Farewell to Watershed Ambassador Carmela Buono
We’re bidding a fond farewell to Carmela Buono, our 2016-17 Watershed Ambassador, who spent the past year traveling around the Raritan Headwaters region to raise public awareness of watershed issues and how human actions affect water quality.
“This past year I learned that when you empower people with the knowledge and science about the ecology of a watershed, the passion to protect and act will follow,” said Carmela, who is heading off to Binghamton University to pursue a master’s degree in biology and ecology.
Carmela came to us through the New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program, a community-oriented AmeriCorps environmental program coordinated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Watershed Ambassadors monitor the rivers of New Jersey and train community volunteers in techniques to assess the health of waterways within their communities. Ambassadors also make educational presentations to schools and community organizations on water quality and watershed related topics.
“This year I conducted 121 educational presentations to promote watershed awareness and connecting human actions to water quality,” said Carmela, a resident of South Brunswick and a 2016 graduate of Rutgers University. “I also trained over 90 volunteers on stream assessment protocol, helped to plant over 950 trees to revegetate buffers along waterways, and helped build 25 rain barrels that will help redirect 35,000 gallons of stormwater.”
Carmela said she found it gratifying to help people understand how their actions and personal choices affect the environment.
“When you make that connection between people and the environment, the steps toward stewardship come that much smoother,” she observed. “Also, never underestimate the power of young people and their drive to learn.”
Carmela said she has enjoyed working at Raritan Headwaters and “getting to learn about all the amazing things going on” in the organization. “From education, science, and stewardship, I have grown to appreciate the work that the Raritan Headwaters does across the watershed. It truly inspires me to be involved with watershed associations in the future!”
Thank you, Carmela, for your service to Raritan Headwaters – and to the cause of protecting clean water in our rivers, streams and homes!