VT - Shore native leads communications at environmental advocacy agency

BENNINGTON, VT — Beyond Plastics — a national organization founded by former EPA regional administrator Judith Enck — recently announced that Melissa Valliant and Dawn L. Henry Esq. have joined the organization as its communications director and new senior advisor, respectively.

“Beyond Plastics is excited to welcome these seasoned professionals to its team of dedicated advocates and experts,” said Beyond Plastics President Judith Enck. “With their impressive experience and passion for fearlessly combating the plastics crisis, Dawn and Melissa will play a valuable role in Beyond Plastics’ efforts to implement policies to reduce plastic pollution and curb corporate reliance on this persistent pollutant.”

Valliant is an Eastern Shore native who grew up in Bellvue and recently helped Plastic-Free Easton get the town’s plastic bag ban passed.

“My love of the environment started on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where I spent most of my childhood beach combing the shoreline in front of my family’s home, exploring the surrounding farmland, boating with my dad, and getting my head stuck in any book I could find,” Valliant said. “After graduating from Syracuse University, I intended to pursue magazine journalism, but my love of advocacy and my deep felt connection with ecosystems like the Chesapeake Bay drew me into environmental conservation and, eventually, PR for conservation organizations.”

Prior to her role as Beyond Plastics’ communications director, Valliant led communications strategy for the plastic pollution campaign at international ocean conservation organization Oceana.

“By managing media relations for environmental advocacy organizations, I was able to combine my love of writing — now used for op-eds, letters to the editor, talking points, congressional testimonies, press releases, and more — with my interest in communications strategy and advocacy,” Valliant said. “Fifteen years after graduating college, I’ve landed my dream job as communications director at Beyond Plastics, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’m using my talents, education, and acquired skills to better the planet, and I’ll always be grateful to the Chesapeake Bay for giving me that unshakable appreciation for our natural world.”

Valliant had her first letter to the editor published in children’s science magazine Muse at the age of 11 and has since been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Boston Globe, among others.

Read more.