About Us > Our Team > Jen Benson

Jen Benson

Upriver/Mohawk Civics and Community Stewardship Coordinator


As the Upriver/Mohawk River Civics and Community Stewardship Coordinator, Jen works in the upper Hudson and Mohawk River watersheds to advocate to protect waterways, drinking water communities, and public access. As a new position at Riverkeeper, Jen looks forward to learning from and working with community members, organizations, and grassroots groups across the region. Jen will also continue her work as a co-lead of the Watchdog Program alongside her colleagues, Neale Gulley, Ramona Cearley, and Chirs Bellovary.

Prior to starting as the Upriver/Mohawk River Civics and Community Stewardship Coordinator in July 2021, Jen spent 5-years managing the Riverkeeper Sweep, Riverkeeper’s annual day of service for the Hudson River and its tributaries. Over 5-years, Jen coordinated partnerships with hundreds of volunteer Sweep Leaders who conducted more than 667 service projects where over 12,450 volunteers removed 189 tons of trash. She began at Riverkeeper in 2015 through a two-year position funded by the FAO Schwarz Fellowship Program and became a permanent staff member in August 2017.

Jen first began organizing as an undergraduate student at SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo where she coordinated Geneseo Environmental Organization, founded the Divest Geneseo campaign, and worked closely with Frack Free Genesee to educate the public about the threats of hydrofracking to local drinking water supplies and human health. Born, raised, and educated in the Finger Lakes region of western New York, Jen grew up along Canandaigua Lake, the drinking water supply for 48,000 residents. Her experiences in the Finger Lakes region inspired her interest in drinking source water protection, climate resiliency planning, and community engagement.

In addition to her work at Riverkeeper, Jen is also a Masters of Environmental Policy Candidate at the Bard College Center for Environmental Policy. Outside of her role at Riverkeeper and her graduate studies, Jen enjoys swimming in the Hudson River and hiking in the Catskills.

Contact Jen at 914-478-4501 ext. 234 or at [email protected].

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