STAFF & BOARD
Emily Scerbo (President)
As a water resources engineer, I know how human activities can have a major impact on rivers. When people are careless with trash, use too much water, or replace forest with pavement, you can see the effect on the river. But there is hope! As a direct result of Mass Rivers Alliance’s work, we have seen that rivers can be healed and brought back to life. This inspires me to keep working for change.
Paul Beaulieu (Secretary)
I grew up on rivers. They are my refuge and provide me solace during both good and trying times. I am proud to work with Mass Rivers Alliance- helping to ensure that our grandkids can also grow up on clean, healthy rivers.
I grew up on a polluted creek that drains into Lake Ontario. My friends and I swam in Irondequoit Creek regardless, but I always hoped to learn how the Creek might become safe for swimming. Mass Rivers brings science and advocacy together to restore and preserve essential waterways and communities that depend on them. The whole Commonwealth benefits from the work of MRA and the Alliance is a model for similar progress in other parts of the country (Listen up Irondequoit Creek community!)
West Roxbury, MA
With global warming and the associated environmental changes happening locally, I believe that Mass Rivers’ mission is more important than ever. It is an organization that I am passionate about and I am excited to bring my experience in marketing and technology to help further achieve its mission.
E. Heidi Ricci
I feel lucky to live in a state with so many beautiful streams, from little headwater rivulets to wide mainstem rivers. The Squannacook is my favorite - with native trout, emerald damselfies, and a clear flowing water over small rapids. I'm proud to be part of the Mass Rivers Alliance and to continue to contribute to the work of its many member organizations protecting our precious waterways.
Growing up along a coastal marsh I came to learn about and enjoy the diversity of wetland life. From fish to plants, bird life, crabs to mollusks; salt water, brackish, fresh, ocean, rivers, streams and ponds; these ecosystems blend into each other naturally. Mass Rivers supports both human communities and the abundant life within and along our waterways.
Mary Griffin (Vice President)
I really enjoy working with the MA Rivers Alliance because it is a key voice in advocating for our rivers, the wildlife that depend them, and the needs of the fabulous people and watershed associations that work so hard to protect them.
Rivers and watersheds are the lifeblood of our communities, supplying our drinking water, providing great ways to have fun outdoors and one of the best places to get respite from our busy lives. More than anything though rivers are marvels of the natural world where their variability, vulnerability and magnificence is on display everyday making me want to help protect them now and for the future.
I love rivers and streams -- large and small, rural and urban. I particularly love our urban rivers -- the lifeblood of the cities and a valuable resource for the people and wildlife who live there. I'm so impressed by the amazing work Mass Rivers has done to preserve and further those gains.
I love being both in and on the water, and marvel at how rivers connect us to each other in myriad ways. Serving on the Mass Rivers board is a source of great pride for me because we have become not only the leading advocate on Beacon Hill for rivers and streams, but we punch way above our weight in positively influencing legislation for the environment at large!
Rivers are amazing because they connect, flow, work, and change. They flow from mountains to coasts--and, in tides and floods, sometimes in reverse--connecting forests and farmers, fishers and boaters, mill towns and old factories, and urban and coastal expanses. They produce fish, hydropower, irrigation, and a host of local places so many of us consider part of our home. They are dynamic ecosystems of diverse animals, plants, and the power to transform landscapes. I serve on the Mass Rivers board because I love its mission to connect the different river and watershed groups across the state, to amplify their voice in Boston, and to work for rivers that do so much for all of us.
Andrea Franz (Treasurer)
As an avid kayaker I love all kinds of water - rivers, lakes, and the sea. Being on or near water is where I feel the most joy. As a Mass Rivers Board member my passion for water and the connectivity all the miles of rivers that flow through MA into the ocean is translated into actionable work. It is important to me to ensure our rivers are healthy and accessible for generations to come and I hope to bump into other river and clean water advocates during one of my many walks along the harbor riverfronts.
Ever since I was a kid, I've been fascinated by rivers as wild spaces that cut through, connect and reflect our communities whether those communities are out in the countryside or right in the city. With so many of us working to protect these places one river at a time, the Alliance keeps its eye on the big picture, bringing people together to advocate for things that all the rivers need to be healthy and vibrant.
Rivers are the only natural resources that connect communities, cultures, and countries. Rivers don't know political and legal boundaries. I am involved with Mass Rivers Alliance because we need such an organization to protect, restore, preserve, and conserve our natural resources. I am delighted to be a board member.
As a state environmental official, I realized that there was no statewide voice for the rivers. So many small (and sometimes large) groups seemed to be fighting their own lonely, David-and-Goliath battles, reinventing complicated wheels, to protect their local streams. In 2008, three of us teamed up to get this Alliance going - and now, coordination is happening to pass legislation! I love the community we helped create. Our rivers are cleaner and better protected. And really, doesn’t everything depend on water?
Rivers are the window through which understand the health of our waters – and therefore the health of our communities and our environment. Making sure rivers remain healthy and able to meet our communities needs' is one of the biggest challenges and biggest opportunities we face. Mass Rivers is the catalyst for bringing together people across the state helping to meet these challenges and make the most of these opportunities – which is why I’m proud to help lead this organization.