Gov. Phil Murphy’s Environment and Energy Transition Advisory Committee says the administration’s first priority should be making a clean energy future a reality in New Jersey.

It proposed four main priorities for the new administration last week, in its report.

The priorities were in line with the “Environmental Agenda ’18, New Jersey’s Conservation Road Map,” released by a coalition of 30 environmental groups last Fall, said New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Ed Potosnak.

The NJLCV Education Fund led that effort, and the road map gave the new administration a list of priorities in nine categories the groups want the administration to tackle in its first 100 days, first year and first term.

”To achieve the Governor’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050, the committee believes that an essential step is for the Governor to jumpstart NJ’s most promising new clean energy industry – offshore wind,” the advisory committee report said.

”Other urgent actions include stabilizing the state’s solar market and utilizing 100% of the Clean Energy Fund to advance energy efficiency, grow the clean energy economy, and drive down carbon emissions,” it said.

It also recommended the governor use the recent Volkswagen settlements and the signing of the multi-state Memorandum of Understanding on Zero Emissions Vehicles “to serve as a springboard for the electrification of the state’s transportation system.”

Confronting climate change, addressing environmental justice issues, and protecting water and natural resources were the other main priorities in the report.

New state Department of Environmental Protection leader now on the job

Catherine R. McCabe started her job as acting commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection last week. She needs confirmation by the state Senate before her appointment is official.

McCabe’s last job was as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deputy region 2 administrator in New York City. She helped oversee all EPA programs in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center summer programs for teensThe NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife and its partners will be offering teenage students three residential summer programs based at the Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center, located in Barnegat Bay. It is just off Island Beach State Park in Berkeley Township. Scholarships are available.

From July 5 to July 10: Barnegat Bay Field and Research Experience is for students entering grades 10 to 12 in the fall. Students will learn field research skills and conduct team research projects on Barnegat Bay. Cost is $770 and includes meals, lodging, instruction and equipment.

From Aug. 13 to Aug. 16: Sedge Island Field Experience is for students going into grades seven through nine in the fall. Students will explore the ecosystem by kayak, live a conservationist lifestyle, and learn first-hand about research from biologists. Cost is $425.

From Aug. 23 to Aug. 26: Sedge Island Fishing Experience is open to students going into grades eight and nine in the fall. Students will spend the first three days fishing and learning about the ecosystem. On the final night, one parent or guardian will spend the last night learning from the students, and the following day fishing with them. Cost is $475.

For more information about programs or scholarships, contact Karen Byrne at 609-748-4347 or

Horticulture events at Somers Point Senior Center: The Green Thumb Garden Club will host a workshop presented by a Rutgers Master Gardener on the “Care and Propagation of House Plants” at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Somers Point Senior Center, at the corner of South Ambler & Massachusetts Avenue; and will host renowned orchid specialist Lester Block of the Sandpiper Orchid Society for a presentation “Growing Orchids in Your Home,” at 7 p.m. March 6, also at the senior center.

For more information, contact Rosemary at 609-214-6967 or rosemary

Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament encourages high school participation

High school student teams can participate for free in the Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament at Island Beach State Park from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 20.

The tournament entry fee is waived for student teams, and admission to the park is free for registrants. For more information and to register, visit and register by April 22.

— Michelle Brunetti Post

Contact: 609-272-7219

Twitter @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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