September 2017: Clean Water Champion

PREP’s Clean Water Champion is a feature that profiles people and partners working to make a difference around our watershed. 

This month PREP is welcoming our new intern, Trevor Mattera to the team. Trevor will be working on a number of projects with PREP over the next year including the State of Our Estuaries report and conference, the Comprehensive Conservation & Management Plan update, the Piscataqua Region Environmental Planning Assessment, and many more. What better way to learn more about Trevor than as our Clean Water Champion this month.

How long have you been a champion for clean water/healthy environment?
A healthy environment has been important to me since I was a little boy, when I would collect pieces of trash to be thrown out during family trips to the beach. I have always been fascinated with the natural world and our connection with it.

How did you get started in protecting clean water/shorelands/coasts?
My wife and I moved to the island of St. Kitts in 2011, where I started volunteering for the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN), a local NGO focused on sea turtle conservation. This eventually became a position within the organization, allowing me to lead field work and collaborate with government agencies and local communities.

What is your favorite thing to do with or on the water?
Although kayaking would be a very close second, my favorite activity on the water has to be snorkeling. I love the freedom I have while completely immersing myself in a new environment, and being able to become a part of the underwater world. Snorkeling offers a perspective that is hard to get anywhere else.

What has been your proudest moment as a clean water Champion?
There have been so many great moments during my time as a Clean Water Champion. However, my proudest achievement has been turning my passion into my career. From SKSTMN to my new position with PREP, I have been so fortunate for the opportunities I have been given to make a difference.

What is one simple thing you would tell someone to do to protect the places around the Seacoast they love?
Get involved! There are so many great people and organizations doing fantastic work in our state that can really use your help. Plus, volunteering often leads to experiences that you would never otherwise have. So get connected, get out, and explore!

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.