Who We Are

The Living River Trust began when The Elizabeth River Project recognized a need for more mitigation alternatives to offset impacts to the Elizabeth River bottom.


The Trust was established in 2004 (as the Elizabeth River Restoration Trust) when the Norfolk District of the Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, along with the Trust’s independent board, reached agreement on operating guidelines. The Elizabeth River Project helped set up the Trust and is providing contracted support, as needed, for start-up projects.


The Living River Trust is governed by its own Board of Trustees and has a long-term goal of establishing its own support services.


 In 2010, the Trust added a second focus, becoming the only locally based land trust in the Elizabeth River watershed. Our niche is smaller urban parcels that may not be of value to state and national land trusts. In our urban watershed, open space is rare and important!  Contact us to discuss benefits that may be available for long-term conservation of your natural area.


Liz Friel, Executive Director,  



Board of Trustees



Willard M. Robins, Jr., Senior Vice President,

Bay Diesel and Generator


Vice Chairman 

Mary-Carson Saunders Stiff, CFM, JD, Director of Policy,

Wetlands Watch



Julien Robert Hume, III, Retired Chief Regulatory Branch, US Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District


Mary Ann Saunders, Retired Assistant to the City Manager, Chesapeake, Virginia


Additional Reading


Rolston S. Audain Jr.

Marketing & Luxury Collection Director

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty

Jennifer K. Cool, Realtor, BHHS Towne Realty 


John Randolph Stokes, Esquire


Joseph J. Thomas, COL. USACE (Ret.), Former District Engineer Norfolk District


Matthew Wilbricht, Senior Vice President, NAI Dominion


Edward Wolcott Jr., Esquire