Welcome to our new Board Member, Matisse!

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

This spring, the Board at Vermont River Conservancy were pleased to welcome a new member to our team, Matisse Bustos Hawkes!

Matisse shared her interest in serving on our Board and her love for Vermont and its waters with us:

I grew up in Southern California and my family’s frequent visits to our public beaches were a formative part of my childhood. In my college years and well into adulthood I lived in New York City, surrounded by water that was intrinsic to the city’s identity, vital to its economy, and polluted to the point of being a punchline to frequent jokes. When I moved to Vermont about 6 years ago with my husband and young son- it was the first time I had ever lived more than a 30 minute drive from an ocean. I gravitated to the Wrightsville Reservoir, Lake Elmore, Lake Caspian and swimming holes in Central Vermont that provided me with the connection and accessibility to water that feels fundamental to my existence.


In my time in Vermont, I’ve also learned a bit about the human impact on our water bodies, like the blue algae blooms that prevent swimming each summer in Lake Champlain, and the threats to habitat in various locations due to development. I have a lot to learn about best practices for conservation and public access to natural resources, but I believe my life-long appreciation for the recreational and life-sustaining properties of public waters would be a great entree to building a relationship with VRC.


I hold a B.A. in History and Latin American Studies from NYU and I have worked in nonprofits for almost my entire professional career. For the last 14 years, I have worked at the New York City-based international human rights organization WITNESS whose mission is to make it possible for anyone, anywhere to use video and technology to protect and defend human rights. Currently, I serve as the Associate Director of Communications and Engagement. Again, I would be very interested to learn how I can put my skills and experience to work for my adopted home state and the natural resources I hope that my children and theirs will safeguard and be able to enjoy for many years to come.

Latest News

VRC Board welcomes Geo Honigford

Geo Honigford runs an organic vegetable and popcorn ... more »

Lisa Mahoney joins the VRC Board

Lisa is an ecologist and an attorney with ... more »

Great work from our partners on the Green River!

Restoring and transforming the Green River ... more »

330 trees planted on the Nulhegan!

The East Branch of the Nulhegan in Bloomfield ... more »

Face the River Audio Story!

As part of VRC’s Face the River initiative, ... more »

VRC Releases North Branch Cascades Trail RFP

The Vermont River Conservancy is pleased ... more »

See All »