What You Can Do
From the Highlands to Cape May, New Jersey is home to a great diversity of natural resources that support human communities as well as fish and wildlife populations. Conservation of these resources is a responsibility shared among governments, non-government organizations, and indviduals. New Jersey's residents and visitors - YOU - can make a difference! Here are some ideas how you can help conserve fish and wildlife and the habitats that support them.
Respect Wildlife and Laws to Protect It
- Respect native species and work to conserve their habitats.
- Respect wildlife laws and regulations. Do not collect wild plants or animals. It is illegal to capture and keep wildlife as pets. Obey rules posted in natural areas, and do not enter areas closed or restricted for the protection of wildlife. Also see: Encountering Wildlife.
- Report suspected violations of environmental laws to the NJDEP Hotline at 1-877-WARNDEP. Learn more about wildlife laws administered by New Jersey and the Service.
Protect Natural Lands
Make a Small Change to Have a Big Impact
- Keep cats indoors. Allowed outside, cats significantly reduce local populations of birds and other wildlife. See these cat links for more information.
- Make your windows bird-safe. Window collisions kill thousands of birds each year.
- Buy a Duck Stamp. Proceeds support wetland conservation and your local National Wildlife Refuge.
- Select shade-grown coffee [PDF]. Traditional plantations, where coffee shrubs are grown under the shade of diverse tropical trees, harbor an abundance of birds, including migrant songbirds that breed in New Jersey.
- Support the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) through the license plate and income tax check-off programs. The ENSP is responsible for the protection and management of nearly 500 wildlife species found in the State, including the 78 species currently State-listed as endangered or threatened. The license plate and income tax check-off programs are the primary source of funding for the ENSP. Support the Conserve Wildlife Foundation, another major source of assistance to the ENSP.
Improve Habitat on Your Property or in Your Community
Keep it Clean
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle to minimize what you throw away. Land devoted to landfills does not provide wildlife habitat. See the NJDEP's recycling web site.
- Do not litter. Trash degrades habitats, and washes into aquatic environments where it can harm fish, marine mammals, sea turtles, and other species. See the EPA web site on marine debris.
- Reduce pollution. Environmental contaminants are a threat to many species.
- Avoid using polluting household chemicals, especially pesticides and lawn fertilizers.
- Dispose of all chemicals, including used oils and paints, properly - never down the sink or stormdrain.
- Conserve energy around the house to reduce pollution and save money. See EPA's web sites Reduce Air Pollution and Energy Star web sites. Get energy saving ideas customized for your own house at Home Energy Saver.
- Try some of EPA's Green Vehicle Guide for tips to save fuel and protect air quality.
- See the EPA's web sites on Pollution Prevention and Waste.
- If you have a septic system, make sure it is properly maintained.
- Conserve water. See these tips from the EPA and Use It Wisely.
- Look for ways to reduce your "carbon footprint" - that is your contribution to global climate change.
See these carbon calculators from EPA and The Nature Conservancy, and EPA's What You Can Do page.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Enjoy wildlife and plants through outdoor recreation. Remember to leave natural areas as you found them.
Connect Kids with Nature
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