Community News

State targets illegal dumpers in parks and forests
4/13/2017 Volume XLVII, No. 15

It’s a gorgeous day, you’ve arrived at your favorite park and are looking forward to a hike, some bird-watching, photography and soaking in the sights and sounds of nature. You’ve gone a short distance when you come across – yikes! - a pile of construction debris, an old refrigerator, bags of trash and other junk.

This scene is encountered by New Jersey outdoor lovers all too often. But it’s one that the state is working to combat through a beefed-up enforcement and awareness campaign.

This month is the third anniversary of "Don't Waste Our Open Space," a coordinated effort launched by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in response to increased dumping on the state’s natural lands.

“Public lands all over New Jersey are being used as dumping grounds,” according to the Department of Environmental Protection. “Litter, garbage bags, tires, televisions, electronic waste, appliances, yard waste and construction debris are being dumped and threatening our local environment, animals and public.”

The state owns and manages more than 170 parks, forests, wildlife management areas and preserves on some 813,000 acres of open space in this state we’re in.

Not only does illegal dumping mar the natural beauty of these lands, it can cost taxpayers a lot of money to clean up. It also jeopardizes public health when hazardous chemicals are dumped.

Since the start of the “Don’t Waste Our Open Space” campaign, State Park Police and Division of Fish and Wildlife conservation officers have arrested more than 130 people. Investigations have been initiated in all 21 counties.

Those nabbed in the past year include a Mercer County man charged with dumping drums of dry-cleaning chemicals along the towpath at the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park; a hauler who allegedly collected trash from a park site in Philadelphia and dumped it in a Gloucester County wildlife management area; and a Passaic County man accused of discarding a couch at Allamuchy Mountain State Park in Sussex County. Owners of abandoned boats, trailers, campers and motor vehicles have also been caught.

Technology is assisting in the crackdown, as State Park Police and conservation officers have installed motion-sensor cameras in strategic locations.

Citizens who love public lands and want to enjoy them in a clean and beautiful state can help by reporting dumping. “We welcome the additional eyes, ears and voices that our visitors provide,” said Terri Genardi, chief of the State Park Police.

The Department of Environmental Protection has created an app to allow park visitors to take photos on their phones and submit them directly to enforcement officers. Visitors without smartphones can call 1-877-WARN-DEP to report possible violations.

An interactive map developed by the state shows where illegal dumping has occurred, who was charged with violations and how much they could pay in fines if found guilty. The map, the web app and other information can be viewed at http://www.stopdumping.nj.gov/.

In addition to the "Don't Waste Our Open Space" campaign, the Department of Environmental Protection is helping other government agencies in urban areas crack down on illegal dumping.

For example, the state has partnered with the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission to install surveillance cameras in its service area in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic and Union counties. As a result, numerous civil summonses have been issued and more are anticipated.

The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission’s efforts to curb dumping date to at least 1998, when it created a program that resulted in the removal of more than 12,000 tons of debris from Newark Bay, the Passaic River and its tributaries.

Hats off to the state for clamping down on illegal dumping! Hopefully, the combination of better surveillance, citizen assistance, more arrests and stiffer penalties will discourage would-be polluters from dumping their waste at taxpayer expense.

For more information on state parks and forests, go to www.nj.gov/dep/parksandforests/.

And to learn more about preserving New Jersey’s land and natural resources, visit the New Jersey Conservation Foundation website at www.njconservation.org or contact me at info@njconservation.org.

POSTS

Vernal pools: Now you see 'em, now you don't

State targets illegal dumpers in parks and forests

Former governors and elected leaders stand up for environment

Join CSAs to support local farms, save money, eat better

Weather extremes may be New Jersey's new normal

Bald eagles and ospreys rebound in New Jersey

Pine Barrens prescribed fires: A renewal force

Take a walk on the bottom of the sea!

Energy efficiency saves money and land - and creates jobs!

The Pines of March

Trees are more social than you think!

New Jersey's geological 'layer cake'

Keeping the 'great' in Paterson's Great Falls

Some good news!

Take action to defend and protect land and water

Interested in ecology? Become a Rutgers Environmental Steward

2016 wins and losses for New Jersey's land and water

Kick off a healthy New Year with First Day hike

Energy infrastructure: the new sprawl

Two great books for connecting kids with nature

Why do some trees stay green while others lose their leaves?

Melting ice, rising seas, hotter planet

Our forests never sleep, even in winter!

Documentary brings Great Swamp battle back to life

Defending the land they loved

Four years after Sandy, rising sea levels predicted

New Jersey: Small state, big diversity

10 great natural areas for enjoying fall colors

Removing obsolete dams brings rivers back to life

Humpback whales a welcome sight off NJ coast

NJ wine industry boosts agritourism

For good health, bathe in a forest!

Let's NOT make a deal!

New Jersey's spectacular waterfalls

Urban trees boost health and land values

Blue Acres: A win-win for open space, owners of flooded homes

Get mosquitos to buzz off - naturally!

Flawed pipeline approval process needs reforms

Speak out for our Atlantic Ocean and coast!

Help Pokemon Go lead into outdoors and nature

NJ 4th in peaches; don't miss out on peach season!

Water, water everywhere - keep it safe to drink!

Growing beer in the Garden State

Celebrate NJ's Revolutionary War parks and open spaces on July 4

Override Governor's veto of open space bill

Taming the wild blueberry 100 years ago

Celebrate and take action during National Pollinator Week

Get on the Circuit for National Trails Day

New tax deduction would give boost to NJ non-profits

Best nature movies

ARCHIVE

April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011

CLICK FOR RECENT POSTS


     coupon           photos           videos     
WITH THIS COUPON
GYMGUYZ Greater Bucks Grand Opening Coupon - 20% more sessions for next 32 bookings. Call to schedule a free in home assessment today!
GYMGUYZ Greater Bucks
Serving Bucks County, PA
215-630-8747
http://www.gymguyz.com/locations/greater-bucks-pa/
Printed online at DoylestownAlive.com.

-Print Coupon

©2017 BucksCountyAlive.com. All rights reserved.
Redistribution of coupons in printed or electronic form is prohibited.

     video