By John Burton
TRENTON – The opportunity to be on the forefront of environmental work awaits those wanting to work for nearly a year with federal and state environmental organizations.
The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced that the federal AmeriCorps program is accepting applications for 20 slots for the next New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program. Interested applicants have until Aug. 30 to apply for the 20 spots.
The program’s aim is to allow young people to work to improve the quality of the state’s waterways. Participants work around the state on supporting community-based environmental activities and to inform the public of ways they can improve the state’s watersheds.
Selected ambassadors are expected to complete 1,700 hours of service over a 10- to 11-month period. In return they will earn up to a $12,100 living stipend over the course of that period and get formal training prior to and during their course of their service.
Ambassadors also may be eligible for health benefits during that time and will receive an education award of $5,500. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, have a bachelor’s degree, a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation to get to and from field sites.
The DEP began hosting the AmeriCorps project in 2000. The state program recently was awarded $260,000 for 2014.
Those interested can apply online at www.nj.gov/dep/wms/bear/recruit.htm.