Americorps Watershed Ambassador

Americorps Watershed Ambassador

The CCIA is a host agency for individuals participating in the Americorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassador Program (NJWAP).  The NJWAP addresses diverse environmental needs of the state primarily through our local waterways. Ambassadors hosted through the CCIA are responsible for the watershed management area (WMA) 17 which consists of the Maurice, Cohansey and Salem River watershed.

The fourth annual Shell-a-bration was held on Saturday, March 31, 2018 at Dyer’s Cove. The event brought in 78 volunteers, both young and old, to build 28 reef blocks using exactly 27,000 bags of shells.  This reef, which is over 200 linear feet, will help calm the bay waters for spawning horseshoe crabs as well as provide habitat for oysters and other marine life.

Each ambassador is assigned for a term from September to June.  Loretta Pregartner is our 2017/2018 ambassador.  A native of South Jersey and avid hiker, her goal is to spend her term improving water quality by exploring the relationships between people and the environment, nurturing community-based environmental activities and empowering residents to make responsible and informed decisions regarding their watershed.

The NJWAP is divided into three portions: streams assessments, presentations, and partnership projects.  By contacting Ms Pregartner at watershed17@ccia-net.com you can take part in one or all of them.

Stream assessments help the NJWAP identify trouble spots within their management area as well as help keep running data of stream quality for the Department of Environmental Protection.

Presentations are how we engage youth into understanding about our local waterways and their impact.  The most popular presentations have been “The Mighty Macro” and “Non-Point Source Live!”  Both help illustrate the importance of stream health and ways students can positively impact their local waterways.  “The Mighty Macro” includes a discussion on the watershed as well an introduction to macroinvertebrates.  This program is ideal for high school students because they can grasp the broader concepts presented as well as handle the macroinvertebrates with care.  “Non-Point Source Live!” is a fantastic way to engage all students of any age.  Through charades, students get the opportunity to act out and understand non-point source pollution and the role they play.

There are a lot of exciting activities in the works with plenty of opportunities for communities to be involved with partnership projects here in Cumberland County.  If your local organization has an idea or concept for an environmental initiative, contact Ms Pregartner before April 1, 2018.

Why wait?  Call 856.825.3700 x1270 or email watershed17@ccia-net.com today.  For more information on Americorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassador Program (NJWAP), go to http://www.state.nj.us/dep/wms/bears/americorps.htm.

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