PSEG Gives State Museum $500,000 for a Climate Change Exhibit
Governor Corzine and Secretary of State Wells celebrate gift and applaud public-private contributions that strengthen NJ’s cultural institutions
The New Jersey State Museum will have a new exhibit on global warming, thanks to a $500,000 pledge from one of New Jersey’s largest corporations.
Ralph Izzo, chairman, president and CEO of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), joined Governor Jon S. Corzine and Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells today to formally announce a donation from PSEG to the Friends of the New Jersey State Museum.
The gift is the largest private sector contribution to the museum’s capital campaign to date, and will be given in equal installments over four years by the PSEG Foundation. It will fund an exhibit designed to educate visitors about the impact of climate change on New Jersey’s coastline.
Governor Corzine and Secretary Wells praised PSEG for its leadership, and cited its commitment to investing in New Jersey’s cities and cultural institutions as a shining example of how public-private collaborative partnerships can result in meaningful accomplishments.
“The State Museum is one of New Jersey’s great treasures, a place where natural history, archaeology and ethnology, fine art, culture and the wonders of science converge to educate visitors young and old alike,” noted Governor Corzine. “The extraordinary commitment of PSEG is a testament not only to its generosity, but to our shared desire to leave the most diverse, educational and exciting experience for Museum guests for years to come.”
“Climate change is a defining issue for this generation and will be, even more so, for the next. We cannot afford to wait to teach our children about it, and to begin taking action,” Izzo said.
Izzo said PSEG has taken a number of steps to reduce its own carbon footprint and has been encouraging its customers and other businesses to do the same. He noted that PSEG is investing in hybrid vehicles and biofuel, as well as energy efficient wires and transformers. Its utility business, PSE&G, has proposed to invest $100 million to help spur investment in solar energy and begun a campaign to give 100,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs to customers in communities across New Jersey.
PSEG’s contribution to the State Museum will support the development of an exhibit called Rising Tide: Global Warming and New Jersey’s Changing Coastline. It will show that global warming leads to rising sea level and demonstrate how that has altered New Jersey’s coastline.
The Governor expressed his gratitude for PSEG’s support of the exhibit as part of a larger effort of raising public education and awareness about climate change.
“Overwhelming evidence has shown global warming poses a serious threat, and if we continue on a course of inaction our planet will continue to warm, water levels will continue to rise,” noted Governor Corzine. “And, as a state with 127 miles of coastline, New Jersey could especially face dire, irreversible consequences.”
PSEG’s donation is the latest gift to be announced as part of an ambitious, ongoing effort to raise $13 million from the private sector to fund the design and installation of exhibits that are stimulating, educational and timely.
The New Jersey State Museum is approaching the completion of a $15 million renovation funded by the State of New Jersey and overseen by the Department of State. The renovation included the installation of a new HVAC climate control system, as well as improvements in electrical systems, ventilation, restroom facilities and the general interior.
Secretary of State Wells thanked PSEG for its generous contribution to the Museum’s Capital Campaign.
“We heartily applaud PSEG for the funding of this timely exhibition, which will also become part of the Museum’s major new Natural History Hall. Such support will assure that we offer the best possible new and interactive exhibitions to our visitors – whether individuals, families or school classes. The New Jersey State Museum was the first state museum in the country established with a clear educational mission, and we are proud that this considerable legacy is as strong as ever.”
“We are proud to help build what promises to be an important exhibit on climate change – one that encourages new ways of thinking about our relationship to the environment- and proud to support the State Museum and the city of Trenton,” Izzo said.
The announcement was part of a larger program at the State Museum where students from Trenton examined fossils displays from the Museum’s collection, toured a fossil exhibition and experienced a live program on the Jersey Coast – all of which concluded with a Q&A session with a panel of scientists.
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