The Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association (MSRKA) Board of Directors, on Jan. 16, 2023, elected Marissa Crames, of Selinsgrove, as its new board president, joining returning Vice President Dr. Joseph Simons III, of Kingston, newly elected treasurer Kelly Caudle, of Winfield, and first-time board co-secretaries Morgan Thomas and Danielle Tryon as officers for 2023.
“It has been my honor to serve as MSRKA president. I feel like it's ‘my baby!’” said outgoing Board President Kathy Snavely, who has served on the association’s board since its inception in 2015. “I know it is in good hands with our new officers and board moving forward.”
Crames grew up in Long Island, NY. She spent her summers in the Shawangunk Mountains of upstate NY. During these times she developed a deep love for all things wild and free. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Business, she relocated to central Pennsylvania.
She is currently the factory manager of a local company. In her free time, she volunteers with the local Scout Council and helps coach her son's Little League baseball team. She originally was elected to the association’s Board of Directors in June of 2022 and was a large part of the association’s efforts in becoming a Charter Organization for Sea Scout Ship 2323, which recently formed in Sunbury.
“Protecting 11,000 miles of a watershed is no small task, but it is vitally important to our ecosystem and future generations,” she said. “I am beyond excited and honored to be named president of the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association. Being able to work with such an enthusiastic and dedicated group of individuals is an absolute pleasure. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together.”
Caudle, who originally joined the association’s Board of Directors in January 2022, is also a member of the R.B. Winter Chapter of Trout Unlimited and is a former member of the Rocky River Trout Unlimited Chapter based in Charlotte, NC. While living in North Carolina, she volunteered with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing and participated in Trout Unlimited’s Trout in the Classroom program. In her spare time, she enjoys admiring and exploring the natural beauty of the area and honing her nature photography skills.
"I am very excited about being elected Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the MSRKA," said Caudle. "I have learned so much from my fellow board members during the past year. I am looking forward to serving with them in 2023 as we work with each other and the community to increase awareness of the issues facing our waterways and work on ways to preserve the health and beauty of the water for generations to come."
Thomas and Tryon are both juniors at Susquehanna University and served as summer interns with the association in 2021. They were both elected as student Board members in the fall of 2021.
“I am really excited to be accepting the new position of co-secretary as a student board member with the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association,” said Thomas. “Since my internship in the summer of 2021, I have been very fortunate to continue my involvement with the association. The work done is incredibly meaningful to me, especially as a student studying Environmental Science and Ecology. I greatly look forward to serving as secretary alongside Danielle.”
Simons has served as Vice President for the association for several years and is also the Board President for the Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, a key contributor for the Stanley Cooper Chapter of Trout Unlimited and is the creative force behind the Wild Trout Man YouTube educational series.
Other current members of the MSRKA Board of Directors include Doug Fessler, of Sunbury, Walt Bingaman, of Shamokin Dam, Cheryl Terpak, of Williamsport and Andrew Bechdel of State College.
“Our new slate of officers, along with the rest of our enthusiastic Board of Directors, each bring important skills and resources to our work,” said Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper and MSRKA Executive Director John Zaktansky. “We have continued to evolve as an association and have accomplished quite a bit over the past couple years, but there is much more in store in 2023 and beyond.”
Along with Snavely, longtime association Treasurer and Secretary Ann Fisher wrapped up her final term on the Board of Directors during the Jan. 16, 2023, board meeting. Both Fisher and Snavely will continue to participate as volunteers for various activities and events. Fisher will continue to run the association's Nature Book Club and Snavely is working on planning a Scenic Wonders tour of Sullivan County waterfalls and other sites for spring of 2024.
The Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association serves an 11,000-square-mile watershed across central, northcentral and northeast Pennsylvania, including all land that eventually drains into the North and West branches of the Susquehanna River.
Learn more about the MSRKA's board of directors at middlesusquehannariverkeeper.org/board-of-directors.html
Those who would like to get involved with the association should fill out the online 2023 Susquehanna Survey at https://bit.ly/3XnBt9J
You can learn more about the MSRKA, including reading more than 100 blog post articles, columns and investigative stories about important issues involving the Susquehanna River and listen to more than 70 podcast episodes with people who share a passion for the river at www.MiddleSusquehannaRiverkeeper.org.
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.