About the Stewardship Council

About the Wood-Pawcatuck Wild and Scenic Rivers Stewardship Council

The Stewardship Council is a key ingredient in the long term protection of these Rivers. Representatives from the watershed will be sitting around the table regularly, discussing issues and solutions regarding it’s Rivers. Updates will regularly be made back to appointing bodies, such as municipalities, state environmental agencies and conservation organizations. Each of these groups adopted The Stewardship Plan, which will be implemented by this Stewardship Council and various partners.

The Wood-Pawcatuck Wild and Scenic Rivers Stewardship Council was established in early 2019 with representatives from the twelve towns in the watershed, along with state agency and other non-profit conservation organizations.  Members for the Stewardship Council were sought from the towns of Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, North Kingstown, Richmond, South Kingstown, West Greenwich and Westerly in Rhode Island and North Stonington, Sterling, Stonington, and Voluntown in Connecticut through a public application process open to all communities’ residents.  The Stewardship Council also includes representatives of the RI and CT environmental agencies, Narragansett Indian Tribe, Save the Bay and the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association.  Up to two council members (representative and alternate) are appointed by each Town Council, Board of Selectmen, State Department or supporting conservation organization. Council members represent a broad range of expertise and interests related to protecting and enhancing the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed.

Funding from the National Park Service Partnership Wild & Scenic Rivers Program is controlled and managed by the Stewardship Council, but held by the Wood Pawcatuck Watershed Association (WPWA).  As a 501-c-3 not for profit entity with legal standing as the designated Watershed Council, WPWA is a natural fit to be legally responsible for contracting and administering the Wild and Scenic River federal funding.  Other benefits afforded by this partnership include co-location as well as shared administrative and personnel resources.

Wood-Pawcatuck Wild and Scenic Rivers Stewardship Council members:

Members Representing Towns:

  • Robert J Maietta, Charlestown, RI (Information and Education Committee)
  • Nan Quinlan, Exeter, RI (Stewardship Projects Committee)
  • Clifford (Chip) Heil, Hopkinton, RI (Council Vice-Chair, Advisory Committee)
  • David Augustyn, Hopkinton, RI (Advisory Committee)
  • Ahren Cohen, North Kingstown, RI (Council Treasurer)
  • James LeBlanc, North Kingstown, RI
  • Madeline Jeffery, North Stonington, CT (Stewardship Projects Committee)
  • Elaine Caldarone, North Stonington, CT (Stewardship Projects Committee)
  • Antonia Bryson, Richmond, RI (Advisory Committee Co-chair)
  • Peter August, Richmond, RI (Information and Education Committee)
  • Roger Gibson, Sterling, CT
  • Kim Gunn, Sterling, CT
  • Fred Wagner, Stonington, CT (Advisory and Bylaws Committees)
  • Sara Baker, Stonington, CT (Information and Education Committee)
  • Mark “Skipp” Oulton, Voluntown, CT
  • Christopher Grube, West Greenwich, RI (Council Chair, Advisory Committee Co-chair and Bylaws Committee)
  • Patricia Lardner, West Greenwich, RI (Information and Education Committee)
  • Richard Smith, Westerly, RI

Member Agencies:

Wild and Scenic Rivers Interim Coordinator: Casey Merkle

The Wood-Pawcatuck Wild and Scenic Rivers Stewardship Council began meeting in May of 2019.  Meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of almost every month from 5 pm to 7 pm virtually or at the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association Campus, 203 Arcadia Road, Hope Valley, RI 02832. Meeting agendas and minutes from past meetings are available on this website. All meetings are open to the public. For information about upcoming meetings, contact the Wild and Scenic Rivers Coordinator at WPWildRivers@wpwa.org

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