Merrimack River Watershed Council Retains Rogers as Executive Director of Advocacy Group

Merrimack River Watershed Council Executive Director Curt Rogers. (Courtesy photograph.)

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Curt Rogers has joined the Merrimack River Watershed Council as executive director.

Rogers succeeds Matthew Thorne who stepped down last August after two and a half years of service.

“We are excited to have Curt join the MRWC team,” said board President Sarah Boehm. “Curt’s experience leading other nonprofit organizations will be an asset as he works with our staff, board and volunteers to make a positive impact in the watershed.”

Rogers brings more than 20 years of nonprofit executive director experience to the Watershed Council, with in-depth experience in strategic leadership, financial and program management, community engagement and policy advocacy.

He founded and grew the Massachusetts state-wide GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project to a $1 million organization, created pioneering new programing, built a robust volunteer network and helped secure the first congressionally-passed LGBT non-discrimination provision. Rogers has a highly successful track record of securing and managing federal and state contracts. He also led the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society during a transition period.

Rogers said in a statement that he seeks to “leverage and support the highly respected expertise of our dedicated staff to bring MRWC’s work to a new level – and a healthier, cleaner river.”

Rogers joins the council at a time when the Merrimack is at a crossroads, a statement said, noting “it is far cleaner than it once was, but it faces a new slate of pollution challenges fueled by rapid development, climate change and new types of contaminants that scientists and environmentalists are just starting to identify and understand.”

The Watershed Council said the once-heavily polluted Merrimack has undergone a remarkable recovery in recent decades. It is now home to a healthy population of wildlife, such as shortnosed sturgeon and bald eagles. It also provides drinking water to over 600,000 people and has become the centerpiece of economic revitalization in cities such as Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell and Manchester. It adds, however, the river also faces significant challenges from the impacts of climate change, rapid development, sewage discharges, polluted stormwater and emerging contaminants such as microplastics, pharmaceutical waste and PFAS “forever chemicals.” The Merrimack is ranked as one of the nation’s top 10 Most Endangered Rivers by the U.S. Forest Service.

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