Hartford, CT – The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC) is pleased to announce Rhea Drozdenko as their new River Steward in Connecticut. With the addition of Rhea to the team, the CRC now has a River Steward serving each state within the Connecticut River watershed. 

“The Connecticut River has brought me so much joy and adventure over the years – so I am incredibly honored to have the opportunity to give back to the watershed that I care deeply about,” says Rhea. “In this role, I look forward to working with our many partners to protect the river, bringing awareness to the issues that our watershed faces, and reconnecting communities to the water. I’m excited to dive into this important work and make a difference!” 

The Connecticut River Conservancy (formerly the Connecticut River Watershed Council) was established in 1952 to serve as a “voice for the river.” They believe that clean, healthy, functional watersheds support healthy communities and economies and work to ensure that the Connecticut River and its four-state watershed is utilized in ways that are sustainable, accessible, and ecologically sound. While many know the CRC from the annual Source to Sea Volunteer River Clean-up, the CRC supports many other initiatives in CT. These include dam removals to restore habitat connectivity, floodplain restorations, community science initiatives to survey for species of conservation concern, invasive species removals, water quality monitoring, ensuring safe access for recreational activities, supporting resilient ecosystems in the face of climate change, and MUCH more. The River Stewards engage in public advocacy in support of CRC’s mission and collaborate with partners across all four states to protect and serve the River. Rhea will join Kate Buckman (NH), Kathy Urffer (VT), Kelsey Wentling (MA) in these efforts. 

“We are thrilled to have Rhea on staff.  Her community engagement experience will help us fulfill a key part of our mission,” noted Ron Rhodes, CRC’s acting Executive Director. “Rhea is a great addition to our team, and she has already hit the ground running working with our partners in Connecticut to implement various projects.”   

Rhea grew up in Torrington, CT and moved to Middletown, CT eight years ago. She can often be found reading a book in a hammock or picnicking with friends along the river. She went on her first multi-day canoe trip this summer, launching in Middletown, ending in Old Lyme and camping along the way. Rhea holds a BA in Sociology with a Civic Engagement Certificate, as well as a MALS in Social Sciences from Wesleyan University. Before joining CRC, she worked as a community engagement professional at Wesleyan University, getting college students more involved in the community and creating programming for local K-12 students. 

Rhea can be reached at rdrozdenko@ctriver.org.