Special Message from Board Chair, Sally Davidson

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 8:04am

Dear Friends,

I’m writing today to give you the news that in his tenth year as Potomac Riverkeeper and head of our organization, Ed Merrifield is announcing he’ll be retiring at the end of the year. Under Ed’s tenure, Potomac Riverkeeper has become a leading organization in the enforcement of clean water laws and the restoration of our rivers and streams. Whether it’s removing lead from Great Seneca Creek, reducing discharges from wastewater treatment plants or stopping pollution from construction sites, Ed has had multiple successes every year he has worn the Riverkeeper hat. He also has been a force behind regulatory and law reform, sometimes to the frustration of public officials, but always to the benefit of our waterways.

To do this work, Ed built a team that now plays significant roles in all parts of our watershed, and managed an extensive network of pro bono attorneys from local university law clinics, nonprofit legal services organizations, and private law firms. In addition, Ed successfully built a wide ranging membership base and expanded partnerships with key private foundations, public agencies, and a growing list of fellow local Waterkeepers.

Looking to the future, I am confident that Potomac Riverkeeper, with its remarkably dedicated staff and board, will play an ever more important leadership role in stopping pollution and restoring clean water in our rivers and streams. The Board of Directors formed a search committee which has started a formal search for a new Riverkeeper.

I know I’m not alone when I say it’s been an honor and pleasure to work with Ed and we are very sorry to see him go.  But as he is fond of reminding me, he isn't going anywhere, so I’m sure Ed will continue to be an important presence in the protection and restoration of our local waterways.

To Ed, I would like to say, you truly are the voice of the river.

Sally Davidson, Chair, Potomac Riverkeeper Board of Directors