"Drive Conservation Home"

by Press Release | Apr 21, 2005
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today unveiled a new "Drive Conservation Home" campaign to raise awareness of New Jersey's threatened and endangered species and to promote sales of the specialty license plates that help fund DEP's management and protection of these species.

"Our wildlife biologists have made New Jersey a national leader in bringing threatened species back from the brink of extinction," said Commissioner Campbell. "This campaign enlists residents in the effort to protect New Jersey's wildlife, which they can do simply by purchasing a 'Conserve Wildlife' license plate."

The new campaign features public service announcements delivered through radio, television and posters. It is being sponsored through a public-private partnership led by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, the private, not-for-profit group that raises funds for DEP's endangered species programs.

Joining the Commissioner at today's announcement was Deputy Chief Administrator Shawn Sheekey of the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC), which oversees the state's specialty license plate programs and the state's centralized inspection facilities. The campaign's posters will be displayed at inspection stations statewide.

"MVC is pleased to play a part in supporting wildlife conservation programs in New Jersey," Administrator Sheekey said. "Our specialty plates help motorists play their part, too, whether by helping to conserve wildlife or helping to advance the goals of more than a dozen other fine New Jersey causes that are supported in part by specialty license plate sales."

DEP's Endangered and Nongame Species Program depends on the direct support of citizens, as it receives no dedicated state funding to support its conservation work. Funding comes from the state income tax check-off, foundation grants, corporate support, and individual donations.

The Conserve Wildlife license plate continues to be the major source of program revenue, however. Four out of every five dollars from each $50 purchase goes directly toward endangered species conservation. The remaining money goes to MVC's administration of the program. Last year, sales of the plate generated almost $200,000 for programs that restore wild animal populations, protect wildlife habitat, and produce cutting edge endangered species research.

Further information about the Conserve Wildlife license plate and the programs that it funds is available at http://www.njwildlifeplate.org. A copy of the campaign poster will soon be available at the site as well.

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