Emily Shosh hired as Regional Director for Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association in Northern Tier
Emily Shosh, of Coudersport, was recently hired by the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association as a new part-time Regional Director for the Northern Tier area of the watershed.
“The role was developed as a way to create better connection with the region as we intentionally look to represent the specific needs of these vital headwaters areas that feed the Susquehanna’s river basin,” said Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper John Zaktansky.
“Emily’s track record in the region is impressive and she is truly dedicated to protecting and promoting our natural resources. She is driven and independent and going to be a real asset for our association, but more importantly, the people of the Northern Tier area as we work together to make a difference in this corner of the watershed.”
“When I am out fishing, I’ll see a culvert and think, ‘that’s an undersized aquatic organism passage barrier’ or I’ll be the one in our hiking group to first notice the invasive plant communities rather than always see the good stuff first – I try to find the balance. One positive is that our landscape can be a lot more resilient than we realize.”
Shosh notes that our waterways are under siege to a number of issues, including abandoned mine drainage, something she is more aware of coming from a family with a history of coal mining.
While some of the industrial impacts may not be as apparent in the areas she serves now in her full-time role as Potter County Conservation District’s Communications and Outreach Advisor, there are many changes she is working to stay ahead ahead of, including impacts by invasive species.
“I am really tuned into re-establishing native plants – both in riparian and upland plantings. I have been working with farmers to help with native plants and sedimentation issues,” she said, adding that she is also the secretary of the state’s Native Fish Coalition. “Brook trout are our only true native species.”
Shosh is a huge advocate, as well, for environmental education, feeling it is the foundation for changing societal norms.
“If we can get people to care about and be more connected to the environment, you get this trickle-down effect. However, it takes quite a mindful approach, which is something I am quite a nerd for,” she said. “I always try to have the follow-through with the proper resources to empower students to make changes in their backyard and then beyond.”
Shosh urges people to be mindful of their non-point source pollution impacts and prevent any potential avenues for this. She also is an advocate of installing rain barrels around homes, reduce use of nutrients on lawns and not mowing “every square inch that you own.
“Forest landowners can manage lands for invasive species and be mindful to manage any springs or streams on their properties properly,” Shosh said. “Re-establishing native plants, monitoring what trees are doing what and watching for infestation of insects or invasive plants is a good way to be a good steward of your land.”
Shosh is excited to connect with watershed groups in the region, helping them build stronger ties with the community and with the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association to tackle various projects and find new resources.
“I am open to in-person visitations, attending evening meetings or scheduling things virtually,” she said. “I like to meet people on their own turf – it has been a main goal of mine professionally the past six to seven years and I am excited in this new role to grow the reach of the association and to help local groups get more resources. I think there are a lot of new opportunities here.”
You can contact Shosh directly at MSRKANorthernTier@gmail.com
The Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association is looking to hire a Regional Director in the upper North Branch area of the Susquehanna River watershed. Learn more about that position here.
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.