New Jersey Youth Corps Puts Aquatic Restoration Training to Use with Audubon

17-year-old Omari Gibson of Phillipsburg smiles as he works in the stream, saying it’s their way of giving back. Photo credit:

They were in the classroom on Tuesday and in the water by Thursday. Less than 48 hours after completing an innovative online-delivered aquatic restoration course, members of the New Jersey Youth Corps Phillipsburg chapter were up to their knees in a Musky River feeder stream putting their new found expertise to work.

The youth corps members joined local volunteers from New Jersey Audubon in a sustainable stream bank restoration. The group hand-planted willow stakes along the waterway that when grown will prevent soil erosion into the stream while providing shade that will help keep the water cool and protect valuable habitat for wildlife.’s Warren reporter Emily Cummins quotes Zach Oefelein, an 18 year-old corps member as saying “It definitely gives me a good sense of pride. There aren’t enough people focused on things like this. A lot of our world is focused on what you can get out of nature and not what you can put back into it. I feel like this is the best way you can do it, planting trees out here and improving the ecosystem.”

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