We learned so much from authors like Joe Mish and Joe Sapia who share observations of the natural world in our on-going “Voices of the Watershed” series. We are grateful for regular information-sharing from Streamkeepers and civic science volunteers, including writers Margo Persin and Howard Swerdloff. Folks like Rutgers doctoral candidate Kate Douthat teach us about plants and hydrology and stormwater flows through focused blog series. And student interns TaeHo Lee and April Callahan did a great job developing interviews with LRWP Board Members and others active in the watershed.
The following are the most read / viewed web pages on the LRWP website in 2019:
Interview by April Callahan, Rutgers Raritan Scholar
Doriann Kerber is Councilwoman for the Borough of Milltown, NJ, and serves as Treasurer for the Middlesex County Water Resources Association. She is also active with Jersey Water Works, and with the Milltown and East Brunswick Green Teams. She took time out of her busy schedule for an interview about Green Infrastructure outreach in the watershed, and her vision for improving environmental education to benefit the health of our watershed communities.
AC: Where are you
from in the Lower Raritan Watershed? In your time here, how have you engaged in
and explored the area?
DK: I am from Milltown and we have a sub-watershed, Lawrence
Brook Watershed, that I enjoy exploring. In 2014 I volunteered to be on the
Middlesex Water Resources Association and I heard about the Lower Raritan
Watershed Partnership. I feel strongly about cleaning up the waterways just
like anyone else in my town, and feel that we should all take part in caring
for our waterways. I got involved with the LRWP to do just that.
AC: What, in your
opinion, are the primary issues that need to be addressed in the watershed?
DK: Continuous cleanups are important for all areas of the
watershed. Every town in the watershed should have annual clean-ups! And
education/outreach is so important. We need folks to understand that the land
use choices they make, that their consumption and disposal choices affect their
water and environment. If they want cleaner water and a better quality of life,
then they need to make good choices and help take care of our waterways.
AC: What is your
vision for the LRWP?
DK: I will be assisting with cleanups, but also helping with
outreach events. I want the organization to get more media coverage, more speaking
engagements, and attract more people from all walks of life to enjoy bicycling,
walking, our natural spaces.
AC: I understand you
are training with Rutgers Cooperative Extension to deliver Green Infrastructure
outreach for area municipalities. Can you tell me more about that?
DK: Rutgers Cooperative Extension offers a “Green
Infrastructure Champion” training Program, which I went through. This training allows
me to be able to assess green infrastructure in towns and municipalities. For
example, I met with the General Manager of the Brunswick Square Mall to discuss
stormwater management improvements that will also make the area more
attractive. I have training to assist four different groups: resident,
commercial, government and nonprofit. In addition to working in Milltown and
East Brunswick I can work throughout Middlesex County and the Lower Raritan
AC: What do you see
as the most important actions Town Council members can take in their home
communities to improve overall watershed health?
DK: Environmental education and outreach is so important. We
need Town Councils to show how everybody plays a part in improving watershed
health, and give them the tools and know-how to make a difference. It’s not
just the town, or the water treatment center, or the wastewater treatment
center that is responsible for water management. Everybody plays a role!
AC: Is there anything
else you would like to add?
DK: I think the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership has
really grown in the last four years. I want it to be recognized throughout the
county and throughout the state, and hope that the work we do will get more
people involved in their local watersheds.