November 15, 2016 Over the past week, we here at the NY/NJ Baykeeper office have been doing a lot of reflecting on the recent presidential election. I can’t sugarcoat it, the prospects look bad for the environment. President-elect Trump has promised to “shutdown” the Environmental Protection Agency and reverse climate change policies and regulations. For a state like New Jersey, that has the most federally-designated Superfund sites, this would be bad news. The EPA has oversight over the cleanup of those sites, which range from the lower 17 miles of the Passaic River and Newark Bay to landfills in Monmouth Read more →
Debbie Mans, Baykeeper & Executive Director
Debbie Mans has been Baykeeper and Executive Director since April, 2008. Prior to joining NY/NJ Baykeeper, Debbie was the Environmental and Energy Policy Advisor for Governor Jon S. Corzine. She was also appointed by Governor Corzine to the New Jersey State Planning Commission. Prior to working for the Governor, Debbie was the Policy Director at Baykeeper, a position she held from 2002 through 2006. Debbie is a graduate of The University of Michigan and holds a J.D. from Vermont Law School. Debbie is the Chair of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters and on the Board of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. Click here to send an email to Debbie
Greg Remaud, Deputy Director
Greg Remaud has been an advocate for land preservation in densely developed communities for over 10 years. He has led and partnered in numerous land acquisition, preservation and restoration projects throughout the Hudson-Raritan Estuary Region. Greg serves on numerous Advisory Boards and has presented on urban land preservation in a variety of forums. He is a trustee on the board of the Meadowlands Conservation Trust, and a board member and past president of the Liberty State Park Conservancy.
Meredith DeMarco, Director of Development
Meredith DeMarco joins NY/NJ Baykeeper with over 10 years of experience working on issue and candidate campaigns. Prior to joining NY/NJ Baykeeper, Meredith was the Finance Director for New Jersey United for Marriage, the campaign to allow the freedom to marry to all loving couples in New Jersey, and the New Jersey State Lead for Americans for Workplace Opportunity which encouraged lawmakers to pass a federal law allowing workplace protections for LGBT workers. She has previously worked in the appointments office for Governors’ Codey and Corzine where she oversaw over 400 appointments to boards and commission including the New Jersey Highlands Council, the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, and the Marine Fisheries Council. Meredith was recently appointed to the Bradley Beach Environmental Commission and was previously appointed by Governor Corzine to be a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Volunteerism and Community Service where she served for five years.
Meredith Comi, Oyster Restoration Program Director
Meredith Comi is the director of NY/NJ Baykeeper’s oyster restoration program. She oversees an aquaculture facility, reef building and reef monitoring activities, and the successful oyster gardening program. Meredith has previous experience with aquaculture from time spent working as a field, hatchery and lab technician at Haskins Shellfish Research Lab, Rutgers University Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. She was the previous staff scientist at NY/NJ Baykeeper as well as a staff ecologist for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Sandy Hook. Before returning to NY/NJ Baykeeper in July 2006, she spent 2 1/2 years teaching biology, ecology, and marine science at Watchung Hills Regional High School. Meredith received a B.S. degree in Biology from Rowan University.
Click here to send an email to Meredith
Dr. Allison Fitzgerald, New York Oyster Program Coordinator
Allison has been working at NY/NJ Baykeeper since 2012. Previously, she was a volunteer and field technician since 2008. Allison oversees the EcoVolunteer program and the oyster reef at Soundview Park, NY. The EcoVolunteer program allows adult volunteers to get out on the water and actively participate in oyster restoration and research. Volunteers don waders and get up close and personal with all the invertebrate species on an oyster reef, while assisting with the collection of scientific data and maintenance of an oyster reef. Allison recently completed her PhD (CUNY Graduate School) in oyster ecotoxicology, and is passionate about restoration and research in the HRE. Allison also teaches college courses in biology and marine science.
Andrea Leshak, Staff Attorney
Andrea Leshak is the joint staff attorney for NY/NJ Baykeeper and Hackensack Riverkeeper. Previously, she was a Ford Foundation legal fellow with the Energy and Transportation, Oceans, and Water Programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). She has held internships with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Andrea is a graduate of New York University School of Law and Penn State University, where she completed a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management and a B.A. in Philosophy.
Sandra Meola, Communications and Outreach Associate
Sandra manages our legislative messaging, communications, social media, and is currently leading our Plastic Reduction Campaign. Sandra has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science and History and a Masters of Arts in Public Policy from Monmouth University. Prior to joining the Baykeeper team, Sandra was an analyst at Luthin Associates, an energy consulting firm.
Click here to send an email to Sandra
Bill Schultz, Raritan Riverkeeper
Bill Schultz founded the Raritan RIVERKEEPER program ten years ago. He is a retired Captain & shift commander in a career fire service, a certified hazardous materials technician and instructor in water rescue. Schultz has served with various underwater search and recovery teams. He has also been a volunteer with the Marine Mammal Stranding Center for many years.
Click here to send an email to Bill
Heather Macchia, Office & Finance Manager
Heather has recently joined NY/NJ Baykeeper in January 2014. Heather is a graduate from The Richard Stockton College of NJ with her Bachelors of Arts in Finance and a minor in Economics. Prior to working at NY/NJ Baykeeper, Heather was employed as a Contracts Manager at Viecore FSD in Eatontown, NJ. Heather currently resides in Aberdeen with her husband and her two daughters Sammi and GG.
Mitch Mickley, Field Technician
Mitch joined the Baykeeper team in April 2015 to assist with our oyster restoration efforts and microplastic reduction campaign. Mitch is a graduate of Monmouth University and is our go-to handy man and an avid gardener.
Steve Delaney, Patrol Boat Captain
Steve joined the Baykeeper team in 2014 working as our Patrol Boat Captain. Once a week, Steve patrols the waters of the Keyport Harbor, Arthur Kill, and more for polluters, oil spills, and other questionable occurrences. Previously Steve worked for Verizon.
Mike Schumacher, Bayshore Pumpout Boat Captain
For a pumpout, call Mike at 732-832-1499 or channel 9 on the water.
Peter Cangeloso, Bayshore Pumpout Boat Captain
For a pumpout, call Pete at 732-832-1499 or channel 9 on the water.
James Ferchland, Jamaica Bay Pumpout Boat Captain
Jim has been working for this program as Boat Operator since its start up in 2005. He has been active in the New York City community for years. He is currently employed by New York City and works for the FDNY as a Firefighter. Previously, Jim was a New York City Police Officer with the NYPD. He has lived on Jamaica Bay for over 30 years and is very familiar with the area. For the last ten years Jim has worked as a safety boat captain for swim races, outrigger canoe races, surfboard races and the City of Water Day on Governors Island. 732-337-9262 or channel 9 on the water
Eric VanZanten, Jamaica Bay Pumpout Boat Captain
Eric VanZanten is the Pumpout Boat Operator, and has been working for the program since 2008. He is currently employed by New York City and works for the FDNY as a Firefighter. Jim has lived on Jamaica Bay all his life. He was raised boating with his father in Jamaica Bay. Eric owns a 22 foot Novi Style Cape Islander boat, which he uses to work at events that the Manhattan Island Swim Foundation host. In addition to serving as Pumpout Boat operator, Eric also enjoys acting as a Jamaica Bay tour guide when on his boat with other guests. 732-337-9262 or channel 9 on the water