The Youghiogheny River Watershed Association was established as a501c3 not for profit corporation in 2000 to address issues that impact the watershed. The watershed encompasses approximately two-thirds of Garrett County, running south to north from near Crellin, MD past Friendsville, MD to Pennsylvania, and east to west from the West Virginia border to Backbone Mountain, or about 397 square miles. The YRWA has as its mission: “a local organization of environmentally conscious people striving to promote, enhance, and restore the watershed for all aspects of life.” As with many communities with a history of mining, several of Garrett County’s smaller towns are suffering losses of residents and businesses, and exporting young families out-of the-area for jobs and opportunities. Housing in some cases has deteriorated. Water quality is continuing to demonstrate problems in some communities. The mission of the YRWA includes a focus on environmental issues, and the VISTA will work through an environmental focus to expand potential of employment in such areas as environmental education, environmental protection, environmental mitigation, and environmental remediation. The YRWA has been very active in conducting water quality monitoring throughout the watershed in preparation for Marcellus gas development. This water quality monitoring has been accomplished through recruiting volunteers, and with training and a database developed in cooperation and coordination with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Maryland Department of Environment. As with many communities with a history of mining, several of Garrett County’s smaller towns are suffering losses of residents and businesses, and exporting young families out-of the-area for jobs and opportunities. Housing in some cases has deteriorated. Water quality is continuing to demonstrate problems in some communities.
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Member Duties : Assist the YRWA Board of Directors, assist with developing strategies to better educate the community on the challenges and opportunities impacting the Youghiogheny River Watershed. Capacity development is a priority, with activities focused around: 1. Developing an annual “State of the Watershed” that articulates the environmental issues and the economic challenges and opportunities that are available; 2. Engage and develop further the existing “Marcellus Stream Monitoring Volunteer Effort”; 3. Engage governmental and non-governmental interest groups to better identify overarching challenges and opportunities in the watershed; 4. Develop and implement educational initiatives for three target audiences (adults and young adults, school pupils, interest groups; 5. Assist with fundraising efforts to increase the capacity, capability, and future funding of the position and the YRWA.
|Program Benefits : Professional development funds , Living Allowance , Education award upon successful completion of service , Relocation Allowance , Stipend , Health Coverage* , Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend , Training .|
|*For details about AmeriCorps VISTA healthcare benefits, please visit http://www.vistacampus.gov/healthcare|
Permits working at another job during off hours , Permits attendance at school during off hours , Car recommended .
|Service Areas :|
Community and Economic Development , Environment .
Fine Arts/Crafts , Community Organization , Fund raising/Grant Writing , Capacity Building , Environment , Business/Entrepreneur , Public Speaking , Education .