ she added.

The Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards (GEEA) Program recognizes outstanding environmental performance, programs and projects throughout the state.

The awards honor individuals, businesses, institutions, communities, organizations, educators, youths and others who have made significant contributions to environmental protection in New Jersey. Since its establishment in 2000, 130 GEEA winners have been recognized for their accomplishments.

“The recipients of this annual awards program annually set an example of environmental excellence for others to follow, because of their dedication to environmental protection,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin. “(They) set a very high standard and demonstrate true environmental leadership through their actions.”

Nominations can be submitted for the following categories: Clean Air; Healthy Ecosystems; Water Resources; Land Conservation; Healthy and Sustainable Communities; Healthy and Sustainable Businesses; Innovative Technology; and Environmentalist of the Year. 

Morris County Schools, Businesses, Environmental Groups and Government Agencies are Urged to Show Off their Environmental Accomplishments

The category for Environmental Education is divided into two categories – one for adult-led education initiatives and one for projects that are student-led or have succeeded because of a high level of student involvement.

The 2015 GEEA application is available at Completed applications must be received at the DEP by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

For information about the program, contact Tanya Oznowich at (609) 984-9802 or [email protected]

The Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards Program is sponsored by the New Jersey DEP, the NJEIT and the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology, in partnership with the New Jersey League of Municipalities. Award winners will be honored at a luncheon and program to be held in December.

Morris County government was honored with a 2014 award for the county’s innovative flood mitigation program. The Morris County Freeholders approved the ambitious flood buyout program in 2012 in response to intense flooding caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011.

The county offers grants to buy properties to move residents out of harm’s way and reclaim flood plain acreage to capture and store floodwater. It also helps buffer adjacent homes and businesses from floods, lowers municipal costs for emergency response, and allows homeowners to escape the expensive and destructive cycle of repetitive flooding.

Information about the county’s flood program is available at