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A passion for water quality, driven by experience

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Born and raised in Newburgh, I am personally familiar with the range of pollution threats that plague the Hudson Valley. I am especially knowledgeable about perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), a “forever chemical,” to which I was exposed while growing up drinking tainted water and now test positive for elevated blood levels.

This experience drives my passion and commitment to a career related to the protection of water quality. This summer, I am working with Riverkeeper as the new Government Affairs Fellow.

Currently, I am heading into my second year as a M.S. Environmental Science and Policy candidate at Pace University in Pleasantville. During my first year in the M.S. Environmental Science and Policy program, I was involved in two relevant projects. As a Graduate Assistant I worked with professors from the Environmental Studies and Science department conducting research on lake water quality in the Yorktown area. More specifically, I conducted water quality tests and researched other town lake management plans to identify best practices. As a policy intern for the Blue CoLab at Pace University under Director (and former Riverkeeper) John Cronin, I researched policy for state law reform to expand the consumer’s right to know the quality of their drinking water before drinking it. Through my work at the Blue CoLab, I prepared for and participated in a lobbying meeting with legislators on consumer right to know.

I graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz in December 2020 where I majored in Political Science and minored in Environmental Studies. Since February 2021, I have served as a volunteer member on the Village of New Paltz Environmental Policy Board, which reviews and critically assesses local resolutions and state legislation. Through my work with the board, I have participated in monthly meetings with other board members and engaged with numerous stakeholders.

In my new role as Government Affairs Fellow, I am most excited to assist Riverkeeper with advocating for the NY-NJ Watershed Protection Act (H.R. 4677/S.3484), a bill which could provide up to $50 million in federal funding annually through 2026 for protection and restoration of the Hudson-Raritan Estuary. I am also looking forward to learning more in depth about the environmental issues that affect the Hudson Valley and how to become a more effective policy advocate for these issues.

After graduation from Pace University, I will search for a career in water policy and advocate for clean water, which has become my passion due to my personal experience with PFOS growing up in Newburgh.

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