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Pollution and Its Impacts

PFAS and Microplastics

Sally Rubin: Executive Director, Great Swamp Watershed Association

Harvey Klein: Laboratory Director, Garden State Labs

Per- and Polyflouroalkul Substances (PFAS) contamination of water sources is an emerging issue of global concern. Learn the latest on PFAS contamination in New Jersey's watersheds and their effects on human health.

Road Salt Contamination

Deborah Kratzer: Environmental Specialist, NJDEP

Erin Stretz: Assistant Director of Science, the Watershed Institute

Each winter, towns throughout New Jersey spread tons of salt to keep its roadways safe and passable during snow and ice storms. When this salt makes its way into waterways, it can have drastic impacts on aquatic life and water quality for residents and business owners that depend on it.

Harmful Algal Blooms

Heather Ronco: Lake Owassa Community Association

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are a hot topic among during the dog days of summer. In this workshop, learn how agricultural contaminants and ailing septic systems contribute to these harmful bacterial colonies and what communities are doing to address them.

Lands and Forest

Forest Management for Clean Water

Ben Spinelli: Executive Director, New Jersey Highlands Water and Planning Council

Abundant, high-quality water depends on intact, mature forests such as those in the Highlands and Ridge and Valley regions of northern New Jersey. Over 70% of New Jersey residents get some or all of their water from the Highlands. Learn how lands are managed for water quality in both the New Jersey Highlands and New York Catskills.

Invasive Species and Deer Impacts

Dr. Jay Kelly: Professor, Raritan Valley Community College

Deer and invasive species have huge impacts to forest biodiversity in New Jersey, causing millions of dollars in damage each year. In this workshop, presenters will discuss new and emerging invasive species, management options, and the future of New Jersey's natural landscape.

Open Space Institute

Abigail Weinberg: Senior Director of Conservation Science and Planning

Description coming soon.

Working Together

Watershed Management Planning in New Jersey

Tom Dallessio: Executive Director, Musconetcong Watershed Association

Get the latest news on how New Jersey is adapting its watersheds to meet the challenges of extreme weather fueled by climate change, while preserving the character and economies that make its watersheds unique. In this workshop, Tom Dallessio will discuss the Vision Plan for the Musconetcong River Watershed in Warren County.

Working with Underserved Communities

Kerry Kirk Pflugh: Executive Director, New Jersey School of Conservation

Description coming soon.

Forming a Coalition

Julia Somers: Executive Director, New Jersey Highlands Coalition

Tom Bodolsky: Citizens for Sustainable Development

Barbara Gomes: Vice President, Sparta Responsible Development

Strong environmental protections are only made possible through political will and working together. Join this workshop to learn how grassroots groups have made a difference in New Jersey by preserving natural resources in the face of intense development pressure.

Unique Projects in Protection and Restoration

Stream Restoration at Sparta Glen and Yards Creek Preserve

Kristine Rogers: Wallkill River Management Group

Sandy Urgo: Vice President of Land Presevtation, TLC-NJ

Dean Blumetti: Deputy Mayor, Sparta Township

Come to this workshop to learn about two unique conservation projects in northwestern New Jersey.  The Sparta Glen Brook restoration project, spearheaded by North Jersey Trout Unlimited in partnership with the Wallkill River Watershed Management Group, aimed to restore habitat for native brook trout populations while also re-establishing a forested riparian buffer along the Glen Brook.  The Land Conservancy of New Jersey’s Yards Creek Preserve project consisted of a series of land acquisitions and stewardship activities to establish a publicly accessible nature preserve adjacent to the Delaware Water Gap that would protect drinking water resources and curb encroaching development.  In this session, you will learn about efforts to engage numerous partner organizations and combine and leverage resources to successfully achieve the land protection and restoration goals for each project.

Dam Removals

Carl Alderson, NOAA

Through the 18th to mid-20th centuries, hundreds of dams were built on New Jersey's abundant rivers to harness the power of water for industry and agriculture. As New Jersey's demands for water have changed, removing these historic, but often decaying structures offers opportunities to restore the historic course of its waterways, and the migratory routes for native trout.

C1 Stream Upgrades and Vernal Pool Certification

Elliott Ruga: Policy and Communications Director, New Jersey Highlands Coalition (facilitator)

Bill Kibler: Director of Policy, Raritan Headwaters Association

Chris Miller: Executive Director, Eastern Environmental Law Center

Kristi MacDonald: Director of Science, Raritan Headwaters Association

In 2022 the New Jersey Appellate Court upheld the use of data collected by volunteers led by Raritan Headwaters Association and the Watershed Institute to upgrade hundreds of miles of streams to C1 status. Learn how this Citizen Science model could be applied for other efforts, including certification of vernal pools throughout the state.

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