The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association has been working to protect and restore water and the environment in central New Jersey since 1949 through conservation, advocacy, science and education. This month, the organization welcomed a new Science Director, Steve Tuorto, of Hopewell Township to their team of environmental experts.
“Science is integral to the Watershed Association’s mission of protecting clean water and the environment in central New Jersey,” said Jim Waltman, Watershed Association Executive Director. “Steve is a great addition to our team and brings a wide range of expertise to oversee our water quality monitoring program, stream restoration efforts and other science-based initiatives.”
Tuorto brings an impressive background of lab and field research, data analysis, and reporting of environmental and ecological research to the Watershed Association. His mix of experiences in academia and the private sector include time working as senior R&D scientist at Terra Cycle. He received his PhD from Rutgers University in 2008 in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences and has conducted research in a variety of ecosystems, including open-ocean, estuary, riverine, groundwater and permafrost.
The Watershed science department operates a longstanding volunteer based StreamWatch program that collects biological, chemical and bacterial water quality data at 40 sites throughout central New Jersey. The data has helped the Watershed Association track the health of the region’s streams. The information is shared with citizens and officials to help address pollution of the region’s waterways.
The Watershed Association has restored thousands of feet of streambank through more than 40 restoration projects. The continued efforts of the Watershed’s River-Friendly initiatives work to certify and educate residents, schools, businesses and golf courses on safe water management practices and behaviors. The Watershed Center and Reserve serve as a hub for ongoing conservation research and education. Tuorto also joins the Watershed Association at the start of a new initiative called TapWatch, a take home water testing service for residents concerned about municipal and well water contaminants such as lead and arsenic.
Tuorto resides in Hopewell Township with his wife, a Montessori teacher, and two young children. For more information about the staff and science programs at the Watershed Center, visit www.thewatershed.org.