011620_atl_environment Env Stewards 2019

Are you concerned about the environment and want to learn how to make a difference? The Atlantic County Utilities Authority offers local residents a chance to participate in the Rutgers Environmental Steward Program with weekly classes 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays begin Jan. 28, at the ACUA’s Environmental Park, 6700 Delilah Road, in Egg Harbor Township.

The Environmental Steward Program is designed to explain and analyze the environmental issues affecting New Jersey. Using science, teamwork and natural resources, the steward will create plans to address some of these problems in their local communities. You don’t have to be a scientist to be a steward; all you need is passion for the environment and an interest in learning and volunteering.

Training sessions are taught by experts from Rutgers University and nonprofit and government organizations. To become a certified Rutgers Environmental Steward, graduates of the classroom portion of the program complete a 60-hour volunteer internship on a topic of their choice. Internships are unique and intended to align with the interests of the individual, the needs of the program, and the community.

Class topics include climate change, soil health, renewable energy, waste management, water resource protection, invasive species, wildlife management, habitat conservation, environmental policy and more. Field trips to environmentally significant sites are included as part of the program.

Examples of volunteer projects include:

• Mapping and eradicating invasive species in local parks

• Engaging policy makers on reducing plastic waste

• Restoring native dune vegetation in shore communities

• Building green infrastructure, such as rain gardens or rain barrels

• Protecting and creating habitat for threatened and endangered species

Registration, payment and program details for individuals or municipalities are available at acua.com/stewards. The program and materials fee for the course is $260.

Registration is also open for classes in Passaic, Union, Mercer and Somerset counties, which will begin early in 2020.

For more information on the Atlantic County program, please contact Amy Menzel at amenzel@acua.com or call 609-272-6950. Learn more at envirostewards.rutgers.edu, and facebook.com/groups/RutgersEnvironmentalStewards.

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