Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station [Rutgers Environmental Stewards]

New Brunswick Environmental Commission


Host Agency Info:
Name: New Brunswick Environmental Commission
Address: 54 Hassart St., New Brunswick, NJ 08903
Phone: 732-846-7993
Supervisor Name: Heather Fenyk
E-mail of supervisor:
Nature of Host Agency: Government

Project Description:

Community-Based Water Quality Monitoring for the lower Raritan Watershed

The New Brunswick Environmental Commission, in partnership with the Highland Park Environmental Commission and others, is working to develop a community-based water quality monitoring and Watershed Stewardship Program for the Lower Raritan Watershed in New Jersey.Our initial effort for 2014 involves watershed education
and building community support for water quality monitoring, focusing on watershed education and introducing community members to water quality monitoring through activities on the Lower Main Stem of the Raritan River at New Brunswick and Highland Park.To roll out the program in 2014 we plan to host three educational water quality monitoring events. Our first event will be held in May 2014 and will involve a "Habitat AssessmentTraining" conducted by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection staff. This event will involve habitat assessment training and activities at two to three sites identified on both the New Brunswick and Highland Park sides of the Raritan River. The second event will be held in July on the banks of the Raritan in Highland Park. This event will coincide with the "Great North American Secchi Dip-ln." The last event will be held in September in New Brunswick as part of the annual Raritan River Festival. All three events will involve visual, physical and limited biological and chemical monitoring of the Lower Main Stem of the Raritan River.
We are seeking assistancefrom a Rutgers Environmental Steward for key aspects of Program development, involving what we estimate will involve 60 community service hours through September 2014. We would hope that this Internship will be the start of a meaningful partnership that would lead to continued involvement in the Program by the Rutgers Environmental Steward past their September obligation. For the Internship we would expect the Environmental Steward to do the following:
1) Attend water quality monitoring training sessions, including the May Habitat Assessment training conducted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (if there is a fee for training it will be paid for by the Commissions);
2) Assist in the development of any appropriate educational handouts or outreach materials for distribution at the July and September events (Spanish language proficiency is a plus);
3) Assist in the development and coordination of two community-based water quality monitoring events, one in July and one in September. Both events will involve demonstrating water quality monitoring as part of general community outreach and awareness building regarding water quality issues;
4) Assist in follow-up assessment of water quality monitoring events / educational outreach efforts for both events, including documentation of "best practices" for subsequent community-based water quality monitoring engagement;
5) Assist in recruitment of community members for on-going volunteer monitoring program development.

The success of this program will be determined by:
1) The development of high quality community outreach and educational materials;
2) Documenting the number of community members introduced to water quality monitoring activities and protocol at the July training and at the September Raritan River Festival; 3) Documenting the number of community members engaged for future community water quality monitoring of the Raritan River.

Learning Objectives
Learning objectives for the Rutgers Environmental Steward Intern will include developing an understanding of the aspects of community water quality monitoring assessment (visual, physical, biological and chemical). It will include training in aspects of water quality monitoring, and will likewise include training in community outreach and pedagogical approaches to community engagement around water quality monitoring.