St. Croix Waterway Commission Appoints New Director

By Michael Dougherty

 

The St. Croix Waterway Commission recently announced the appointment of Abby Pond as their new Executive Director. Ms. Pond is originally from Boiestown, N.B. and was hired to replace Leigh-Anne Outhouse, who resigned this past autumn.

Ms. Pond brings over 12 years of experience in tourism, non-profit management and environmental issues to the post. She also holds degrees in biology, wilderness guiding and a MSc in Climate Change Management and hopes to make the Commission more efficient and find new independent sources of funding.

“The Commission has been doing fantastic work for over 20 years, and the previous Executive Directors were working hard on an update to this plan. I would like to finish this as soon as we can, so we can show the progress that has been made but also what work still needs to be done,” Ms. Pond said this past Monday. “I’m also arranging a strategic planning session with our Commissioners, so that we can create a new, long-term vision for the St. Croix.”

The previous Executive Director, Leigh-Anne Outhouse, had identified a need for information on the St. Croix for people that use it for recreational purposes. She started the development of a new website, which was intended to provide information for people who want to boat, play and fish on the St. Croix. Ms. Pond intends to continue work on this website and sees it as a valuable resource for the public.

The St. Croix Waterway Commission was formed by the state of Maine and the Province of New Brunswick to develop a management plan for the entire St. Croix corridor. The St. Croix has a unique history, natural geography and cultural significance. “The goal of the Commission, and the management plan that has been in place since 1993, is to bring together people and organizations within the corridor on both sides of the border,” Ms. Pond said. “The Commission is dedicated to ensuring the St. Croix Corridor remains a special place to live, work and play.”

The core funding for the Commission comes from the state of Maine and the province of New Brunswick while all other funding comes from independent sources, depending on the project. “The funding for my position comes from the state of Maine and province of New Brunswick,” Ms. Pond stated. “The funding for maintaining the recreation sites and recreational staff comes mainly from the NB Department of Natural Resources and the Maine division of Parks and Public Lands; however, in any year we might be working on improving a boat launch or a portage trail which might be funded by the Maine Community Foundation or Maine Outdoor Heritage fund. Many services are also provided in-kind, or by volunteers.”

When asked about one major issue coming up for the Commission, the East-West Corridor, Ms. Pond ensured me that it is already on her agenda and hopes to have an in-depth discussion about this topic a the next board meeting. “Part of the management plan is to encourage and facilitate responsible economic development in the region provided that the developments do not degrade the natural and cultural values of the region,” Ms. Pond said Monday. “After the meeting more information will be available as to the thoughts of the Commission on the proposal.”