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Nanticoke Creekwatchers Program Seeking Volunteers for 2016!

The Nanticoke Watershed Alliance is now seeking volunteers to participate in the 2016 Nanticoke Creekwatchers Program. Prospective Creekwatchers must commit to monitoring at least one assigned site every other Sunday or Monday from late March through early November. Volunteers should be prepared to sample at least 14 out of 17 sampling periods. No prior experience in water monitoring is required, but volunteers should be enthusiastic and willing to learn.

Please see the Nanticoke Creekwatchers page for a Creekwatchers Position Description and more information about the program, or contact Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator Beth Wasden via email or by phone at 443.944.1175.

Holiday Office Closures

The NWA office will be closed from Tuesday, December 22 until Monday, January 4. We would like to wish all of our friends a happy and bright holiday season!

Chesapeake Conservancy’s Virtual Tour of the Nanticoke

Chesapeake Conservancy Cherry BeachThe Chesapeake Conservancy has released a virtual tour of the Nanticoke River, allowing viewers to experience one of the Chesapeake’s most pristine rivers from their computer, smartphone, or tablet. The virtual tour is available at http://www.chesapeakeconservancy.org/apps/nanticoke/ and provides an interactive view of the entire river from the perspective of a kayaker. Users can virtually travel down the river with a number of conveniences including geographic locations, and recreational amenities.

 

The Nanticoke River flows 64 miles through the states of Delaware and Maryland to Tangier Sound before reaching the Chesapeake Bay. Its 1,133-square-mile watershed is home to hundreds of rare, threatened and endangered species. The Nanticoke provides some of few places to find globally rare plant and animal species, including Harper’s beakrush, Parker’s pipewort, and box huckleberry, as well as unique plant communities such as Atlantic white cedar non-tidal wetlands and xeric sand ridge forests.

 

“The Nanticoke remains one of the most diverse and intact watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay region. This is one of the few places you can go to see the world as Captain John Smith and the American Indians saw it 400 years ago,” Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO, Joel Dunn said. “Through this project, the Chesapeake Conservancy is working to connect people and the wildlife and habitats of the Nanticoke. We hope the virtual tour will inspire people to get out and see the beauty of the Nanticoke firsthand and foster a sense of stewardship to ensure the protection of this national treasure.”

 

“The Conservancy and Terrain360 have made the Nanticoke accessible from the living room or the classroom in an incredibly unique, engaging way,” Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary David Small said. “While there is no substitute for experiencing this great river first hand, the virtual tool is the next best thing for users who want to plan a trip, or just explore all or part of this historical and natural treasure in a matter of minutes.”Chesapeake Conservancy Roaring Point

 

“The Maryland Department of Commerce applauds the Chesapeake Conservancy for its efforts to showcase the natural beauty of the Nanticoke River,” Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary R. Michael Gill said. “We hope this new virtual tour will encourage visitors to explore Maryland’s Eastern Shore and enjoy all that it has to offer.”

 

Earlier this year, the Conservancy and Richmond-based Terrain360 deployed a one-of-a-kind handmade boat, equipped with six cameras mounted 10 feet above the water’s surface to capture high-resolution, 360-degree images every 50 feet. Terrain360 built and operates the pontoon and stitched the images together to create a digital image map of the Nanticoke.

 

“The virtual tour allows users to plan their trip in advance,” Terrain360’s Andy Thompson said. “The tour will make the Nanticoke River more accessible by limiting the number of unknown factors. People want to know where they can put their kayaks in and where they can take them out. With this tool, they will know what to expect because they have already seen it.”

NWA Seeking an AmeriCorps Programs Assistant

The Nanticoke Watershed Alliance seeks a Half-time (900 hours, preferred) or a Quarter-time (450 hours) AmeriCorps Member to serve as a Programs Assistant through August 31, 2016. The AmeriCorps Programs Assistant will work extensively with NWA staff to deliver programming throughout the watershed. Candidates should have an interest in environmental education and in working with diverse populations, including volunteers. Please see the NWA AmeriCorps Position Description and the AmeriCorps Information Sheet 2015-2016 for full details about the position and its requirements.


 

AmeriCorps Programs Assistant

Background: The Nanticoke Watershed Alliance (NWA) is a consortium of organizations working together to conserve the natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Nanticoke River watershed. The mission, goals, and objectives of the NWA are developed by consensus with our partnership. Partners include organizations and businesses from Maryland and Delaware, including representatives from agriculture, industry, environmental, business, community, and state, local and federal governmental organizations. www.nanticokeriver.org

 

Responsibilities: The Nanticoke Watershed Alliance (NWA) seeks a Half-time (900 hours) or Quarter-time (450 hours) AmeriCorps member to serve as a Programs Assistant through August 31, 2016. Hours per week will vary according to the NWA’s needs and the AmeriCorps Member’s schedule. (Please see ShoreCorps/PALS: The AmeriCorps Program at Salisbury University for a complete overview of the AmeriCorps program and a description of AmeriCorps-related requirements.) The AmeriCorps Programs Assistant will work directly with NWA staff to help administer the various programs of the NWA. Projects include a variety of efforts targeted at water quality monitoring, environmental education, and public outreach. The NWA operates in Maryland and in Delaware, and the AmeriCorps member will be expected to travel and to deliver programming in both states. The AmeriCorps Programs Assistant will:

 

  • Work with Nanticoke Creekwatchers, a citizen science volunteer program that serves to monitor water quality in order to identify potential restoration projects and to engage watershed residents,
  • Assist with the implementation of a student and teacher environmental education program, focused on meeting local environmental literacy requirements, including teacher workshops, in-classroom presentations, field days, outdoor learning experiences, action projects, and more,
  • Assist with the facilitation of homeowner educational workshops, focused on water quality and stormwater best management practices (BMP),
  • Assist with access and education related to the Nanticoke River Water trail, a portion of the Captain John Smith Trail,
  • Recruit for and manage at least one river clean-up in conjunction with Project CleanStream or Coastal Cleanup,
  • Assist with continued maintenance of and outreach on the Tom Tyler Nature Trail, which highlights forestry BMPs, and
  • Perform other tasks and duties as needed.

 

Training and Benefits: AmeriCorps ShoreCorps/PALS is a federally-funded program that aims to benefit vulnerable populations in counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The AmeriCorps program provides a living allowance and a post-program education award (amounts vary based on the amount of time served). Federal student loan forbearance and reduced accrued-interest payments may also be available while serving as an AmeriCorps Member.

The AmeriCorps Member will receive work skills and training in water quality monitoring techniques, delivering and developing environmental education programs, performing community outreach and improving public speaking, and recruiting, training and managing volunteers.

With a full-time staff of three at the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, there will be ample opportunity for the AmeriCorps Member to be an integral, highly-participatory member of a dedicated team. The AmeriCorps Member will work directly with NWA partner organizations and gain professional contacts through various networking opportunities. They will learn the inner workings of a small non-profit conservation organization and will be given the opportunity to truly take ownership of their work as well as understand how it fits into the overall conservation efforts of the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance.

 

Qualifications: The preferred candidate will possess and demonstrate excellence in the following areas: verbal and written communication, public speaking, computer skills, problem solving, leadership, and commitment to the Chesapeake Bay. Experience in environmental education, website development (WordPress), graphic design, or GIS is a plus. A background in science or the environment is not required, although the candidate should have an interest in these areas and in conservation issues. Candidates must have reliable transportation and a valid driver’s license.

Start Date:  November 2015 or later

To Apply:  Application and more information about the ShoreCorps/PALS Program at Salisbury University is available at SU’s AmeriCorps page

For more information about the position and the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, contact Beth Wasden at 443.944.1175 or at bethwasden@nanticokeriver.org.

Chapel Branch Nature Day on October 3

ROR CB Flyer

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), along with the Delaware Nature Society (DNS), Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, Town of Blades, and the Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy, invite residents to come to Chapel Branch Nature Area in Seaford Delaware where the ROR partnership will be celebrating Delaware’s efforts throughout the series and providing fun outdoor activities for the whole family.

For a $5 registration fee (plus $1.12 credit card fee), participants can enjoy food, drinks, and informational exhibits by the ROR partnership, as well as a nature walk where guides will be discussing native wildlife. There will be hands-on activities exploring the creek critters of Chapel Branch with DNS as well as demonstrations on how to test water quality with the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance’s Creekwatchers.

Local Boy Scouts and other volunteers will be lending a hand to the nature area by working on trail maintenance to reduce erosion into the creek. Volunteers are needed to help maintain the beautiful nature area. Some tools will be available although volunteers are encouraged to bring additional items such as clippers, shovels, saws, and wheelbarrows which may be in short supply. Building trail steps to reduce erosion will be the focus of this service project.

This event is sponsored by Del-Coast Design & Build and Dogfish Head Brewery. Raffle items provided by sponsors include a $500 value trash and recycling storage shed from Del-Coast Design & Build as well as hats, t-shirts and other items from Dogfish Head Brewery. The Chapel Branch Nature Day will educate residents on techniques used to improve water quality by reducing nutrient and sediment pollution entering Delaware’s waterways.

The event will take place on October 3, from 9AM – 1PM at Chapel Branch Nature Area located at 492 Woodland Road, Seaford, DE 19973. More information can be found at this address: http://delawarewatersheds.org/

Office Closures in September

Due to reduced staff and the schedule, the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance office will be closed on a number of dates during the month of September. We encourage you to call before visiting.

The office will be closed on September 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 15, 22, 24, 25, 28, and 29.

We are hopeful that our office hours will return to normal in October.

NWA Seeking an Education Coordinator

NOTE: This position is now CLOSED. Thanks for your interest in the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance.

The Nanticoke Watershed Alliance is seeking an Education Coordinator to lead the Environmental Education program in Wicomico and Sussex Counties. In addition, the Education Coordinator will assist with the Nanticoke Creekwatchers program, outreach programs, and administrative tasks. Please see the job description for full details.

Candidates should e-mail a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references prior to August 28, 2015, to Shelly Baird at shellybaird@nanticokeriver.org. No phone inquiries please.

Office Closures in August

Due to our current staffing level and staff schedules, the office will be closed on several dates during the next couple of weeks. Please check this post for updates prior to visiting the office.

The office will be closed on August 3, 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, and 31.

2014 Nanticoke River Report Card Now Available!

The 2014 Nanticoke River Report Card is now available online! If you’d prefer a hard copy, drop by our office in Vienna or visit us at an upcoming festival, including:

  • Great Eastern Shore Tomato Festival on August 22
  • Woodland Ferry Festival on September 12
  • Reclaim Our River EcoPaddle on September 13
  • Reclaim Our River EcoHike on October 3

If you missed our Wade In and Report Card launch, check out some of the media coverage related to the event:

Thanks to all of our Creekwatchers and to our program partners for their hard work and support!

Blades Homeowner Workshops

Blades FlyerThe Nanticoke Watershed Alliance is now accepting registrations for Homeowner Workshops that will be held in Blades, DE, in July, August, and October! Please see our Blades Homeowner Workshop page for more information and to register.