top of page

Championing Conservation: Chris Sullivan's Mission to Protect Our Natural Resources

Chris Sullivan Headshot

Chris Sullivan is an Executive Director of the non-profit Southwest Conservation District (SWCD), focused on natural resource concerns. Chris devotes his time to day-to-day operations within his company, as well as visiting sites with erosion issues to brainstorm solutions and working with groups to utilize the water quality monitoring lab in Hamden to generate data on the water quality of Wharton Brook and Mill River. 

Chris Sullivan's journey in the environmental field began 25 years ago at Americorps, where he focused on water quality. His childhood experiences in the great outdoors instilled in him a sense of responsibility towards our resources. This personal connection to conservation led him to SWCD, where he could work on the ground and effect change with his own two hands. 

“I've always felt like, as a species, we need to do a better job protecting our natural resources as opposed to simply extracting them.”

Sullivan is proud to share that SWCD recently paired with SciToons, a group of students who work with science communication, graphics, and videos, from Brown University. They made a video about eutrophication and algae blooms, a significant water quality issue that affects many bodies of water in Connecticut. The video is available to watch here:

SWCD also directly works with homeowners to provide guidance on how to ecologically advance their property. Many schools and organizations visit the water quality lab in Hamden to learn about the lab work and collect samples. The company also participates in outreach programs such as the Great Give and several watershed associations.

Sullivan shared what he believed to be some of our biggest challenges in conservation today. With climate change rising and our honeybee populations crashing, Connecticut is falling behind in its goals for renewable installations. There needs to be change in the way our society operates and creates energy, or climate change will continue to harm our Earth. SWCD is combating these issues by helping with pollinator gardens to support honeybee populations. They also help with stormwater management and ensure that the solutions to environmental issues are not creating other problems themselves. 

“More renewable energy sources need to come online and probably in a less centralized manner to effectively move us in the right direction.”

Change begins with each individual taking steps toward being more ecologically friendly. From planting pollinator flowers in your lawn to installing solar panels or purchasing water pump heaters, people can make a huge difference in our world. Buying locally sourced food and changing your heat and AC by just one degree can also be a huge help. Sullivan suggests starting with solutions that you can easily maintain and be consistent with. And of course, reach out to your local Conservation District for further guidance and recommendations for your property!

“Lots of our environmental problems come from individual decisions that each one of us makes without really understanding the cumulative impacts…I would suggest that you start with something that is easy to repeat and maintain.”

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page