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.  This consist of the Maurice, Cohansey and Salem River watershed.

Each ambassador is assigned for a term from September to June.  This year’s ambassador is Melanie Cucunato.  Born and raised in South Jersey, she graduated from Stockton in May 2018 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology accompanied with both a Chemistry and Holistic Health minor.

At Stockton, Ms Cucunato was the co-director of Stockton Action Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE).  She worked previously with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, where she was a Biological Science Intern during the summer of 2017 for the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge and returned in the summer of 2018 to be a Senior Biological Science Intern.  

As part of the AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador program, Ms Cucnato plans to work throughout the community to spread awareness about watersheds and why they are important.  She has a special interest in wildlife, and wildlife need watersheds to survive. In fact, all life can be traced back to one thing: water.

This year the New Jersey Watershed Program is focused on storm water management and single-use plastics.  With the storm water management, the program will be focused on rain barrels, rain gardens, tree plantings, and creating a greener New Jersey.  All of the cleanups hosted by NJWAP this year will educate the public about the amount of litter that is on our roads and how single use plastics are harmful.

The NJWAP is divided into three portions: streams assessments, presentations, and partnership projects.  By contacting Ms Cucunato at [email protected] you can take part in one or all of them.  She can also be contacted 856.825.3700 x2165.

For more information on the Americorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassador Program (NJWAP), go to http://www.state.nj.us/dep/wms/bears/americorps.htm.

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