Press Release

For Immediate Release: December 8, 2021

New Watershed Ambassador Offers Free Education and Guidance on Environmental Conservation Activities

Union County’s new AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador, Cassidy Attanasio, is available to provide guidance on local conservation projects and conduct environmental education lessons for all ages.

Union County residents of all ages invited to participate.

Union County, NJ – Union County’s new Watershed Ambassador is available to conduct free classes on watershed protection and help create new cleanup and restoration projects in Union County and the surrounding area. The Watershed Ambassador program is designed to include both adults and students in environmental education activities and projects that make a real difference in the community.

This year’s Watershed Ambassador is Cassidy Attanasio. She can be reached by email at wma7.njwap@gmail.com or by phone at 908-654-9855. 

“The Watershed Ambassador program helps engage Union County residents of all ages in the preservation and protection of our environment, and we are very pleased to welcome Ms. Cassidy Attanasio to our community,” said Commissioner Board Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “As stewards of water resources that feed into the Atlantic Ocean, we have both a local and a global responsibility to take care of our watershed.”

A watershed is a specific land area that drains into a river system or other body of water. Some watersheds are fairly small. Others sprawl out to include rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

A large portion of Union County is located in New Jersey’s Watershed Management Area 7, also known as the Arthur Kill watershed.

Area 7 covers the 11-mile Elizabeth River, the 24-mile Rahway River and major tributaries including the East Branch Rahway River and Robinson’s Branch. Area 7 also covers bodies of water in Union County parks including Lake Surprise in the Watchung Reservation and Echo Lake in Echo Lake Park.

In addition to waterways within Union County, Area 7 encompasses parts of Essex and Middlesex Counties including Woodbridge River tributaries, the Middlesex Reservoir, the Orange Reservoir and Diamond Mill Pond.

Now in its 21st year, the Watershed Ambassador program sends trained presenters to classrooms and civic groups, to help teachers, students, and community members discover how human behavior can impact the land and water around them.

The free program also offers easy, practical solutions that everyone can implement to reduce pollution and improve water quality, such as eliminating or minimizing the use of pesticides on lawns, picking up pet waste, and not feeding geese.

In addition to educational presentations, the program offers stream assessment training for individuals and groups.

Ms. Attanasio has a bachelor’s degree in biology with a specialization in zoology from Delaware Valley University. Her experience includes volunteer service in wildlife and natural resource management with the United States Geological Survey and the Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Residents interested in cleanups and other environmental activities in Union County parks are also encouraged to join the Adopt a Park/Adopt a Trail program of the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, by phone at 789-3682 or by email at dbernier@ucnj.org. Individuals and groups are welcome to participate.

The Water Ambassador Program is a federally funded position administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador Program, and supported in Union County by the Commissioner Board through the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County. The Watershed Ambassador works from the Extension offices in the Colleen Frasier Building at the Union County Complex in Westfield, located at 300 North Avenue East.

More information about the Union County parks system is available at ucnj.org/parks. For information about all Extension programs in Union County visit ucnj.org/rce.

For quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities, visit The Green Connection at ucnj.org/green-connect.

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

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For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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