Department of Environmental Conservation

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Diversity and Inclusion

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Patrick Foster is Acting Regional
Director for DEC's Region 2
in New York City.

Since its inception 50 years ago, the mission of DEC is to protect, sustain, and, when possible, improve our environment is a cause that has united all cultures and heritages. Environmental awareness and stewardship play an integral role in many of our cultures, and the pursuit of ensuring a clean, healthy environment now and into the future remains a goal of our agency on a professional and personal level.

DEC is dedicated to providing a work environment that fully supports and fosters diversity and inclusion. DEC's mission of protecting the environment can only be successfully accomplished when we embrace the diversity, strengths, and talents of all our employees.

Pride Month

DEC joins New York State in celebrating Pride Month throughout June. Building off this year's theme of "The Fight Continues," DEC recognizes that while progress has been made, there is still much work to be done to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion for the LGBTQIA+ community. Like the fight for environmental stewardship and environmental justice, the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights aims to call attention to communities and issues that have been ignored, or worse, abused.

Diversity Resources and Links

Resources include articles, podcasts, and blogs that present the perspective of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), Latino/a, and Latinx, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and other identities (LGBTQ+) and their experiences in the outdoors and in nature.


More about Diversity and Inclusion:

  • Juneteenth Commemoration - New York celebrates Juneteenth as an official state holiday for the first time on June 19, 2021. Juneteenth (short for June 19th) commemorates African American freedom in our country. Its history goes back to June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that declared all enslaved people in Texas were free. While President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation a full two and a half years before the end of the war, it wasn't until the war's end that enslaved people in Texas knew they were free.
  • Pride Month Celebration - DEC celebrates Pride Month in June every year. DEC is proud to be a welcoming environment for all people.
  • Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month - In May, DEC celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Get to know several DEC employees who discuss their careers, heritage, and interests.
  • Women's History Month - Women's History Month is celebrated each March. Get to know some of accomplished women at DEC.
  • Black History Month - February is Black History Month. Meet some of the DEC staff who make an environmental difference.
  • Native American Heritage Month - DEC observe's Native American Heritage Month in November as a time to reflect on our relationships with our indigenous friends and neighbors here in New York and beyond.
  • Hispanic Heritage Month - DEC is proud to observe Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 in honor of the history, culture, and influence of past and present generations of Hispanic New Yorkers.
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