NEWARK, NJ – The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders recently honored the Essex County Environmental Commission, recipient of an Environmental Achievement Award granted by the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC), during a special presentation at the Hall of Records in Newark.

As one of six local environmental commissions awarded, the Essex County Environmental Commission received an Environmental Achievement Award for its exceptional projects and efforts to protect natural resources, health and open spaces. The award celebrates the commission’s project impact, originality, educational value, innovation and response to needs.

During the presentation, Freeholder At-Large Patricia Sebold and District 4 Freeholder Leonard Luciano presented commission co-chairs Jennifer Duckworth and Gray Russell and members Ann Marchioni, Karina Schafer, Joseph McCartney and Nicholas D’Ambrosio with a commendation for their innovative efforts to host conversations between professionals, experts, members of municipal environmental commissions, and green teams about environmental issues and improvements.

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The Essex County Environmental Commission provides advice, outreach, and education to the Offices of the Essex County Executive, the Board of Chosen Freeholders and the municipal Environmental Commissions in order to protect, restore and renew Essex County's natural resources. The commission also serves to increase environmental awareness, ensuring that all Essex County citizens can enjoy a healthy environment and an enhanced quality of life within a sustainable regional community.

Since 2010, the commission has hosted a series of roundtable programs twice a year to foster conversations about environmental developments. These roundtable discussions have focused on a variety of topics, including: open space, urban forestry and tree ordinances, water-wise communities, environmental funding for municipalities, and alternative-fuel vehicles in municipalities.

The program also allows local representatives to share the latest developments and projects in each of their individual municipalities.

The commission is comprised of the following individuals:

Tara M. Casella (Essex County Liaison/Environmental Coordinator);

Freeholder At-Large Patricia Sebold (Freeholder Liaison);

Jennifer Duckworth (Co-Chair);

Gray Russell (Co-Chair);

Dawn Spango;

G. Michael Bellinger;

Eric Benson;

Nicholas M. D’Ambrosio;

Joseph P. McCartney;

Karina Vera Rosa Schafer; and

Ann Farr Marchioni.

Pictured above are (from left to right, front row) Freeholder Vice President Wayne L. Richardson of District 2, Freeholder Carlos M. Pomares of District 5, Freeholder At-Large Patricia Sebold, Co-Chair Jennifer Duckworth, members Ann Marchioni and Karina Schafer, Freeholder Robert Mercado of District 1 (from left to right, back row) Freeholder Leonard M. Luciano of District 4, Co-Chair Gray Russell, and members Joseph McCartney and Nicholas D’Ambrosio.

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