Coastal Rivers welcomes new trustees
Above: Coastal Rivers’ Annual Membership Celebration in July
Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust members voted in a slate of four new trustees at our annual membership celebration in July. Jennifer Atkinson, Malcolm Foster, Rod Melanson, and Dr. Emily Weiss were all elected, joining continuing trustees Josh Allan, Kelsey Gibbs, Matthew Hanly, Carol Lariviere, Kathy Leeman, Dennis McKenna, Gordon Morrell, Dru Sanford, Lee Schiller, and Ellen Wells.
A midcoast resident for 30 years, Jennifer Atkinson moved to Damariscotta with her family in 2017. As an Attorney with Gallagher, Villeneuve and DeGeer, she specializes in Immigration matters, but also provides legal representation in estate planning, corporations, and family law.
Jen began her career with the Conservation Law Foundation, and for over twenty years worked on ocean and coastal conservation issues at CLF and then later at the Quebec-Labrador Foundation. In both positions, she enjoyed the opportunity to partner with area land trusts, including, at the time, both Damariscotta River Association and Pemaquid Watershed Association, which unified in 2019 to form Coastal Rivers.
Malcolm Foster comes to Coastal Rivers with an extensive financial background. He was the Branch Manager of the Annapolis, Maryland office of A. G. Edwards & Sons for over 10 years, and finished his 35-year career with Wells Fargo Financial Advisors. In that time, he served as advisor to many non-profit organizations.
A resident of Damariscotta, Malcolm is passionate about protecting water quality on the Pemaquid Peninsula. When not tending his garden, he can usually be found fishing on Biscay Pond or chasing stripers down the Damariscotta River.
Rod Melanson has a long history with natural resource planning and management. He currently serves as the City of Bath’s Director of Sustainability & Environment, where he assists the community in developing plans and actions to prepare for a changing climate.
Prior to his role in Bath, Rod was the Director of Planning for the Town of Topsham, where he started his municipal planning career as their Natural Resource Planner. In that role, he developed plans to mitigate the impacts of sprawling development, most notably helping to create the state’s only municipal Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) to ensure vernal pool conservation.
With his cousin, Rod operates Heron Island Oysters, a small oyster farm on the Damariscotta River. He lives in Newcastle with his wife and two children (who, incidentally are Camp Mummichog alumni!)
South Bristol summer resident Dr. Emily Weiss is an Applied Animal Behaviorist who has worked with species as varied as lions, orangutans, elephants and Komodo dragons, as well dogs, cats and horses. A nationally recognized speaker, Emily has published extensively on topics related to applied animal behavior and human-animal interactions. She served as the ASPCA’s VP of Research & Development, overseeing groundbreaking research related to the animal sheltering field and developing assessment tools for shelter animals.
Recently retired from a career with the ASPCA, Emily has worked in the nonprofit sector for her entire career. She has a strong interest in exploring consistent creative and scientific approaches to the work of applied science as well as strategy development.
Just as we welcome our new trustees, we gratefully acknowledge the contributions of three long-time trustees whose terms have come to an end: Margaret Coit, Martha Lynch, and Tom Kronenberger. Margaret, Martha, and Tom represented the last of those trustees who served through the unification of Damariscotta River Association and Pemaquid Watershed Association that resulted in the formation of Coastal Rivers in 2019, and each contributed to the organization in valuable ways.