Government agencies have a reputation for routinely being amongst the last to embrace changes in American culture and lifestyle. Perhaps they are just waiting long enough to weed out the fads and focus on those things that will make a lasting impression? At any rate, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has finally given in to the undeniable popularity of social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Beginning earlier this month (July 2011), the Connecticut DEP announced that it will be using Twitter to provide Connecticut residents with routine “tweets” concerning news at three of the State’s most popular government-managed beaches. Rocky Neck State Park, Hammonasset State Park and Sherwood Island State Park now possess their own Twitter feeds which will contain information about traffic, beach conditions, and events at the park grounds.
The Connecticut DEP also sheepishly admitted to having finally caught up with Facebook (okay… maybe that’s a dramatization) and will be actively managing their profile on that social networking website, as well.
All joking aside, this is certainly a step in the right direction for the DEP, which manages more than 100 state parks and over 30 state forests throughout Connecticut. While the agency has maintained a rather extensive website for many years now, the sheer breadth of information available there seems to make it difficult to highlight new content and keep Connecticut residents abreast of breaking news and updates. The Connecticut DEP’s new-found social identity is sure to contribute to better all-around communication between the agency and the general public.
“State DEP Takes to Twitter, Facebook.” Hamden Patch. Patch Network, n.d. Web. 21 Jul 2011. <http://hamden.patch.com/articles/state-dep-takes-to-twitter-facebook>.