top of page

Our Board.                                        2021.

Melanie Ryan

Melanie Ryan has been a resident of Elk Township, Chester County for 25 years and a board member of the Elk Creeks Watershed Association to 20 years.

Melanie earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University in Landscape Architecture/Environmental Planning and Design. She has worked in civil engineering firms as a land planner and project manager for over 25 years.

Melanie serves on the Elk Township Planning  Commission, Open Space Committee and the Oxford Area Regional Planning Commission.

"Water is the source of all life. Clean water is necessary for our existence. When we make water resources protection our priority, other quality of life issues are resolved."


Denis Newbold
Vice President.

Denis is an aquatic biologist with the Stroud Research Center in Avondale, Pennsylvania. His research focuses on nutrient cycles in stream ecosystems. Denis’ primary interests include the transfer of nutrients from small headwater streams to larger rivers and the role of streamside forests in maintaining stream habitat and improving water quality. He serves on the Board of the Chester County Water Authority and on the Penn Township Planning Commission. Denis graduated from Swarthmore College in Engineering, received a Master of Science in Hydrology from Cornell University, and a Ph. D. from the University of California at Berkeley in Aquatic Biology.

Henry A. "Hank"  Detering
Hank Detering has been a Londonderry Township resident since 1985. He joined ECWA in 2018. Currently retired, Hank spent 20 years in the USMC, retired as a Lt. Colonel whose primary job was as a pilot, flying jets and helicopters. Hank taught biology at Unionville High School, then was Principal at Octorara Area High School. Frank live on a 40 acre farm on the Big Elk Creek, Londonderry, Penn & Upper Oxford townships. He is the Chairman of the Londonderry Township Open Space Committee.
Kevin Warren
Kevin Warren has been a resident of Elk Township for 17 years. He joined the ECWA board in 2020. He is a registered professional engineer and energy efficiency consultant. His company, Warren Energy Engineering,  supports energy efficiency and climate change mitigation efforts in several states and countries. An avid hiker and fisherman, his passion for the environment has been lifelong but his interest in local watershed issues developed more recently. He is also a member of the Chester County Energy and Environmental Advisory Board and the Oxford Regional Planning Commission’s Volunteer Environmental Advisory Council.

Martha has lived in New London Township for more than 30 years and has been a member and director of ECWA for nearly all of that time. She is a member of the New London Township Planning Commission and past-member of several Township comprehensive plan task forces.


A graduate of Tufts University, with a masters degree from Cornell University,  Martha is a registered landscape architect with her own firm, Straus Associates, a design and planning company, which is involved in municipal, commercial, residential and environmental educational work.  She is also a retired camp director with Experience Camps, a national, no-cost program for grieving children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver, and still spends much of her time organizing and volunteering at a one-week, overnight summer camp for girls in southern California.


Martha, her family, dogs, cats, chickens and guinea pigs, live on a woody hill above the Big Elk.

Martha D. Straus 
Rachel Roberts

Rachel Roberts lives Upper Oxford Township, and has lived in southern Chester County for 5 years. Rachel joined ECWA in 2018. A graduate of the American University of Paris with two Masters, in Social Research and Law and Social Policy from Bryn Mawr College, she is the President of the American Mushroom Institute. Rachel grew up in northern Chester County and lived and worked in Philadelphia for over 20 years. She serves on the Chester County Agriculture Council, the Chester County Energy and Environmental Advisory Board, and the E. Kneale Dockstader Foundation Board. Rachel loves nature and outdoors sports: she is an avid birder, hunter-jumper horseback rider, and loves bass-fishing, skiing, and "birding while hunting."

Ralph Churchill

Ralph has lived in West Grove, Penn Township, for six years and has served on ECWA's Board for two. Currently retired, Ralph is an Instrument Engineer, and has worked in the instrument field for over forty years. His expertise is in the design and installation of on line sample and measuring systems. Ralph has applied his designs over a wide range of industries, all over the world. Raplh is a Master Watershed Steward and a Master Gardener.


Marty Detering
Treasurer. Former Board President

A resident of a Londonderry Township farm since 1985, Marty is a former township Supervisor and EAC (Environmental Advisory Council) Chairman. As EAC chair, and with help from many volunteers, she created the 7acre East Elk Nature Preserve with funding from a DEP Growing Greener grant and the Township.

Horses are an integral part of the Detering family. For 37 years Marty has been involved with equestrian competition, training, teaching, hunting, and breeding. She continues to serve as a volunteer and officer in equestrian organizations from local pony clubs to national federations.

Marty has a B.S. in Chemistry and Education from Springfield College, Springfield, MA. She has taught high school chemistry, physics, and math. In her spare time you can find Marty weeding or landscaping a garden on her farm or for others, or mulching the plants with donations from her horses.

bottom of page