Posted Tuesday, July 5th, 2016


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 2016 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards.

GEEA 2016 (2)

(l/r) Commissioner Martin, Jeff Esquillo and Bill Paterson of Wyndham Worldwide, and NJEIT Exec Director David Zimmer in 2016

There have been winners from Morris County for each of the past three years. Parsippany based Wyndham Worldwide was named the winner in the Sustainable Businesses Category at the 2015 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards ceremony held at the State Museum in Trenton.

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,’’ added Deputy Freeholder Director Hank Lyon.


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, 140 GEEA winners have been recognized for their accomplishments.

“The winners of this annual awards program annually set a bar of excellence in New Jersey for others to follow because of their commitment and dedication to the environment,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin. “Consequently, their actions and accomplishments demonstrate fine examples of true environmental leadership that benefit us all.”

GEEA 2014 (1)

(l/r) DEP Asst. Commissioner John Giordano; Laura Szwak, Vice Chair, Morris County Flood Mitigation Committee; Jennifer McCulloch, Morris County Flood Mitigation Program Coordinator, and DEP Commissioner Bob Martin in 2014.

Nominations can be submitted for the following categories: Clean Air; Healthy Ecosystems; Water Resources; Land Conservation; Healthy and Sustainable Communities; Healthy and Sustainable Businesses; and Innovative Technology. 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 2016 GEEA nominating application is available at Completed applications must be received at the DEP by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28, 2016.

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