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Blue Water Baltimore names new executive director, Jenn Aiosa

A 20-year veteran of environmental nonprofits and state government has been named the new leader of the advocacy group Blue Water Baltimore.

Jenn Aiosa, vice president and director of programs at the Chesapeake Conservancy, will join Blue Water as its executive director in June.

Blue Water Baltimore's board chairwoman, Fiona Newton, called Aiosa "an outstanding candidate" who was chosen in a national search.

Aiosa called the group "an organization I believe wholeheartedly in." She has served on its board of directors for the past four years.

"To be in a position to lead it into the future is really a dream come true," she said.

She replaces Halle Van der Gaag, who left the organization in December. Carl Simon, Blue Water's director of programs, has served as interim executive director. Aiosa starts in the role June 26.

Aiosa previously spent 12 years as a senior scientist at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and as Chesapeake senior conservation manager at the Environmental Defense Fund. She also worked as acting director of operations for the state Department of Planning and a legislative assistant to former congressman Wayne T. Gilchrest.

Local water quality groups the Jones Falls Watershed Association, the Gwynns Falls Watershed Association, the Herring Run Watershed Association, the Baltimore Harbor Watershed Association and the Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper program all merged in 2011 to form Blue Water Baltimore.

The group monitors water quality around the Baltimore area, organizes projects to clean up waterways and reduce stormwater runoff, and advocates for policies that promote cleaner streams and rivers.

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