Chester River Association Seeks Watershed Coordinator

The Chester River Association (CRA) is seeking a Watershed Coordinator who is energetic and committed with a strong background in environmental sciences. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until May 1, 2014.

The Watershed Coordinator is responsible for managing CRA’s Water Quality Monitoring, consisting of the tidal main stem monitoring effort as well as the Chester Tester program, which monitors non-tidal creeks and streams through a team of volunteers. Our Water Quality Monitoring program is one of the longest-standing monitoring programs in the Chesapeake. It is the cornerstone program upon which we build our restoration efforts and initiatives. The Watershed Coordinator will be a part of and supported by a team of river-enthusiasts working to protect and restore the Chester River.

THE RIVER
The Chester River is a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Situated between Kent and Queen Anne’s counties on Maryland’s upper Eastern Shore, it is roughly 60 miles in length and fed by 43 named creeks and streams. Its watershed covers some of the Delmarva Peninsula’s most productive agricultural land and is dotted with countless marshes, beaches, and tidewater coves. The abundance of fish, crabs and other wildlife in the watershed is directly impacted by the river’s health. The Chester River is a defining feature of our landscape, plays an integral role in our rural lifestyles, and is a significant driver in our local economy.

THE ORGANIZATION
CRA is based in Chestertown, Maryland, and is the lead advocate for the health of the Chester River and the living resources it supports. The organization was founded in 1986 by citizens of Kent and Queen Anne’s counties concerned by the increasing threats to the river’s health. CRA is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international organization of over 180 organizations, and has a full-time Riverkeeper. We fight to keep the river clean by creating and promoting practices to reduce pollution, by raising public awareness of the importance of these initiatives through education and community outreach, and by advocating for legislation and regulations at the local and state level that will improve water quality.

THE WATERSHED COORDINATOR POSITION

Responsibilities
– Manage the Chester Tester program, including training and coordinating 55 volunteer Chester Testers testing 26 non-tidal sites throughout the watershed, managing the testing equipment, and collecting, recording, and analyzing water quality data.
– Monitor water quality of the main stem of the Chester, including managing the main stem testing equipment, recording and analyzing data, and assisting with boat maintenance and testing logistics.
– Calculate the grades and interpret water quality data for our Report Card.
– Conduct in-depth water quality testing and analysis in specific subwatersheds to identify potential pollution hotspots and target subsequent restoration efforts.
– Participate in our Science & Tech Committee, a team of community members with experience and expertise in the field of water quality monitoring who provide support for our program.
– Communicate water quality science and Chester River-related water quality issues to our members and the general public.
– Contribute to CRA’s general communications and outreach efforts to increase awareness of our work in the community, including developing material for our monthly newsletter, updating our website, posting to Facebook, advertizing events, distributing press releases to media, and distributing our annual Report Card and Currents magazine.
– Work with CRA staff on other programmatic initiatives as needed.

Desired Qualifications
– A deep appreciation of the need for conserving our natural resources and the passion to do so. An understanding of, and commitment toward, CRA’s mission to protect and restore the Chester River.
– A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a scientific field: environmental sciences, environmental studies, aquatic sciences, biology, chemistry, ecology, or a similar degree.
– Experience and familiarity with water quality testing techniques, protocols, and equipment.
– Experience in critiquing and synthesizing scientific research. Capacity to apply this research to our own water quality monitoring to ensure our program stays up-to-date and relevant.
– Demonstrated IT and oral communication skills.
– Ability to work on GIS preferred.

Compensation: Salary commensurate with experience and competitive benefits package.

TO APPLY
Rolling application until May 1, 2014. Send cover letter and resume to Isabel Junkin, Riverkeeper. Email: riverkeeper@chesterriverassociation.org. Phone: 301-908-0355
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CRA presents Chester River Soup Dinner to Provide Micro-grants for Creative Projects

The Chester River Association is presenting Chester River SOUP a soup dinner to provide funds for micro-grants for creative projects in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties on Friday, March 8 at the CRA office, 400 S. Cross St., Chestertown.

5:15 pm doors open

5:45 pm proposals presented

6:15 pm dinner served

7:00 pm winner announced

Pay $5. Eat soup, salad, and bread.

Learn about creative projects happening in our communities.

Vote on which project to fund with the money raised from the meal.

Chester River SOUP is:

a public dinner
a platform for connection
a venue for collaborative conversation
a forum for critical but accessible feedback
a hub for bringing together various ideas and voices
an opportunity to support creative ideas in our community

Proposals are due Thursday, March 7, by midnight. Any person with a creative project to fund is encouraged to apply. There will be a vegetarian soup option and kid-friendly seating (paper-covered tables and crayons). For more information and proposal details, visit www.chesterriverassociation.org or call Heather, 410.271.6607.

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Tom Horton to Discuss “Lessons Learned” on Bay Restoration This Thursday

Tom Horton will give a talk at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Garfield Center for the Arts.

Tom Horton, one of the Chesapeake Bay’s foremost advocates and authorities, will present a wide-ranging talk on “lessons learned” during a special appearance in Chestertown on the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.

Horton has covered the Bay and the environment for The Baltimore Sun and other publications since 1972, the same year that the Clean Water Act was reauthorized in what he calls “a modern, post-Earth Day” way.

Among other talking points, Horton will highlight the progress that has been made with Bay restoration as well as examine some of the disappointments. He will also issue a clarion call for a broader, more ambitious agenda for environmentalism – one that includes a deep and diverse base of support.

Horton, who has written several books about the Bay, worked for 30 years at The Baltimore Sun. Today, he serves as a professor at Salisbury University in its new environmental studies department. He is also a writer for the Chesapeake Bay Journal.

The talk, free and open to the public, will take place at 6 p.m.  on Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Garfield Center for the Arts. It is being co-sponsored by Chester River Association and Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society. Please call the river association at 410-810-7556 for more information.

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