Fifth Annual Watershed Conference

November 3, 4 & 5 In A Hybrid Format

Thank you for attending our recent 5th Annual Watershed Conference. We will have the recorded sessions and speaker presentations available soon.  For any conference-releated questions, please contact Pri Olivera at [email protected] 


The Watershed Institute is pleased to host its 5th Annual Watershed Conference with its theme Collaborating For Change on November 3-5. This year’s event will be in a hybrid format with participants selecting socially distanced, in-person sessions at the Watershed Center and Reserve or choosing to attend virtually if they prefer.  Sessions will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

We have an array of speakers who will cover topics including climate change, stormwater management, harmful algal blooms, dam removals, water quality issues, recent court rulings, watershed health, water quality, flooding, green infrastructure, environmental justice, and other subjects. We welcome Stuart A. Clarke, the Program Director of Watershed Protection at the William Penn Foundation, as our keynote speaker. We will also provide activities after the main program ends each day, including trips around the Watershed Reserve and an after-party for relaxing and networking.  

We invite Watershed members, the general public, environmental professionals, government officials, nonprofit organization professionals, and others to this exciting event! Check out the tabs below to learn more about the conference agenda, speakers, how to make payments by purchase order, the after-conference activities, and sponsorship opportunities. We also have a technical guide under the ‘Tech Guide’ tab below, including easy-to-follow instructions with screenshots to help make this hybrid experience engaging between our in-person and virtual audiences. 

Register Here


November 3, 4, & 5 Sessions from 11 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.


There are currently 18 sessions planned for this year’s conference, including a Keynote presentation on November 3rd from 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. There will also be three post-conference activities which you can find details of on this page. You can check out what we have planned on our finalized 5th Annual Watershed Conference Agenda.


Endowed Associate Professor of Marine Science Monmouth University

Jason Adolf, Ph.D

Dr. Adolf’s research interests include phytoplankton ecology and physiology, Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), and real-time continuous water quality monitoring. Dr. Adolf’s research uses combined field and laboratory approaches to address the impacts of environmental variability, including climate change, on ecosystems. He currently teaches within the Monmouth University B.S. program in Marine and Environmental Biology and Policy and highly values the inclusion of undergraduate students in his research.

Environmental Commission Chair Hammonton, NJ

Daniel Bachalis

Dan has served as the Chairperson of the Hammonton Environmental Commission since 2018 and also serves as Chair for the Town’s Lake Water Quality Advisory Committee. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions. Mr. Bachalis served a term of office as a Hammonton Town Councilman, during which he developed Hammonton’s Water Conservation Tax Rebate Program, Adopt-a-Park and Adopt-a-Street programs, and more.

Mid-Atlantic Organizer Trout Unlimited

Emily Baldauff

Emily is based in Throop, Pa. She supports, organizes, and trains TU members and other sportsmen to advocate on behalf of coldwater fisheries conservation. Emily also assists in monitoring and analyzing state-level policy and legislation. Her professional career has dabbled in all forms for conservation including climate, watershed management, water quality and restoration, permitting, environmental education wildlife, policy, and habitat conservation.

Executive Director California CoastKeeper Alliance

Sean Bothwell

Sean directs California Coastkeeper Alliance (CCKA) initiatives to protect and enhance healthy inland and marine waters throughout the state for the benefit of Californians and California ecosystems. He is a national leader on critical environmental issues, including ocean desalination, California’s trash policy, stormwater permitting and funding, and potable recycled water.

Stormwater Manager NJ Future

Brianne Callahan

Bree works to help New Jersey localities create stormwater utilities more affordably and effectively to reduce flooding and improve water quality. She is responsible for creating technical resources, designing and organizing training sessions, and facilitating the New Jersey Stormwater Utilities Peer Learning Exchange. Prior to joining New Jersey Future, Bree served as Executive Director and Baykeeper for Massachusetts Baykeeper, and worked as a legal and environmental consultant in both Philadelphia and Boston.

Project Manager Camden Community Partnership

Vedra Chandler

Born and raised in Camden, New Jersey Vedra Chandler graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government before pursuing a careers in business, music and community development. She has performed in the Broadway musical Hairspray and was the Soul Singer on Kooza by Cirque Du Soleil. At Camden Community Partnership, she uses the arts as a vehicle to tap into the potential of Camden city and its residents, and to revitalize underutilized spaces through the Connect the Lots initiative and A New View Camden.

Resource Conservationist NJ State Agriculture Development Committee

David Clapp

As part of the Stewardship Section at SADC, Dave helps landowners, partners and SADC staff identify and steward natural resources on farms both during the preservation process and after a farm is preserved.  He helped develop a “side-by-side” easement template which allows SADC to partner with other organizations during the preservation process, leveraging outside funding to further protect sensitive environmental areas while maintaining productive farmland.

Program Director of Watershed Protection William Penn Foundation

Stuart A. Clarke

Stuart’s work focuses on creating the conditions for a healthy Delaware River watershed. He oversees a $30 million annual grant portfolio, which includes investments in research, data gathering, and advocacy focusing on priority stressors across the watershed; targeted land protection and restoration; and efforts to broaden equitable public access to and engagement with the basin’s rivers and streams.

Senior Coordinator for Conservation Programs National Wildlife Federation's Mid-Atlantic Regional Center

Natalie Cohen

Natalie is dedicating her career to the intersection of environmental justice and urban ecology.  As a Baltimore City Master Gardener, she spends much of her free time in her backyard as well as public spaces throughout the city.  Before beginning with NWF, Natalie was the Environmental Coordinator at Amazing Grace Lutheran Church in East Baltimore where she led environmental programming and was a board member of Charm City Land Trusts.

Planning Manager Philadelphia LandCare Program with Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Samir Dalal

Samir has shaped his career as an urban planner that focuses on the relationship between our physical environment, health, and community empowerment. Samir graduated with a Masters in Urban Planning from NYU and is helping to turn vacant lots into community assets. He manages data for an inventory of over 12,000 vacant lots while maintaining relationships with the City of Philadelphia and community partners.

Senior Fellow The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School & Columbia Climate School

Jennifer Danis, Esq.

Previously, Ms. Danis worked as a staff attorney and clinical instructor at Columbia Law School’s Environmental Law Clinic. She also served as the Senior Staff Attorney for Eastern Environmental Law Center’s Energy Infrastructure program. She has significant experience working with a broad range of national energy advocates and experts to help document skewed natural gas market economics, the economics of deep decarbonization, and ecological, health and safety impacts from fossil fuel infrastructure.

Practice Area Lead Princeton Hydro

Clay Emerson

Clay is a Practice Area Lead at Princeton Hydro where he works on a wide variety of water resources projects, with a specific focus on stormwater management. He has graduate degrees from Drexel University and Villanova University where his research focused on stormwater management. He is a Professional Engineer and his interests lie in the use of natural systems to better manage stormwater.

Operations Director Groundwork Elizabeth

John Evangelista

John manages all aspects of the Come Grow With Us! Urban Agriculture Initiatives and all the design/build projects for Groundwork Elizabeth. He is also co-director of The Climate Safe Neighborhood project. He built the first hydroponic greenhouse in Elizabeth, NJ at the Portuguese Instructive Social Club. John is a hydroponic specialist and educator, installing hydroponic systems and writing curriculum for these projects in schools throughout NJ. 

Program Director East Trenton Collaborative

Caitlin Fair

Caitlin is responsible for working collaboratively with community members and the ETC team to lead programming and initiatives that develop and revitalize the East Trenton neighborhood. She also oversees and manages operations, grants, and the on-going economic, physical and community development initiatives of ETC. Caitlin is a longtime community activist, both locally and nationally, and has been recognized for her commitment to the city of Trenton.

Vice President Princeton Hydro

Mark Gallagher

Mr. Gallagher has over 35 years of experience in environmental consulting, much of which has been devoted to habitat restoration. He has managed numerous wetland and habitat restoration projects. These projects covered a variety of project types including the enhancement of floodplains, hydrologic enhancement of wetlands, estuarine wetland creation and enhancement, urban wetlands and vernal habitat creation and enhancement.

Principal Watershed Protection Specialist NJ Water Supply Authority

Kathy Hale

Kathy is responsible for managing watershed protection and restoration projects, including in-stream and riparian buffer restoration projects, agricultural projects, and stormwater management projects.  Kathy has 27 years of experience in watershed management in New Jersey, including work in the private and public sectors. She served on the board of the NJ Section of AWRA for many years.

Program Manager of Policy and Planning Sustainable Jersey

Anne Heasly

Anne works with partners to develop policies and programs to assist local governments in implementing sustainable actions. Previously,  Anne worked on a range of planning and re-grant programs for Conservation Resources, Inc and was a conservation planner working primarily in the Delaware Bayshores and Pine Barrens with the New Jersey Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. 

Director of Policy and Research Chesapeake Legal Alliance

Evan Isaacson

As Director of Policy and Research, Evan helps provide strategic insight to CLA staff and volunteer attorneys based on legal, policy, and data-driven research and analysis. Evan also provides legal assistance to Maryland clients through CLA’s Direct Client Services Program. In his previous position at the Center for Progressive Reform, Evan advocated for rigorous implementation of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup plans and effective enforcement of the Clean Water Act.

Deputy Chief Advisor for Legal, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs NJ Department of Environmental Protection

Ryan Knapick

In this role, Ryan coordinates, directs, and leads high-value, priority NJDEP policy and regulatory initiatives on behalf of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner on issues such as climate change, environmental justice, water resource protection, multistate and Federal regulatory matters. As a Regulatory Officer for NJDEP’s Office of Legal Affairs in the past, he worked to develop and draft rulemaking documents for a wide range of issues, including PFAS, lead and copper, and underground storage caverns. 

Environmental Specialist 2 in Municipal Finance/Water Infrastructure NJ Department of Environmental Protection

Heather Knizhnik

Heather is an environmental reviewer of New Jersey Water Bank projects in the NJDEP Municipal Finance and Construction Element. She reviews a wide range of water infrastructure projects around New Jersey but specializes in green infrastructure projects in urban areas. She has also worked in the NJDEP’s Office of Environmental Justice, where she assisted in policy development and coordination of the NJDEP Environmental Justice Advisory Council (EJAC) membership.

Founder The Great Healthy Yard Project

Diane Lewis, MD

A recipient of the 2015 Advocate Award from Environmental Advocates of New York, the 2016 Environmental Champion from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the 2021 Margaret Douglas Medal recipient from the Garden Club of America. In 2018 The Great Healthy Yard Project began working with The Garden Club of America to decrease pesticide usage on yards and gardens across the U.S. and advocate for responsible drug disposal.

Evan M. Frankel Clinical Professor of Environmental Law Columbia Law School Environmental Law Clinic

Ed Lloyd

Since 2000 he has directed the Environmental Law Clinic at the Law School which represents environmental and community organizations in complex litigation that address the ecological challenges of our time. He is an activist and scholar with expertise and extensive experience in environmental and citizen suit litigation. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the Eastern Environmental Law Center, the sole public interest environmental law firm in New Jersey, and served on the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Environmental Litigation.

Director of Finance and Operatons Urban Promise Trenton

Eric Martin

Eric’s primary role is the Finance and Operations Director, but he also serves as the TrentonTrekkers Director. Eric holds degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Purdue University and an Executive Master of Nonprofit Administration (EMNA) from the University of Notre Dame. He taught environmental education at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, North Carolina Aquarium, and Chincoteague Bay Field Station and performed water quality testing in labs at the University of Notre Dame for 5 years.

Assistant Commissioner of Watershed and Land Management NJ Department of Environmental Protection

Vincent Mazzei

Vince was selected to lead the WLM program in June 2020. He is a licensed professional engineer and is regarded as an expert in flood risk analysis and mitigation. Vince authored New Jersey’s Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules, which are the most stringent statewide flood hazard area and stream corridor protection regulations in the nation and has a leading role in the development of NJPACT.

Delaware River Advocate The Watershed Institute

Kendra McKoy

A seasoned environmental professional with lab, field and education experience. Previously, Kendra worked at the Liberty Science Center as Senior STEM Educator and project lead for sustainability and climate change initiatives. Kendra is an NNOCCI certified climate interpreter. She now works on addressing water quality issues in under-resourced communities.

Chief of Operating Officer New Jersey Infrastructure Bank

Leigh Peterson

In her role, Leigh manages the business functions of the program to ensure that applicants with qualified projects are ushered through the review processes and succeed with project financing.  Leigh is also tasked with implementing new program initiatives with the goal of expanding the program. She is responsible for procurements of professional services related to the I-Bank’s water program and for ensuring compliance with its statutes and regulations.

Program Coordinator Sustainable Princeton

Josh Perlsweig

Josh joined Sustainable Princeton in 2021 in the new role of Program Coordinator where he supports the non-profit’s efforts to inspire the community to develop and implement solutions that positively impact the environment. He has previous experience in nonprofit administration and equity capital markets advisory. He lives in Bucks County, PA where he is an advocate for sustainable agriculture, including previous service on his township’s Farm Committee. 

Policy Director The Watershed Institute

Michael Pisauro, Esq.

Mike Pisauro is a practicing attorney with over 25 years of experience. As the Advocacy Director for The Watershed Institute, Mike engages with state and local officials to improve and protect New Jersey’s watersheds. Along with helping state officials update New Jersey’s stormwater management rules, he wrote The Watershed Institute’s enhanced model stormwater ordinance.

Executive Director New Jersey League of Conservation Voters

Ed Potosnak

Ed was awarded a highly competitive Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship to serve on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC where he crafted policies designed to improve our nation’s health and competitiveness. Ed is Chair of the Keep it Green Coalition working to sustain funding for the preservation and stewardship of New Jersey’s natural resources, and on the board of Sustainable Jersey.

Assistant Municipal Engineer Princeton, NJ

Jim Purcell

Jim Purcell is the Princeton Land Use Engineer and, in addition to reviewing site plans and subdivision plans, is responsible for ensuring compliance with Princeton’s storm water management ordinances on any development that increases impervious area on a lot by more than 400 square feet. Jim has over 40 years of engineering experience in civil engineering design, construction, and inspection. Jim is a licensed professional engineer in New Jersey and 5 other states.

Land Steward Mercer County Parks Commission

Alex Rivera

Alex Rivera is an environmental professional with a background in community engagement, economic development, workforce development, and recreation. He is interested in issues of park and environmental equity and how environmental assets improve outcomes for disinvested neighborhoods. 


NJ Licensed Tree Expert #457, ISA Certified Arborist Tupelo Tree Experts, LLC

Lisa Rosati

Lisa has spent twenty years working for both private and municipal clients performing environmental impact studies, wetland delineations, threatened & endangered species surveys, tree inventories, securing grants for land preservation, tree planting projects and inventories. She has written several municipal ordinances for the protection of trees and endangered species. Lisa consults as a NJ Licensed Tree Expert to assist municipalities with their Community Forestry Management Plans.

Environmental Supervisor at the Division of Land Use Regulation NJ Department of Environmental Protection

Patrick Ryan

Patrick supervises a permitting staff responsible for environmental reviews of wetlands, highlands, and flood hazard area permit applications for northern New Jersey. He has a M.S. in Ecology, with a Watershed Stewardship focus from Penn State University and a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Cook College, Rutgers University.

NJ Licensed Tree Expert and Certified Arborist Princeton Municipal Arborist

Taylor Sapudar

Taylor attended Mercer County Community College for Ornamental Horticulture and Rutgers University for Environmental Planning. He is currently enrolled in a master’s program at Oregon State University for Urban Forestry. Taylor has been an adjunct instructor in the Horticulture Department at Mercer County Community College, an arborist for a nationally known tree company, and worked for an engineering firm that worked directly with the NYC Parks Department.

Program Director People and Plants International

Patricia Shanley

Patricia Shanley, Ph.D. has thirty years of experience researching the value of forests to local livelihoods (and integrating traditional knowledge with science to empower communities) in the Amazon, Indonesia, and with inner city youth in the forests of New Jersey. She currently works for People and Plants International, the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and directs a forest stewardship program for youth with Ridgeview Conservancy.

Environmental Education Program Director Urban Promise Camden

Noilda Sousa

Noilda has a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from the Federal University of Paraiba, Brazil. During her college years, she left her home country for the first time in 2014 when she won a scholarship to study abroad at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Her goal is to promote sustainable environments and she believes that the first step for that to happen is by raising awareness especially among the youth.

Senior Director of Programs & Partnerships Trenton Health Team

Julia Taylor, AICP

Julia provides strategic oversight to the Trenton Health Team’s Community Advisory Board and its subcommittees and affinity groups, and manages a broad portfolio of work integrating public health and community development to address social determinants of health. Julia earned a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in History with a Certificate in American Studies from Princeton University.

Executive Director North Jersey RC&D

Laura Tessieri

As Executive Director of North Jersey RC&D (Resource Conservation & Development), Laura works alongside RC&D staff and partners to successfully implement the nonprofit’s agriculture and water quality mission and goals. Through multiple grants, RC&D programs include agricultural best management practice implementation, cover crop/no-till education and research, as well as, renewable energy assessments. Laura is a licensed professional engineer who graduated from Rutgers University.

Director of Science & Stewardship The Watershed Institute

Steve Tuorto, Ph.D

Steve joined The Watershed Institute staff in 2016, bringing with him an impressive background of lab and field research, data analysis, and reporting of environmental and ecological research. His mix of experiences in academia and the private sector include time working as senior R&D scientist at Terra Cycle. He has conducted research in a variety of ecosystems, including open-ocean, estuary, riverine, groundwater and permafrost.


Leah Yasenhcak, Ph.D., AICP/PP, CEcD

Leah Yasenchak is a nationally accredited and New Jersey state licensed planner and certified economic developer. With over 25 years working at both the federal and local level on planning and environmental restoration programs, Ms. Yasenchak has extensive experience with managing and implementing projects, managing and coordinating millions of dollars in federal, state, and local grants, technical review and oversight of brownfield projects, and more. 

Nov. 3 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Green Infrastructure and Floating Wetlands


Join our Science Team at The Watershed Institute to learn more about our Green Infrastructure features like rain gardens, stormwater meadows, and our green roof. Steve Tuorto, our Science Director, will show participants how these systems work within the Watershed’s ecosystem, how we maintain them, and some of the lessons learned/challenges we’ve had along the way. Steve will also showcase our new floating wetlands project at Rosedale Lake and touch on some of the other green infrastructure projects The Watershed Institute is involved in across the region.

Nov. 4 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Stewardship and Trails at The Watershed Reserve


Join our staff at The Watershed Institute to learn more about our reserve, trails, and history. Allison Jackson, our Stewardship Coordinator, will bring participants through our trails and talk about the stewardship activities that go into maintaining the various different kinds of habitat within the reserve. She will touch on the issues we have with invasives and what she is doing to try and maintain a canopy of natives within the reserve. Sophie Glovier, Assistant Policy Director, and author of “Walk the Trails in and Around Princeton,” will share her experiences on the trails. She will point out special points of interest and history.

Note: Our trails can get very wet! Make sure to bring appropriate, waterproof, footwear and dress for the weather. 

Register by Purchase Order

Many municipalities’ staff register for our events using purchase orders. Here are some simple instructions on how to register by purchase order.

  1. Send Pri a scanned copy of the purchase order. Please make sure to add the names of all prospective registrants, their job titles, and their emails
  2. Use the ‘pay later’ option at checkout to bypass payment at registration. Once the PO is processed and we receive a check, the balance will be adjusted.
  3. Pri will send you a signed copy of the purchase order back.

Guidelines to Hybrid

Our primary concern at The Watershed Institute is making virtual and in-person audiences feel like they interact with each other as if they were in the same room. Read about how we can all help make that happen.

Click here

Sponsor the Watershed Conference

Your sponsorship supports our mission to keep water clean, safe, and healthy.

This is a great opportunity to get your name out in front of hundreds of attendees including municipal leaders, engineers, watershed advocates, businesses, and community members who will need to work together across municipal boundaries to solve New Jersey’s environmental problems. Your sponsorship will help defray conference expenses and allow us to keep registration fees low. It will also provide scholarships for students and others requiring financial aid. A table will be reserved for all sponsors who support the conference at the $1,000 level or above.

To become a sponsor, please reach out to Pri Oliveira, The Watershed Institute’s Outreach Specialist, at [email protected] with the subject line: [Watershed Conference Sponsor]. You can also call 609-737-3735 ext. 27 with any questions.

Learn more about the different sponsor levels

Sponsorship Form

Tier I


  • 6 virtual registrations included
  • Company name, logo, and link on conference outreach emails
  • Company name, logo, and link on conference website
  • Company name and logo on event agenda and schedule portal

Tier II


  • 4 virtual registrations included
  • Company name, logo, and link on conference website
  • Company name and logo on event agenda

Tier III


  • 2 virtual registrations included
  • Company name and logo on event agenda

Thank You to Our Conference Sponsors


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