The Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC) and the Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC) have partnered to welcome Jessica Richter, a new Eco AmeriCorps member to a year of service in the Upper Connecticut River Valley. Jessica recently graduated from Eckerd College and is a skilled and passionate advocate who will contribute her diverse of skills to helping our two organizations improve the region’s water quality.

Jessica will assist in water quality monitoring and sampling in the region. She will collect samples, transport samples to testing laboratories, and perform data entry and management to determine nutrient levels in surface waters. Jessica will also develop a water quality monitoring volunteer training to assist the Ottauquechee River Group.

Jessica will also conduct road erosion inventories of hydrologically connected road segments that border rivers, streams, and brooks in the Towns of Braintree, Chelsea, Pittsfield, Granville, Hancock, Randolph, Sharon, and Vershire. Jessica will analyze structural integrity and capacity of culverts, erosion locations, vegetated streambank areas, road resurfacing techniques, and will identify potential for future projects to reduce erosion. Jessica will lend her assistance to municipalities to develop road stormwater management plans that prioritize road related projects for Towns to implement. These projects will improve water quality by reducing sedimentation while reducing long-term road maintenance practices and associated costs.

Jessica will also focus her skills on developing water quality improvement and restoration projects based on existing assessments and studies. She will work with the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Tactical Basin Planners to identify landowners of water quality improvement projects, to conduct outreach to those landowners, and to manage and implement projects. Example projects likely include riparian buffer plantings with farmers, municipalities and other landowners, which would consist of ordering trees, coordinating volunteers, and planting trees!

We look forward to welcoming you at the end of September!