Greenfield, MA. June 17, 2008 — The Connecticut River Watershed Council has hired Richard J. Ewald as its first Director of Planning and Development.  Ewald, of Westminster, Vermont, was chosen at the end of three month search that produced applicants from across New England.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to find someone of Richard’s caliber,” says CRWC Executive Director Chelsea Gwyther, “Richard has an extensive knowledge of Connecticut Valley history and river protection issues.  That knowledge will be invaluable in engaging our supporters and increasing the Council’s ability to preserve our natural heritage.”

Richard Ewald is also author of “Proud to Live Here in the Connecticut River Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire,” a book about environmental and cultural resource protection published in 2003.  He was one of the nominating authors that helped the Connecticut get designated as one of just 14 American Heritage Rivers in the nation.

Ewald comes to the Watershed Council after working in Bellows Falls, Vermont, where he served for five years as Community Development Director for the Town of Rockingham. Previous to that he was executive director of two Bellows Falls-based non-profits whose missions involved economic development and downtown revitalization. As a consultant, he helped to create the Connecticut River Scenic Byway, a federally-designated two-state corridor covering the most northerly 270 miles of the river. Ewald holds an M.S. from the University of Vermont.

Ewald will handle a broad sweep of issues in the Watershed Council’s new role.  According to Gwyther, the Council currently has front burner projects that include its appeal of the river temperature increase recently granted to owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant; the building of a community water quality testing lab at its Greenfield, MA, headquarters; and ongoing urban sewage cleanup campaigns in the Hartford, CT and Springfield, MA, metropolitan areas.  The Council’s new Director of Planning and Development is set to arrive on the job in Greenfield on Monday, July 7th. “We’re thrilled to welcome him,” Gwyther says.

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Connecticut River Watershed Council has been a non-profit advocate for the 11,000 square-mile watershed of the Connecticut River emphasizing fisheries restoration, erosion prevention, land conservation, and water quality since 1952.  For more information about our mission and work, please visit www.ctriver.org.