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Diversity and Inclusion

DEC employee Rachel Systak working at a lake
"I absolutely love my career with DEC
and I am fortunate to get to work not only
with the natural resources I want to conserve,
but the people in our communities
who value those resources as well."
- Rachel Systak,
Division of Marine Resources

Since its inception 50 years ago, the mission of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 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.

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month. DEC recognizes that New York has a unique relationship with the many Indian Nations that reside within the state. Learn more about how we interact and consult with these nations through our Environmental Justice office.

DEC Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Plan

DEC's Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Plan (PDF) for Fiscal Years 2020-2025 outlines our priorities and goals as we continue to cultivate and promote a diverse and inclusive culture where employees feel welcomed and motivated to do their best.

These goals and priorities reflect our commitment to support DEC diversity programs; promote continuous learning and discussion of diversity and inclusion topics; recruit qualified candidates of different backgrounds, experiences, and talents; provide internal developmental opportunities; and assess what more we can do to nurture a supportive and inclusive work environment.

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:

  • 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. New York's history and culture are intertwined with indigenous peoples' histories and cultures. We acknowledge that the land on which we live and work is the ancestral territory of the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, Tuscarora, Unkechaug, Shinnecock, Montauk, Delaware, Ramapough, Munsee, and Mohican peoples. In fact, the colonial era capital of the Mohican people is located on Papscanee Island, just a few miles south of DEC headquarters.
  • 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.
  • Black History Month - Biographies
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