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ABOUT US

Upstream Watch is a group of small business owners, educators, scientists, farmers, artists, historians, civil servants and citizen activists who have come together to advocate for the health of Midcoast Maine's rivers and watersheds through science, education, advocacy and public action.

Together, we are monitoring activity in our rivers and watersheds, ensuring rigorous and accurate scientific review of significant projects and disseminating the resulting technical information to educate the public and officials about their potential impact. Longterm, Upstream Watch will provide guardianship of these areas and advocate for responsible watershed care and restoration.

We seek a vibrant, diverse and sustainable economy for the Midcoast, and all of, Maine. Healthy fresh and saltwater ecosystems are an indispensable part of this goal.

Upstream Watch is a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

OUR TEAM

Our Executive Director and Board of Directors work closely with our volunteer network of small business owners, educators, scientists, farmers, artists, historians, civil servants and community activists.

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JILLIAN HOWELL

Executive Director

Jill joined Upstream Watch as Executive Director in July 2023 with a decade of experience in the environmental sector, and a passion for environmental advocacy and working with communities to protect the water resources they rely on. Jill spent the past four years in eastern North Carolina as Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper and Advocacy Program Manager at Sound Rivers, an environmental non-profit organization.

 

Jill is originally from just outside of Boston, and received her B.A. in environmental studies and global studies from Colby College. After graduating, she worked in environmental consulting performing site assessments and overseeing hazardous material remediation at properties across New England. She attended the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she received a Masters of Environmental Management. 

 

When she’s not working, you can find Jill on the water in a kayak with her dog, Miller.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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AMY GRANT

President

Amy is a founding member of Upstream Watch and is strongly committed to the organization’s purpose of advocating for clean watersheds in Midcoast Maine. She is an experienced business owner/manager and has served on the board of the nonprofit corporation Come Boating!

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JIM GRANT

Director

Jim is a founding member of Upstream Watch and is passionate about advocating for and protecting healthy watersheds in Midcoast Maine. He is an experienced business owner/manager and marketing manager.

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JONATHAN FULFORD

Director

Jonathan is a retired owner/manager/carpenter of the construction business Artisan Builders, Inc. Having campaigned for state and federal office, he has experience with education and advocacy as well as government process.

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SUSIE O'KEEFFE

Director

Susie is an independent writer and teacher. As a Research Associate at the College of the Atlantic (COA) in Bar Harbor, Maine, she explores how human affection for the natural world increases through the expansion of self-awareness and our creative intelligences. Her writing has appeared in Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture, Phylogeny, the Spoon River Poetry Review, The Maine Review, and RewildingEarth. Susie holds a Master’s of Science with distinction in Environmental Management from Oxford University, England. She also serves as Vice President of the Northeast Wilderness Trust.

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ETHAN SHAW

Director

Ethan is a reformed attorney with a demonstrated commitment to public service, environmental justice, and protection of our natural resources. In his free time he can often be found rowing in beautiful Belfast Bay.

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RICK BERNASCONI

Director

Rick has a Masters of education centered on counseling with a minor in education. He has worked 20+ years with students and parents with the primary goal being secondary education beyond high school. He has developed and implemented experiential programming to assist students with their educational endeavors. These have centered on our world and everyone's connections to it.

He has volunteered and supported environmental causes for the past 18 years. He's an advocate for nature and welcomes open communication with others.

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In Loving Memory of Sally Lynn Brophy 

Artist, photographer, educator, environmentalist and friend. Sally profoundly loved the Little River and spent almost every day walking and photographing there with her partner of 30 years, Conny Hatch, and their dog, Buzz. She was a fierce and courageous defender of both the Little River and the Penobscot Bay and fought valiantly for their protection.

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