The St. Marys Riverkeeper
The St. Marys Riverkeeper grew from the vision of several members of the St. Marys River Management Committee (SMRMC) into an advisory entity made up of commission-appointed citizens from Baker and Nassau Counties in Florida and Camden and Charlton Counties in Georgia, the jurisdictions through which the St. Marys River flows. While the SMRMC serves in an advisory and planning capacity to their respective county governments, the founders believed that the river needed a powerful advocacy and fundraising group to protect it from the growing threats of land development and population growth.
A proposal to the Waterkeeper Alliance was prepared in the fall of 2015 and accepted in February of 2016. With that, the newly formed St. Marys Riverkeeper became the 280th member of the Waterkeeper Alliance worldwide, the fastest growing water conservation movement on the planet. In April, 2016, we received our 501c3 non-profit status.
The SMRK members, riverkeeper, staff and board members all share a deep desire to protect the river and all add diverse strengths and perspectives.
- Greg Sheppard, Baker County
- Jordan Center, Baker County
- Glenn Hanson, Camden County
- Jen Fabrick, Camden County
- Joe Lucent, Camden County
- Steve Brockman, Camden County
- Chip Campbell, Charlton County
- Kim Bednarek, Charlton County
- Todd Blaudow, Charlton County
- Dan Roach, Nassau County
- Larry Lyon, Nassau County
- Melody Baeza, Nassau County
- Steve Shurter, Nassau County
St. Marys Riverkeeper Anna Laws
Anna Laws joined the St. Marys Riverkeeper (SMRK) in 2018 as the Science and Outreach Coordinator, and in January 2019 assumed the role of Riverkeeper. Anna is a coastal Georgia native, and is excited to continue her work in the environment that initially developed her passion for nature and conservation. Prior to her work with the Riverkeeper, Anna worked as a fisheries and seabird ecologist for Oregon State University, aided in human-elephant conflict mitigation in Kenya, and researched tropical riparian ecology in Borneo. She earned her Masters of Science in Conservation Biology from the Durrell Institute of Conservation Ecology, located in the UK.
Founding Riverkeeper Rick Frey
Rick Frey established SMRK in 2016 to ensure a drinkable, fishable and swimmable waterway now and into the future. Rick retired as St Marys Riverkeeper in Dec 2018.
Under Rick’s leadership, SMRK established a bacterial water quality monitoring program with nearly 50 sites, as well as developing programs to address oyster regeneration and failing septic systems that affect water quality in the river.
Click here to read more about Rick.