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About DEP

A national leader. A balanced approach. A commitment to be guided by science. That is the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

For over 50 years, DEP has made New Jersey a stronger and fairer state by protecting our environment and public health. With hard work, exceptional knowledge and expertise, the DEP’s staff has made the agency an unfailing guardian of New Jersey’s precious natural and historic resources.

The DEP was established on April 22, 1970 – America’s first official Earth Day. Today, DEP employees in dozens of programs continue to advance innovative strategies to safeguard and enhance New Jersey’s air, water and land, and the health of its residents.

To protect environmental quality and public health, and create vibrant, sustainable communities, the DEP embraces these principles and priorities:


  • Follow the law.
  • Use the best available science.
  • Listen to all sides.
  • Find the best balance.
  • Be transparent and honest with the public.


  • Reduce and Respond to Climate Change
    From threats to its coastline to rising temperatures, New Jersey has an urgent need to lead the way in addressing climate change.
  • Protect New Jersey’s Water
    Safe, clean water is vital to New Jersey’s health, quality of life and economy. The DEP protects this precious resource by preventing pollution, cleaning up contamination, ensuring ample supply and investing in strong infrastructure.
  • Revitalize Our Communities and Protect Public Health
    Cleaner environments promote stronger communities. The DEP plays a major role in strengthening communities by reducing environmental burdens, working with partners to support new economic opportunities and improving the day-to-day life for all, especially vulnerable populations.
  • Manage and Promote Thriving Natural & Historic Resources
    From the Atlantic Ocean to its forests, New Jersey is a diverse and inclusive place rich in history, wildlife and open space. The DEP encourages all New Jersey residents and visitors to experience the state first-hand.
  • Strengthen DEP
    The DEP’s ability to achieve its goals and operate effectively depends on its staff and resources. Together, we will help New Jersey protect its environment, promote the health of its citizens and lead the way for the nation.