December 16, 2002

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the official launching of its new Spanish language website. The portal offers New Jersey's Spanish speaking population important information about environmental and public health issues affecting the state.

"Under Governor James McGreevey's leadership, we are fully committed to better serving and expanding our communications with the 1.1 million Hispanics living in New Jersey," said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "DEP's Spanish language website is just one of many outreach efforts we plan to develop working with leaders of the Hispanic community. My hope is that we will build a fruitful and sustained dialogue to ensure that we understand and develop solutions for the environmental and public health concerns of all our communities."

The website titled, "Abra la Puerta al Medio Ambiente" provides a general introduction to the environmental and natural resource programs managed by DEP, including: air, water, hazardous and solid waste, land use, parks and forests, fish and wildlife and open space.

For the first time, DEP is translating its most important press releases to Spanish, which are available through the new website. The site also includes a Hot Topics section that highlights the latest information about the drought, health advisories regarding fish consumption and latest DEP announcements.

The public can also view DEP's Public Service Announcement (PSA) warning the public about the serious dangers of eating blue claw crabs from the Newark Bay region. This PSA, which features U.S. Congressman Robert Menendez and airs throughout the tri-state area on Univision's Channel 41, can be viewed from our new website portal.

DEP is interested in hearing from the New Jersey's Latino community and receiving input on how we can improve our website and all programs to better serve the public. Commissioner Campbell sponsored a roundtable meeting with leaders of the Hispanic community on October 9th where guests shared their concerns, experiences and issues as part of an overall dialogue as well as suggestions for future actions the Department should take.

As participants in Governor McGreevey's Hispanic Advisory Council for Policy Development, DEP is working with community leaders to identify critical public health and community and economic development issues facing our Latino community and to develop solutions and a plan of action.

A work in progress, the website will soon feature a frequently asked questions section where citizens can get answers to questions such as: What is asbestos?, Where is asbestos likely to be found?, What effect does our air quality have on people with asthma?, and What is global warming? Future sections will also feature information about how citizens can file complaints about potential environmental violations occurring in their neighborhoods and about grant programs and funding available for community-based environmental projects.

To view the site CLICK below:

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