Meredith Brown is the former Riverkeeper and helped judge films for the Ottawa Adventure Film Festival in 2018.
Ottawa Riverkeeper was founded in 2001 and a volunteer board of directors went to work securing charitable status for the organization and becoming a licensed member of Waterkeeper Alliance. The first two partners of the organization, The Ontario Trillium Foundation and Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) were instrumental early supporters of the organization, and the board of directors hired Meredith Brown in 2004 who became the Riverkeeper and founding Executive Director for the organization.
In the early days Meredith shared an office with MEC store manager Colleen Mooney, setting out to learn everything she could about the Ottawa River and the people living and doing business within its large watershed boundaries. It didn’t take Brown long to bring in new funding, hire staff and find new office space to support the growing organization.
“During my time at Riverkeeper the organization has grown from one staff (me) to a solid team of 10 staff and hundreds of amazing volunteers. Our two original partners are still with us 15 years later and we now have a long and remarkable list of partners and donors that continue to support our vision of swimmable, drinkable, fishable water,” said Brown.
Over the years, Ottawa Riverkeeper has become one of the strongest Waterkeeper Organizations in the movement. “Our biggest strength is our people,” says Brown. “The best way to protect a river the size of the Ottawa is to develop a very large, very dedicated river constituency – people who are willing to take action to restore the river, willing to stand up to protect their local river, lake or creek.”
“This is exciting times for Ottawa Riverkeeper and for our river,” said Geoff Green. “Our organization and networks are growing and our future is bright. The desire to protect and restore our river is remarkable and very encouraging.”
“Leadership change is healthy for any organization,” said Brown. “Our organization has never been stronger. Our extraordinary board of directors is fully engaged, experienced and influential. The staff are deeply committed to our mission and our Executive Director, Patrick Nadeau who has been leading the team for almost three years, brings an impressive mix of skills, experience and dedication to the organization. We continue to attract excellent partners and project opportunities to Ottawa Riverkeeper,” said Brown.
She will be hosting ADVENTURE FILM & OUR PLANET at the University of Ottawa on November 21th at 7pm