Steve Woods, a civil engineer with extensive experience in water issues, has been named the new executive director of the Freshwater Society.

Woods will succeed Gene Merriam, a former state senator and Department of Natural Resources commissioner, who announced earlier this year that he will retire in December after leading the society for six years.

Woods is an assistant director of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, a $60 million conservation agency. He has worked in water resource policy, management, water conservation and pollution prevention.

The Freshwater Society is a nonprofit group that in recent years has sponsored lectures and education programs on water issues, including groundwater quality and quantity, and pollution from road salt and agricultural runoff. It has also sponsored community water cleanups and launched the Master Water Stewards program to tackle urban sources of pollution.

tom meersman