Clean Water Champion: Rob Wofchuck

This month we’re happy to feature Chair of the Brentwood Conservation Commission, Rob Wofchuck. Rob was born in New Jersey and moved to Brentwood in 2004 and immediately joined the Conservation Commission. Rob also served on the town Planning Board and as the picture below shows, he’s an avid fisherman. He is involved with Great Bay Trout Unlimited and currently on the Board of Three Rivers Stocking Association as well as serves on the land protection committee for the Southeast Land Trust. Rob uses much of his free time to serve his community – for free – and for that he’s a model of what it is to be a Clean Water Champion!

Rob Wofchuck

 

PREPHow long have you been a champion for clean water?
Rob: I moved to New Hampshire in 2004 and soon after joined the Conservation Commission. I soon learned that the year before, the town had passed a $2 million open space bond and today, roughly 20% of the town is under conservation easements including much of the Exeter River corridor.

PREP: How’d you get started in protecting clean water?
Rob: When I moved to NH, I took up fly fishing and would frequently go out in the mornings on the Exeter River and other local rivers. One morning while I was on the river watching a Great Blue Heron out fish me for yet another day, I realized that our rivers are a true gem and that we need to do everything we can to protect them so future generations can enjoy them like we do. I became involved in Great Bay Trout Unlimited to learn more about protecting the rivers and streams in the Seacoast.

PREP: What’s your favorite thing to do with or on water?
Rob: Fishing is my passion. I grew up in the Garden State (yes, that is New Jersey) and can remember as a little kid fishing with my dad and older brother on local ponds and later going out on party boats from Belmar for striped bass and bluefish.  I also like to go sailing on other people’s boats and enjoy kayaking and swimming in the Exeter River

PREPWhat’s been your proudest moment as a clean water champion?
Rob: My proudest moment was in 2010 when the residents of Brentwood passed one of the first Stormwater Ordinances in the state. With the help of a PREP grant and Bill Arcieri from VHB, the town was able to craft a meaningful ordinance, based on the state model,  that balanced the needs of the town with the needs to protect our water resources.

PREP: What’s one simple thing you would tell somebody to do to protect the places around the Seacoast they love?
Rob: Every little bit helps!   Use the resources available through your town conservation commission, UNH or other local organizations to learn what you can do to help. It can be as simple as picking up the litter in front of your house, cleaning your septic tank, managing your property for wildlife or installing a small rain garden on your property to soak up the rain.

PREP is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program, a joint program between local, state and federal agencies established under the Clean Water Act with the goal of protecting and enhancing nationally significant estuarine resources. PREP is supported in part by an EPA matching grant and is housed within the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering at the University of New Hampshire.

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