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RELEASE: 10/11 /01

CONTACT: Loretta O'Donnell or Amy Collings
(609) 984-1795 or 609-292-2994

Watershed Ambassadors Embark on Local Environmental Education

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Shinn today announced the start of the second year of the New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors AmeriCorps program to raise awareness about watershed issues across the state.

"AmeriCorps members act as liaisons to DEP's Division of Watershed Management and as ambassado rs of their assigned watershed management areas. This program strives to make a difference in the community and the environment through river and watershed assessments and through education efforts demonstrating why watershed protection is should be important to every citizen in New Jersey," said Shinn.

Through the Watershed Ambassadors Program, AmeriCorps members have been placed with host agencies in each of the state's 20 watershed management areas. The members will assist the Division of Watershed Management in monitoring rivers and watersheds as part of River Assessment Teams (RATS) and Biological Assessment Teams (BATS). The members will also train community volunteers to assist in these monitoring programs. Using audio-visual presentations, the members will provide information to schools and community organizations.

The Watershed Ambassadors Program is one part of DEP's many efforts to restore, enhance and protect the state's waterways. The ambassadors work with all sectors to improve the quality of waterways which are used for drinking water as well as agricultural, industrial and recreational purposes. The program explores the relationships between people and the environment, fosters community-based environmental activities and empowers residents to make responsible decisions regarding their watershed.

AmeriCorps is a national service initiative started in 1993 with 10,000 citizens serving yearly. The program is charged with making a difference on a community level, focusing on four issues - education, public safety, human needs and the environment. AmeriCorps members complete 1,700 hours of service in return for a living stipend and an education award.

For more information about the Watershed Ambassadors Program, contact Fran Varacalli, program manager in DEP's Division of Watershed Management, at 609-633-0533 or

Use the listing below to contact members directly for a presentation or to learn how to volunteer with the RATS and BATS water monitoring program.


>> Regions: Northwest | Northeast | Raritan | Atlantic | Lower Delaware


Area 1 North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development
1322 Route 31 North Box 3
Annandale, NJ 08801
  Member: Michelle Ruggiero
Phone: 908-735-0733
Area 11 Regional Planning Partnership
870 Mapleton Rd.
Princeton, NJ 08540
  Member: Pat Sachs
Phone: 609-452-1717


Area 3 Skylands Clean, INC.
PO Box 85 / 551 Ringwood Ave.
Ringwood, NJ 07456
  Member: Jen Bernstock
Phone: 973-616-1006
Area 4 NJDEP, Compliance & Enforcement Northern Office
1259 Rt. 46 East Bldg. #2
Parsippany, NJ 07054-4191
  Member: Jon Carlson
Phone: 973-299-7592
Area 5 Hackensack River Keeper
1000 River Rd. T090C
Teaneck, NJ 07666
  Member: Marianne Butler
Phone: 201-692-8440
Area 6 Great Swamp Watershed Association
PO Box 300
New Vernon, NJ 07976
  Member: Michelle Burke
Phone: 973-966-1900


Area 7 Union County Engineering Dept.
2325 South Avenue
Scotch Plains, NJ 07076
  Member: Michael Aita
Phone: 908-789-3673
Area 8 Upper Raritan Watershed Assoc.
PO Box 273
Gladstone, NJ 07934
  Member: Annie Pizza
Area 9 Middlesex County Planning Department
40 Livingston Ave.
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
  Member: Beth Sawickie
Phone: 732-745-3016
Area 10 Stony Brook - Millstone Watershed Association
31 Titus Mill Rd.
Pennington, NJ 08534
  Member: Brian Rappaport
Phone: 609-737-3735


Area 12 Monmouth County Planning Board
Hall of Records Annex - One East Main St.
Freehold, NJ 07728
  Member: Jim Burkitt
Phone: 732-431-7460
Area 13 American Littoral Society
PO Box 1306
Tuckerton, NJ 08087
  Member: Steve Janasie
Phone: 609-294-3111
Area 15 Atlantic County Municipal Utilities Authority
6700 Delilah Rd.
Pleasantville, NJ 08232
  Member: Amy Elder
Phone: 609-646-5500

Area 16 Wetlands Institute of Stone Harbor
1075 Stone Harbor Rd.
Stone Harbor, NJ 08247

  Member: Bjorn Christiano
Phone: 609-368-1211


Area 18 NJDEP Compliance and Enforcement Southern Office
One Port Center 2 Riverside Dr.
Camden, NJ 08102
  Member: Christopher Trainor
Phone: 856-614-3655
Area 19 Rancocas Conservancy
Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge
6 Sawmill Rd.
Moorestown, NJ 08057
  Member: Andy Duddleston
Phone: 856-983-5665
Area 20 Mercer County Soil Conservation Service
508 Hughes Dr.
Hamilton Square, NJ 08690
  Member: Pat Weiss
Phone: 609-586-9603

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Last Updated: October 11, 2001