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Ocean Co. team wins N.J. Envirothon

CAPE MAY (May 15, 2015) — New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher announced a team of high school students from the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Sciences (MATES) in Manahawkin was the winner of the New Jersey Envirothon, held on May 2 at the Cape May County 4-H Fairgrounds in Cape May Court House.
MATES Team One consisted of Gillian Schriever of Little Egg Harbor, Megan Tumpey of Brick, Lauren Zodl of Little Egg Harbor, Michael Signorelli of Toms River and Katie DeMario of Toms River.
The team will represent New Jersey in the North American Envirothon July 27 to Aug. 2 at Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo.
“I commend MATES for excelling in the New Jersey Envirothon, one of the most challenging and competitive science, environment and natural resources contests in the nation,” Fisher said. “All participants gained valuable knowledge and experience that will help them in their future careers. We urge them all to consider careers in agriculture and natural resources-related fields.”
The Ocean County students competed against 33 other teams on knowledge of natural resources-related topics, including soils, forestry, aquatics, wildlife ecology and a current environmental issue.
This year’s theme was “Urban: Community Forestry.”
Each of the MATES team members received $1,000 scholarships from the New Jersey Association of Conservation Districts, $2,000 scholarships from Richard Stockton State College and $1,000 scholarships from Applied and Health Sciences at Kean University.
The second-place team in this year’s Envirothon was MATES Team Two and third place was taken by West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North.
The Envirothon is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, State Soil Conservation Committee; New Jersey Association of Conservation Districts; the 15 Soil Conservation Districts; United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service; New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; and Rutgers Cooperative Extension.
The 15 Soil Conservation Districts in New Jersey follow county boundaries and implement the New Jersey Soil and Sediment Control Act, which governs certain aspects of new development. These semi-autonomous bodies are locally governed and play a strong role in the protection of New Jersey’s natural resources.