The Regional Watershed Restoration Specialist (RWRS) will work in Northern Maryland to provide education and coordinate technical assistance focused on assisting local and county governments and watershed groups with development and implementation of plans, projects and programs that lead to quantifiable reductions in nonpoint sources of pollution, improvement of water quantity issues and increased community resilience related to climate change, growth, and other impacts. To accomplish this the RWRS will: (1) assist in developing partnerships among local governments and organizations that have common goals and objectives; (2) help identify and prioritize the most pressing nonpoint- source pollution challenges in watersheds within the cluster and develop educational and technical assistance responses to meet those challenges (3) assist these partners in implementing on- the-ground projects that result in measurable improvements in water quality and quantity on a small watershed scale, and; (4) assist in realizing funding opportunities and technical support for these efforts. The RWRS will act as a critical interface between communities and technical service providers and other sources of knowledge with the expressed intent of building local capacity and targeted outcomes of nonpoint source pollution reduction and to build community resilience to localized flood impacts. As part of their role with the Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA) program, they will assist with volunteer management and non-formal education and outreach needs of identified audiences and stakeholders.
The RWRS will work closely with existing and developing organizations including, but not limited to local governments, watershed associations and other non-profit organizations and initiatives. The RWRS program is a key partner with the Watershed Assistance Collaborative (WAC), a partnership between the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Chesapeake and Coastal Services, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Environmental Finance Center, and University of Maryland’s Sea Grant Extension Program with common goals of restoring the function and integrity of watersheds that feed into the Chesapeake Bay.
The RWRS will be a member of University of Maryland Extension’s Watershed Protection and Restoration Program (WPRP) consisting of faculty members with similar education responsibilities in other regions of the state and with a variety of expertise related to watershed restoration issues. Within this realm, the RWRS will be expected to develop and deliver educational programs, create scholarly materials and provide service to the university and relevant professions in alliance with the mission and vision of University of Maryland Extension.