Raritan Headwaters staff to lead workshops at Land Rally

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Two Raritan Headwaters staff members, Director of Education Lauren Theis and Director of Science Dr. Kristi MacDonald, will lead educational workshops on March 17 at the 21st annual New Jersey Land Conservation Rally in New Brunswick.

Theis will be co-presenter of “Land Stewardship through the River-Friendly Programs,” with Heather Desko of the New Jersey Water Supply Authority and Brittany Musolino of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association. In this workshop, attendees will learn about the River-Friendly certification programs coordinated by the three partner groups, and how other organizations can join in this growing effort to engage New Jersey residents, schools, businesses and golf courses in taking positive actions to protect water quality in local rivers.

Dr. MacDonald will co-lead “Prioritizing and Planning Restoration and Land Preservation Targets for Water Resource Protection,” with Rowan University professor Dr. John Hasse and Dr. Christopher Obropta of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program. In this workshop, attendees will learn about the importance of forests and wetlands in protecting water quality and the negative effects of impervious surface and some agricultural practices. Presenters will discuss data and tools available to help prioritize and plan for protection of water quality.

The New Jersey Land Conservation Rally is the state’s largest educational conference on preserving open space, farmland and natural resources. The 2016 Rally was attended by more than 400 people, including staff members and volunteers from watershed and land conservation organizations; representatives of state, county and municipal open space programs; students; and professionals in environmental fields.

The theme of this year’s Rally is “Healthy Land … Healthy Water,” and the keynote speaker will be Dr. David Robinson, New Jersey state climatologist and professor of geography at Rutgers University. He will speak on “The Role of Land Use as New Jersey’s Climate Changes.”

The New Jersey Land Conservation Rally is open to anyone interested in learning about conserving New Jersey’s land and water. The Rally’s organizing committee includes George Schaberg, Raritan Headwaters’ land projects manager.

The Rally will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, March 17, at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick. For more Rally information and online registration, go tohttp://njconservation.org/conservationrally.htm.