Our Staff

Kirsten Lyons, Stewardship Director

Kirsten joined Friends of the St. Clair River first as a volunteer and then as our Stewardship Director in 2015. In her career she has served many capacities in retail management, landscape design and horticulture. Her work takes a systemic and ecological approach to site design and management. Kirsten led the design and implementation of the RoofTop Farm project at the Green Garage in Midtown Detroit, where she has also been working to help small businesses become more sustainable. Kirsten holds an M.Arch. degree from Lawrence Technological University, a B.F.A. from Wayne State University with a concentration in design, and a horticulture degree from St. Clair County Community College (SC4), where she also taught courses on the subject. A lifelong learner and community volunteer, Kirsten recently achieved certification as a Michigan Conservation Steward.

Melissa Kivel, Education Manager

Melissa graduated with high honors from Western Michigan University earning her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with a focus on science instruction. Melissa’s first experience with Friends of the St. Clair River came in 2010 as a volunteer for our Stream Leaders water quality monitoring program. As a volunteer leader, she supervised teams of volunteers in Burtch Creek and Silver Creek searching for high-quality, pollution-sensitive macroinvertebrates. Later as a seasonal employee for the St. Clair County Health Department, she spent several summers collecting and processing surface water samples and monitoring local beaches for E. coli. Melissa can be found out in the field teaching her own three children and husband the importance of conservation and citizen science by growing milkweed, monitoring monarch caterpillars and tagging monarch butterflies for the University of Kansas’ Monarch Watch research program.

Brooke Hiller, Restoration Coordinator

Born and raised among the woods and shorelines of Michigan’s Great Lakes, Brooke's love for our area’s unique and diverse ecosystems has informed her lifelong interest in wildlife conservation, native habitat restoration and sustainable gardening and farming practices. For the past 6 years she has worked with local residents to design, develop and maintain landscapes that reflect these principles. Brooke earned a BA in Fine Arts from Western Michigan University and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling and Art therapy from Wayne State University. She became a certified Master Gardener in 2016, Master Composter in 2020, and Conservation Steward in 2021. Brooke hopes to increase her expertise by earning a Permaculture Design Certificate and growing her own native plants to share with our community. When she’s not out restoring our local watershed, you can find her with her nose in a book, looking for fossils at the beach, or in her gardens with her husband and three cats.

Lydia Nicholas, Environmental Field Technician

Having grown up along the shores of Lake Huron, Lydia is excited to return to the area as the Environmental Field Technician. Lydia has had a lifelong interest in Great Lakes ecosystems and a passion for conservation and outreach, all of which they aim to share with our community. Lydia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a minor in fish biology from Michigan Technological University. There they also participated in research studying the effects of extreme climates on aquatic microbial communities both in Lake Superior and Antarctic subglacial lakes. Lydia hopes to further their education by pursuing certifications as a Master Naturalist and Conservation Steward. In their free time, you can find Lydia out mushroom hunting, gardening, or camping with their pet bunny.

Paulette Duhaime, B.S., M.S. – St. Clair River Area of Concern Liaison

Paulette has been a team member providing consolation for our St. Clair River Area of Concern program since 2010. She is responsible for the technical, educational and administrative components of our Area of Concern grant from Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). Paulette has been Co-Chair of the American side of the St. Clair River Binational Public Advisory Council for over 20 years. She serves as our Statewide Public Advisory Council representative and sits on our local Drinking Water subcommittee.

Sheri Faust, President

As Co-Founder and President of Friends of the St. Clair River, Sheri’s led the organization from its grassroots start to become the region’s largest environmental nonprofit and a trusted leader with statewide and international recognition. Sheri has been employed by the St. Clair County Health Department as Environmental Health Educator since 2004; her responsibilities include mitigating environmental health hazards, providing community education and conducting environmental monitoring. Prior to working for the Health Department, she was Education Director at the Michigan Science Center and Fund Development Director at Girl Scouts-Michigan Waterway Council. Sheri also incorporated St. Clair County Earth Fair, the longest-running and largest Earth Day event in Michigan. Sheri holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management from Michigan State University. Sheri is a certified Planning and Zoning Citizen Planner, certified Master Gardener, a Planning Commissioner for Port Huron Township, and Board Member for the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. Her service to the community was recognized with a Blue Water Woman Government Professional of the Year award.

Our Board

2021 Board of Directors Meetings
4th Wednesday, 6:30pm

Our Board of Directors meets the 4th Wednesday every month at 6:30pm. Join with other like-minded environmentalists passionate about making the Blue Water Area cleaner and greener! Request a board information packet today.


Sheri Faust

Environmental Health Educator, St. Clair County Health Department, Port Huron


Dan Danner

Finance Committee Chair
Controller, Engineered Plastic Components, Port Huron


Carrie Dollar

Governance Committee Chair
College Biology Instructor, St. Clair County Community
Grosse Pointe Woods


Don Rice

Facilities Committee Chair
Retired, Engineer Consultant, Midrex Technologies, Inc., Marysville


Doreen Kephart

Ross Education, LLC
Marine City


Gordon Ruttan

Blue Water Land Fund, Goodells


Alyssa Winters

Conservation Technician, Natural Resources Conservation Service-USDA


Tiffany Francis

Executive Director of Lake Huron Physician Hospital Organization (PHO), Port Huron


Linda Schoonover, Ph.D.

Home Health Services, Harsens Island


Damian Polack

Administrative Assistant, Fort Gratiot Township, Fort Gratiot


Keith Zick

Retired, Kelly Law Firm, Marysville


Dave Putt

Bruce Township


Melodee Beals

Owner, Dancing Meadows Homestead, Columbus Twp