May 2015 Clean Water Champion: Malin Clyde

We’re so thrilled to feature the fantastic Malin Clyde from UNH Cooperative Extension this month as our Clean Water Champion. Malin’s tireless efforts as Project Manager helped to form and launch The Stewardship Network: New England a network to connect, equip and mobilize people and organizations to care for and study the lands and waters in our communities. With spring finally having sprung we think it’s an awesome time to get out and lend a hand, a brain and a heart to caring for and studying our watershed – connect with ongoing efforts here. Malin’s lived in Durham for the last 18 years where she’s served on the Conservation Commission and now serves on Durham’s Land Stewardship Committee. She’s active with SPNHF and strongly believes well-organized citizens can be an invaluable asset to conservation organizations, towns and public agencies – simply, she believes in the power of people. Malin’s energy is infectious and she serves as a great model of what it means to be a clean water (and healthy environment) champion!

Malin (front, kneeling) with a crew in College Woods, Durham. The effort is focused on restoring the native forest ecosystem along the shores of the town’s and college’s drinking water reservoir and has been ongoing for three years with over 200 volunteers engaged!

PREPHow long have you been a champion for clean water?
Malin: People in New Hampshire care about clean water, and I’m proud to have worked on conservation efforts in Durham in the last 18 years that protect Great Bay, the Oyster River, the Lamprey River, and wetlands throughout my town.  Before that, I did conservation and stewardship work in Alaska, Washington State, and Michigan before moving to New Hampshire in 1998

PREP: How’d you get started in protecting clean water?
Malin:  It started when I got my first job with the New Hampshire Audubon. I helped launch a new nature center near Lake Winnipesaukee, and started organizing volunteers to help care for and study the 250-acre farm whose land drained into the nearby lake. I got to know the can-do attitude of New Hampshire’s volunteer community, and have been working with volunteers on land and water stewardship ever since.

PREP: What’s your favorite thing to do with or on water?
Malin: Not having grown up swimming in the ocean (this is not something Alaskans do – ever!), I’ve learned to love the Seacoast’s amazing rivers that empty into Great Bay. When it’s hot, I will take a plunge on a friend’s rope swing into the Lamprey River.  It always scares me to death, but I love it!

PREPWhat’s been your proudest moment as a clean water champion?
Malin: Helping the town of Durham pass a municipal bond for land conservation back in 2008.  The town has used this and other local funds to protect almost 1,000 new acres of land in Durham – making it one of the best-protected towns in the Seacoast.

PREP: What’s one simple thing you would tell somebody to do to protect the places around the Seacoast they love?
Malin: Get involved!  Volunteering is such a great way to learn about conservation efforts in your community.  The Stewardship Network: New England is a new resource to connect people to nature-based volunteer opportunities in New Hampshire and beyond. Our online calendar and weekly bulletinbrings together stewardship volunteer projects and citizen science projects from over 85 different local conservation groups and agencies.  It makes it so much easier find a way to connect with water, land, or environmental research…and the projects are really fun!

PREP is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program, a joint program between local, state and federal agencies established under the Clean Water Act with the goal of protecting and enhancing nationally significant estuarine resources. PREP is supported in part by an EPA matching grant and is housed within the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering at the University of New Hampshire.