The following presentations were delivered at the 6th Annual Delaware River Watershed Forum as part of a series of breakout sessions.

Breakout Session 1: creating a unified vision for watershed protection

Several landscape-scale initiatives are taking place and are providing a pathway to a cleaner, healthier Delaware River Watershed for the people and wildlife that call it home. The Delaware River Watershed Initiative is the country’s largest non-regulatory and privately-driven conservation effort to improve water quality; watershed-wide campaigns such as 4 the Delaware and Delaware Means are raising awareness of this nationally significant resource and calling for increased leadership at the state level. After eight years of collaboration and advocacy spearheaded by stakeholders of the basin, the Delaware River Watershed achieved a historic win earlier this year and has new dedicated federal funding putting it on par with other major watersheds nationwide. This breakout session looks at existing collaborative efforts to align and drive a collective watershed action.  


Moderator: Sandra Meola, Director, Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed

  • Mike Slattery, Delaware River Basin Coordinator, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

  • Nathan Boon, Program Officer, Watershed Protection, William Penn Foundation

  • Dave Golden, Associate Director, Operations, New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife

  • Joy Oakes, Senior Regional Director, National Parks Conservation Association

  • Jen Adkins, Executive Director, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary

capitalizing partnerships through the wild & scenic program

Moderator: Karla Rossini, Program Manager, Citizens United Maurice River

  • Fred Akers, Administrator, Great Egg Harbor Watershed Association

  • Paul Kenney, River Manager, National Park Service Partnership Wild & Scenic Rivers

  • Jamie Fosburgh, Resource Planner, National Park Service Partnership Wild & Scenic Rivers

  • Kristina Heister, Superintendent, Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, National Park Service

Scaling up agricultural best Management Practices

Moderator: Kristen Saacke Blunk, Principal and Field Liaison, Headwaters LLC

  • Laura Tessieri, Associate Director, North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development

  • Grant DeCosta, Senior Planner for Land Conservation, Brandywine Conservancy

  • Kristen Meistrell, Stewardship Project Director South, New Jersey Audubon

crossing state lines for watershed protection

Moderator: Grant La Rouche, Director of Conservation Partnerships, Mid-Atlantic, National Wildlife Federation

  • Emily Baumbach, Science Planning Specialist, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary

  • Doug O’Malley, Director, Environment New Jersey

water users and water use trends in our watershed

Moderator: Jane Rowan, President, Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin

  • Steve Tambini,  Executive Director, Delaware River Basin Commission

  • Daniel J. Van Abs, PhD, AICP, Associate Professor, Rutgers University

  • Vincent Monaco, Engineering Manager, Regional Asset Planning, New Jersey American Water

breakout session 2: the future of the watershed

Achieving a future with clean water, healthy habitats, and strong communities requires leadership, coordination among diverse partners, and a holistic approach. Together, our coalition serves as a unified voice for seeking improved watershed policy and protection. This set of breakout sessions explores opportunities to engage with the Coalition’s newly adopted priorities with the goal of taking ownership of the Delaware River Watershed’s future.

breaking the green ceiling

Moderator: Mariah Davis, Field Manager, Choose Clean Water Coalition

  • Kevin Moore, Principal, Urban Environmental Group

  • Julie Slavet, Executive Director, Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, Inc.

place-based climate solutions

Moderator: Marjorie Kaplan, Associate Director, Rutgers Climate Institute (Presentation)

  • Paul Rush, Deputy Commissioner, NYC Department of Environmental Protection

  •  Saleem Chapman, Deputy Director of Sustainability, Mayor’s Office of Philadelphia

25,000 miles of swimmable, fishable waterways

Moderator: Nathan Boon, Program Officer, Watershed Protection, William Penn Foundation

  • Faith Zerbe, Director of Monitoring, Delaware Riverkeeper Network

  • Steve Tuorto, PhD, Director of Science & Stewardship, The Watershed Institute

  • Alice R. Baker, Staff Attorney, PennFuture

  • David Kinney, Eastern Policy Director, Trout Unlimited

building state leadership 4 the delaware

Moderator: Halle Van der Gaag, Manager, Delaware River Programs, National Wildlife Federation

  • Danielle Dick, Communications Consultant, Delaware Nature Society

  • Alex Cupo, Southeast PA Outreach Coordinator, PennFuture

  • Jeff Skelding, Executive Director, Friends of the Upper Delaware River

  • Kelly Mooij, Vice President of Government Relations, New Jersey Audubon

watershed infrastructure - JEOPARDY!

Moderator: Alex Ambrose, Policy Assistant, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters

  • Peter Marx, Federal Affairs Contractor

  • Ed DiFiglia, Program Manager, New Jersey Future

session 3: growing the Conservation movement

Ensuring our accomplishments are long-lasting goes beyond our organizations’ day-to-day operations. Fostering stewardship and building proactive constituencies begins with connecting people to nature. This session will focus on how organizations and businesses are using innovative methods and reaching new audiences to nurture the next generation of advocates for the watershed.

growing a conservation ethic in the next generation

Moderator: Sarun Chan, Watershed Fellowship Coordinator, Audubon Pennsylvania

  • 2018 RiverGuides and Staff, Urban Promise

  • Holly Gallagher, Mid-Atlantic Education Manager, National Wildlife Federation

everything is local: municipal engagement

Moderator: Abigail Jones, Northeast PA Staff Attorney, PennFuture

  • Ellen Kohler, Water Quality Program Manager, University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center

  • Chris Linn, Manager, Office of Environmental Planning, Delaware Regional Planning Commission

  • Christopher Obropta, Extension Specialist in Water, Resources Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Rutgers University

building an inclusive watershed

Moderator: Lori Braunstein, Outreach Coordinator, Environmental Leadership Program

  • Tykee James, Environmental Policy Advisor, State Representative Bullock, House of Representatives, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

  • Jamie Gauthier, Executive Director, Fairmount Park Conservancy

  • John Sykes, Founder & Board Vice President, Delaware Interfaith Power and Light

clean water is good for business

Moderator: Richard Lawton, Executive Director, NJ Sustainable Business Council (Presentation)

  • Gerald Kauffman, Director, Water Resources Center, University of Delaware

  • Fran Lawn, Manager, GSI Partners, Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia

  • Ed Clerico, P.E., CEO Emeritus, Natural Systems Utilities

  • Jezabel Careaga, Entrepreneur, Cook, Designer, and Maker, Jezabel’s

conservation through public recreation

Moderator: Mark Zakutansky, Director of Conservation Policy Engagement, Appalachian Mountain Club (Presentation)

  • Todd Pride, Managing Partner and Lead Coach, Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers & Outdoor Partners

  • David La Puma, Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory, New Jersey Audubon

breakout session 4: workshops

delaware bay sediment transportation analysis tool

  • Captain Alek Modjeski, Habitat Restoration Program, Director, American Littoral Society

  • Steven Hafner, Assistant Director of Center, Stockton University Coastal Research Center

  • Mat Suran, Computer Resource Manager & GIS Analyst, Stockton University Coastal Research Center

ask the funders!

Moderator: Susan Myerov, Program Director, Watersheds, Pennsylvania Environmental Council 

  • Andy Johnson, Program Director, William Penn Foundation

  • Christine Hall, State Resource Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service

  • Carl Alderson, Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Habitat Restoration Specialist, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

  • Rachel Dawson, Program Director, Delaware River, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation


  • Caroline Bott, Mid-Atlantic Leadership Development Manager, River Network

ask the experts: media relations

Moderator: Rita Yelda, Outreach & Communications Manager, Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed

  • Angela Delli Santi, Director of Communications and Marketing, New Jersey Department of Labor

  • Meg McGuire, Founder and Publisher, Delaware Currents

  • David Kinney, Eastern Policy Director, Trout Unlimited

the do’s & don’ts of lobbying as a c3 organization

  • Abby Levine, Director, Alliance for Justice

how to win friends and influence people: using social media to achieve your goals

  • Hillary Mohaupt, Social Media Strategist, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters