On Tuesday, January 31, in honor of World Wetlands Day 2023, the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy (JBRPC) announced the creation of the Jamaica Bay Wetlands Fellowship. This Fellowship will train the next generation of wetlands managers by defining new career paths for young people in the vibrant communities surrounding Jamaica Bay. The Fellowship is a paid 6-month workforce development and job training program for young adults (ages 18–25) focused on skills related to wetlands maintenance, monitoring, and restoration. The program will offer hands-on experience maintaining, restoring, and monitoring one of the region’s most important and dynamic ecosystems–Jamaica Bay.
“Jamaica Bay faces a dual threat,” Tom Secunda, Chairman of JBRPC, said. “First, over 2,000 acres of marsh islands have disappeared from Jamaica Bay since 1924, leaving local neighborhoods unprotected from storm surge and sea level rise. Second, communities around the Bay face social, economic, and physical barriers to opportunities for employment, education, and recreation. JBRPC’s Wetlands Fellowship is stepping in to meet natural resource management needs while also meeting the community need for youth engagement, education, and career opportunity.”
“JBRPC knows first-hand that maintenance is essential for nature-based wetlands projects to succeed on a long-term basis. JBRPC will use the Fellowship as a laboratory to address the lack of wetlands training and professional-level jobs, the undervaluing of maintenance and local stakeholder knowledge, and the lack of a field-tested curriculum for skilled maintenance work in urban wetland environments.” said Terri Carta, Executive Director of JBRPC.
The Fellowship is accepting applications through February 13, 2023. More information is available here: https://www.jbrpc.org/fellowship.
JBRPC also invites all aspiring park stewards to join for a shoreline clean-up at Canarsie Pier on Saturday, February 4. Dress warmly! Hot Chocolate and JBRPC beanies will be provided! More information on the cleanup is available here: https://WorldWetlandsDayCleanup.eventbrite.com