PRWC Announces Carol Haskins as Executive Director
After serving more than ten years as Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition’s (PRWC) Outreach Director, PRWC’s Board of Directors is delighted to announce that, as of August 1, Carol Haskins will now lead the organization as its Executive Director. PRWC is a Woodbury-based, not-for-profit organization that uses science to understand how our human activity impacts the quality and quantity of water both in our rivers and in the underground aquifers. That understanding is shared with the community to find tangible ways to ensure plentiful high quality water in the Pomperaug Watershed communities for future generations. Gail McTaggart, PRWC Board Chair, said “We are beyond thrilled to have Carol step into this leadership position. She came to the organization with an outstanding skill set and we have continued to see her grow as a professional. We recognize her strengths in project management, fundraising, watershed science, communication, and education and how she has furthered PRWC’s mission.” Haskins first joined PRWC in 2008 after completing her Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England and brought with her a wide array of experience from her work as a watershed educator, research assistant, and environmental analyst with agencies including the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Portland Water District (ME), Maine Center for Disease Control, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center (VT), and MHS Associates (NH). In her tenure with PRWC, Haskins has implemented, grown, and sustained a wide variety of the organization’s activities including its educational programs both in-schools and in the community, stream monitoring efforts like the newly launched bacteria monitoring program, and volunteer stewardship opportunities like the stormdrain marking and rain garden planning projects. Her most recent accomplishments include facilitating the adoption of the Pomperaug Watershed Based Plan (now in its implementation phase), creating PRWC’s Youth Conservation Corps which hires area teens to work on local conservation projects, and developing a water conservation curriculum that reached approximately 1,200 third-grade students across Connecticut last year. Haskins’ extraordinary contributions to river education and community engagement have been widely recognized. In 2013, Carol was honored with the North West Conservation District "Conservation Educator Award" and in 2014 she was awarded the "River Conservation Leadership Award" from the Housatonic Valley Association. In 2015, Carol was a leader in the RiverSmart CT partnership, which received Connecticut Community Foundation’s inaugural “Trustee Fund Award” created to recognize exceptional collaboration that benefits the community. Ann Feinberg, Board Vice-Chair, commented that “these awards underscore Carol’s inherent love for rivers and the natural world and her ability to connect with people in the community around these precious resources, which is why we are so excited to have her serve as Executive Director.” Looking back, Carol was first drawn to PRWC by the organization’s record of using scientific data to ensure the quality and quantity of water in the Pomperaug River and Aquifer and by their efforts to convey that science to the community. Carol noted, “I was excited to join PRWC’s team because it allowed me to wear my two favorite hats – one as educator, the other as scientist. I was also excited to integrate program ideas from my previous watershed work.” Looking ahead, Haskins is committed to furthering local and state protections to water resources by supporting implementation of the Low Flow Operations Plan, serving as a new member of the Connecticut’s Water Planning Council Advisory Group, leading implementation of the Pomperaug Watershed Based Plan, expanding local stream monitoring efforts and watershed education programs, and continuing to cultivate the next generation of environmental stewards. Haskins said, “I am honored to carry forth the mission and vision set by Marc Taylor, Dick Leavenworth, and Larry Pond, PRWC’s founders. I was fortunate to work alongside them when I first joined PRWC, to help shape this mission, and will do my best to stay true to the guiding principles they established.” Those principles are to be responsive to emerging community issues and needs; rely on sound evidence-based science; constructively engage and collaborate with stakeholders; provide objective and nonpartisan presentation of relevant facts; and be a leader in innovative and responsible environmental stewardship. Please join PRWC in welcoming Carol into this new role while celebrating and helping to protect your rivers and drinking water by attending PRWC’s annual benefit. Cocktail Brunch by the Pond is set for Sunday September 22 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Woodbury Barns and Farm, 557 Main Street South, Woodbury. Tickets are $75 per person and it is recommended that they be purchased in advance at www.pomperaug.org or by calling 203-263-0076. All proceeds for the event support the work of PRWC.