Watershed Welcomes New Staff

March 10th, 2020

The Watershed Institute welcomes three new staff members in the areas of policy, education and public outreach who are assisting in the Watershed’s mission of keeping water clean, safe and healthy.

Jennifer Helminski is the Delaware River Advocate working with communities from Lambertville to Trenton to protect and activate interest in the Delaware River and its local tributaries. She focuses on the greater Trenton region by building partnerships and expanding the impact of the Watershed.

A 2018 graduate from Rutgers University, Jennifer has published research with the Rutgers Climate Institute and served as an AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Prior to completing her bachelor’s degree, she worked for several years in animal care roles including as a dolphin trainer in the Florida Keys. She was born in Union County and enjoys art, poetry, herbalism and kayaking in her spare time.

Pri Oliveira is the policy Outreach Specialist who coordinates grants, educational and professional development workshops, and capacity building for watershed organizations around the state. She also helps manage the New Jersey Council of Watershed Association, a group of watershed organizations that present a unified voice on issues, policies, and actions that affect watersheds.

Originally from Middlesex County, she graduated from Rutgers University in 2017 and then joined FEMA Corps, an AmeriCorps program that is partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Next, she worked at FEMA as an environmental specialist in Puerto Rico and did federal environmental reviews for emergency response and restoration projects. When she’s not at the Watershed, she is studying for her master’s degree in natural resources management and enjoys playing the piano.


Yesenia Feliciano is a Watershed Educator who teaches at the Watershed’s public programs, school programs, and events. This summer, she will be one of the teachers at the Watershed Academy for High School Students.  

Yesenia grew up in Perth Amboy and graduated from Stockton University in 2015. She moved to Savannah, Georgia, for a Marine Science Education Internship at the UGA Marine Extension Aquarium where she taught school programs for grades K-12. She also helped plan and facilitate the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit for teens. In her spare time, she enjoys art, singing and volunteering with youth and teens in her church.

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