Jeff Benoit is the President and CEO of Restore America’s Estuaries, a national alliance of 10 community-based conservation organizations dedicated to the protection and restoration of bays and estuaries as essential resources for our nation. He has over 35 years of experience and leadership in coastal management and marine conservation.  A coastal geomorphologist by training, Jeff started his career with the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management as a coastal geologist, and then as Director. Jeff served in the Clinton Administration from 1993 to 2001 as Director of NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) where he had responsibility for the National Coastal Zone Management Program, National Estuarine Research Reserves, and National Marine Sanctuaries. Jeff is a Past-President of The Coastal Society, a professional organization of coastal and marine professionals. Jeff earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Geology from Southampton College and a Master’s Degree in Geophysical Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology/Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.

Dr. Marci Bortman is the Director of Conservation Programs with The Nature Conservancy on Long Island.  For almost two decades, Marci has led the science, stewardship, monitoring, policy, and restoration programs at The Nature Conservancy.  Her focus is on the integration of science, technology, policy, and communications to build support among the community, user groups, and government to reduce threats and restore and sustain healthy marine and terrestrial ecosystems primarily through water quality improvement and coastal climate adaptation.  Prior to working at The Nature Conservancy, Marci worked as a marine researcher in the Caribbean examining the relationship among land development, water use, and water quality. She also worked as senior congressional legislative staff for a New Jersey congressman on marine and environmental issues.  Marci received her Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography from Stony Brook University. 

Christopher Clapp is a Marine Scientist with The Nature Conservancy, based in East Hampton.  He joined the Conservancy in 2003 and worked on a multi-million-dollar shellfish restoration project in Great South Bay.  He also helped lead a regional research project to understand the reasons for the decline of underwater seagrass meadows, vital habitats for shellfish and finfish. Both the shellfish and seagrass work revealed the debilitating role played by excess nitrogen.  In pursuit of solutions, Chris has developed expertise concerning alternative septic systems that remove more nitrogen from wastewater than conventional systems.  He holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Stony Brook University.  Chris is a Long Island native.

Dr. Joe Costa is the longtime Executive Director of the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (NEP), a technical assistance unit of Massachusetts CZM, which provides funding and technical support to municipal government and other partners. He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from the Boston University Marine Program in Woods Hole. His graduate, postdoctoral research, and professional work has focused on the impacts of coastal development, especially those impacts caused by nitrogen inputs on water quality, eelgrass, and other benthic habitat. As director of the NEP, he was the lead in establishing the Baywatchers Program for the Buzzards Bay Coalition, the creation of the Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center, and in forming the newly established Buzzards Bay Stormwater Collaborative. 

Holly Drinkuth is the Director Outreach and Watershed Programs for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut where she works closely with partners to advance understanding of the interactions between land, water and people. She first began working with the Conservancy in 2006 on forest and freshwater conservation projects through a cooperative agreement with the University Of Connecticut Department Of Extension. She has worked on conservation issues in Connecticut for 15 years, specializing in community and landscape connections, natural resource protection and conservation planning. In 2012, she traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to assist Green Belt Movement with developing their first watershed management plan in the Aberderes Mountain region. Holly lives in New Haven, CT and holds a B.S. in Earth Science and a M.S. in Water Resource Management from the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Anthony Dvarskas is an environmental economist in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and Sustainability Studies Program. Prior to joining Stony Brook, he worked with the United Nations in New York on the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting and its Experimental Ecosystem Accounting framework. He also served as an economist in the Office of Response and Restoration at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 2008 through 2012, where he focused on valuing losses to the public from contamination events (e.g., oil spills, Superfund sites) and benefits from restoration activities. His research interests lie in the interactions of humans with the coastal environment and the challenges associated with balancing economic development, management of pollution, and the health and resilience of the underlying resource base.

Angus Eaton graduated from the University of Rochester with BS in Chemical Engineering.  He is a Licensed Professional Engineer, with 36 years of experience with the DEC, including experience in industrial pretreatment, industrial and municipal discharge permit writing, and stormwater and CAFO general permits.  He is now the Director of the Bureau of Water Resource Management, with responsibilities in Clean Water Planning (including TMDLs and 9 Key Element Watershed Plans), Non-point source programs, Water Supply and Withdrawal, Groundwater Management, Well Drillers, Drought Monitoring, Reservoir Releases, and Basin Program coordination. 

Jennifer Garvey  is Associate Director of the New York State Center for Clean Water Technology.  Prior to joining the Center she served as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Town of Southampton, and as a project manager for the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, a not-for-profit organization focused on environmental policy.  Jennifer holds a B.S. in Business Administration at SUNY Geneseo, and an M.S. in Public Relations from Syracuse University

Jim Gebhardt was appointed Director of the US EPA Water Infrastructure & Resiliency Finance Center on September 30.  Mr. Gebhardt brings to the position over 30 years of experience in the public finance, bond insurance and investment management businesses including over 20 years as Chief Financial Officer of the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (“EFC”).  He was responsible for EFC’s financing and investment activities, including those related to the state’s multi-billion dollar State Clean Water and Drinking Water Revolving Funds (the “SRFs”).   During his tenure, EFC completed 85 SRF bond financings, for more than 1800 projects totaling $13 billion.   Many of these financings included nationally recognized innovative credit structures and financing mechanisms. From 2007-2013, Mr. Gebhardt served as a member of the USEPA’s Financial Advisory Board (“EFAB”).  He has consulted internationally working on behalf of the World Bank and the US Government on matters related to water infrastructure finance. Prior to joining EFC, Jim worked in NYC where he served in numerous capacities in the finance and insurance industries serving as a Chief Risk Officer, a tax-exempt portfolio manager, a bond insurance underwriter and as a financial analyst. Jim earned a B.A. in Anthropology from the State University of New York (“SUNY”), Albany and a M.S. in Resource Management and Policy from the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Dr. Christopher Gobler is a Professor within the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at Stony Brook University.  He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stony Brook University in the 1990s.  He began his academic career at Long Island University (LIU) in 1999.  In 2005, he joined Stony Brook University as the Director of Academic Programs for SoMAS on the Stony Brook – Southampton campus.  In 2014, he was appointed as the Associate Dean of Research at SoMAS and in 2015, he was named co-Director of the New York State Center for Clean Water Technology.  The major research focus within his group is investigating how anthropogenic activities such as climate change, eutrophication, and the over-harvesting of fisheries alters the natural biogeochemical and/or ecological functioning of coastal ecosystems.   Within this realm, major research efforts include the study of harmful algal blooms caused by multiple classes of phytoplankton in diverse ecosystems as well as the occurrence and ecological impacts of coastal ocean acidification.

Curt Johnson received his J.D. from University of Connecticut School of Law and was awarded a Masters in the Study of Law, Summa Cum Laude, focusing on environmental law from Vermont Law School. He was an attorney with the firm of Murtha, Cullina, Richter and Pinney for three and one-half years before joining the Connecticut Fund for the Environment as an attorney in 1993. Now, as Executive Director of Save the Sound, a bi-state program of CFE, Curt and his team bring together people, science, law and engineering to galvanize action.  They make our water safe to swim, clam and boat in.  Bring oxygen back into the Sound and its harbors.  Protect great coastal places and restore rivers for fish and wildlife.  He serves as the Connecticut Co-Chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee to Long Island Sound’s National Estuary Program, co-founded the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Connecticut School of Law.  He and his wife and two sons enjoy spending the summers unplugged in an unpowered summer island shack clamming, fishing and boating.  

Pio Lombardo is a professional engineer with 40+ years of experience with innovative water quality restoration projects, wastewater management for unsewered communities projects and state-of-the-art nitrogen removal techniques.  Pio has been the Engineer-of-Record for projects with capital costs greater than $200 million that are operating throughout the United States. His firm, Lombardo Associates, Inc. (LAI) is the Town of East Hampton’s engineer that prepared the Town’s Comprehensive Wastewater-Water Quality Management Plan that he will discuss this morning.  LAI are the Village of East Hampton’s engineer that prepared the Hook Pond Water Quality Improvement Project Plan – as well as the Southampton Lake Agawam Water Quality Restoration Plan – prepared for the Peconic Baykeeper.  LAI are also the nitrogen and wastewater management engineer for the Canoe Place Inn project in Hampton Bays in which LAI has engineered the innovative permeable reactive barrier for nitrogen removal and the SCDHS approved Nitrex system for wastewater treatment and nitrogen removal – which achieves the EPA accepted limit of technology.  LAI’s approach for the Canoe Place Inn project will result in net zero nitrogen contribution from the project and is expected to remove more nitrogen than it discharges.  Pio has authored or been a contributor to eight (8) US EPA manuals since 1979 on decentralized wastewater management issues.  Pio authored the 1st version of the US EPA water quality model HSPF which is widely used for Total Maximum Daily Load determinations to achieve water quality standards. 

Alicia Mozian has worked for the Town of Westport, CT for the last 30 years, serving as Conservation Director for the last 16 years. Job duties include administration and enforcement of the town’s inland wetland regulations and administration of the recreational shellfishing program. Her office serves to provide the public outreach efforts required to satisfy the educational component of the MS4 program for the Town. Experience also includes serving as Westport’s Community Rating System Coordinator including participation in the writing of several hazard mitigation plans. Ms. Mozian represents Westport in the Saugatuck River Watershed Management Planning efforts and on the Long Island Sound Council. She has been recently named to the Connecticut’s Blue Plan Advisory Committee. Alicia has a B.S. degree in Environmental Studies and an M.S. in Resource Management and Administration. She received the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Green Circle Award and the U.S.D.A’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Award for Women Inspiring Conservation.

Peter A. Scully is Deputy Suffolk County Executive. He joined the administration of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to oversee the County’s “Reclaim Our Waters” initiative after more than three decades of service in state and local government which focused largely on environmental policy issues. Prior to his appointment as Suffolk’s “Water Quality Czar”, Mr. Scully’s nearly 12 year tenure was the longest ever by a Long Island Regional Director for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, where he served under four Governors, also a record. Prior to joining DEC in 2003, Mr. Scully served in a number of executive level positions in local governments, where he focused on environmental issues. As the Town of Brookhaven’s youngest Deputy Supervisor in the 1980s, he oversaw the enactment of stringent new five-acre zoning to protect Brookhaven’s sensitive Pine Barrens watershed, which set the stage for New York State’s Pine Barrens Protection Act of 1993, and two-acre zoning to protect undeveloped stream corridors along Brookhaven’s south shore, to protect what later became the South Shore Estuary Reserve.  Mr. Scully also helped create the Town’s first Open Space program, and directed the initial implementation of the Town’s recycling programs. As President of the Islip Resource Recovery Agency and Commissioner of Environmental Control, Mr. Scully implemented Long Island’s first “Don’t Bag It!” waste reduction program for grass clippings, and oversaw the successful capping and remediation of the Blydenburgh Landfill, a National Priority List Superfund Site.  He later served as Suffolk County Parks Commissioner, and was responsible for managing the County’s 42,000-acre parks system.  In addition to his professional roles, Mr. Scully has served the community in a variety of positions, including Chairman of the Town of Brookhaven Conservation Advisory Council, and as President of the Civic Association of the Setaukets.  He earned both a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, and resides in Stony Brook.

Dr. Elizabeth C. Smith is an environmental economist with The Nature Conservancy in New York.  Her overall research focus for the last decade includes market and non-market valuation for natural resources, experimental market design for ecosystem services and public preferences for environmental management.   For the last decade Liz’s research has focused on exploring methodologies for valuation and provision of critical environmental assets and ecosystem services. Since joining The Nature Conservancy in 2012, Liz’s research has been focused on the valuation of Long Island’s market and non-market goods that impact the coastal economy; developing economic models to inform and improve ecosystem-based management strategies, including willingness to pay analysis for wastewater upgrades and an economic impact model of water quality on Long Island.  She now spends the majority of her time working on projects at the intersection of infrastructure, community resilience and policy, specifically, trying to integrate a better understanding of natural assets and trade-offs into decision-making and planning. Elizabeth has worked with both government and ngo’s on sustainability policy issues in the US and internationally, ranging from collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council on investment incentives for the renewable energy market and strategic program evaluation with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society, where she was part of the team responsible for achieving the UNDP Equator Initiative Prize in 2008. Liz received her BA from Villanova University, her MPA from Columbia University in Conservation Policy and her Ph.D. in environmental and resource economics from the University of Rhode Island.

Curt Spalding is the EPA Regional Administrator for New England, Region 1. Since joining the EPA leadership team in February 2010, Spalding has been leading a holistic approach to environmental solutions in New England. He has focused efforts around community engagement, sustainability, environmental justice and the green economy. Spalding has concentrated efforts in the region on three cross-cutting initiatives: resilience planning for climate change, stormwater management and community prosperity. He has been involved in pilot projects on sustainability in various communities around the region. Urban revitalization is a priority for Spalding, and it is coming to fruition in places like Holyoke, MA and Bridgeport, CT. Before his time at EPA he served as Executive Director of Save the Bay in Rhode Island, a nationally recognized, 20,000-member environmental advocacy and education organization. Spalding received his bachelor's degree from Hobart College and an M.P.A. from SUNY at Albany in Albany, NY.

Mark Tedesco is director of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Long Island Sound Office.  The office coordinates the Long Island Sound Study, administered by EPA as part of the National Estuary Program under the Clean Water Act. Mr. Tedesco is responsible for supporting implementation of a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Long Island Sound, approved by the Governors of New York and Connecticut and the EPA Administrator, in cooperation with federal, state, and local government, private organizations, and the public. Mr. Tedesco has worked for EPA for 29 years.  He received his M.S. in marine environmental science in 1986 and a B.S in biology in 1982 from Stony Brook University.

Michael E. White is Of Counsel to the firm Anthony E. Core, P.C., serving in the office of General Counsel for a number of related solid waste and materials management companies and concentrates his law practice in areas of environmental law, municipal law, land use, litigation and natural resources law. Michael is also the owner and President of  L I Strategies, Inc., an environmental planning consulting firm.  

Michael is Chair of the Board of Governors of New York Sea Grant.  He is also Chair of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences Dean’s Council and an Adjunct Faculty in Environmental Law, Planning Policy and Regulations, and Environmental Management at Stony Brook University. Michael serves on the Long Island Regional Planning Council and the Long Island Commission on Aquifer Protection.  Michael is the recipient of the Touro College Law Center Pro Bono Attorney of the year in 2004, the Old Westbury College Foundation Theodore Roosevelt Preservation Award in 2005, co- honoree with his wife Judy of the Cornell Cooperative Extension in 2008 and named Educator / Professional Environmentalist of the Year by the 2014 Stony Brook University EarthStock Program.

He is admitted to practice in the Courts of New York, the Eastern and Southern District Federal Courts of New York, the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. He received his Juris Doctorate from Touro College Law Center and has degrees in Environmental Studies and Earth and Space Sciences, with graduate studies in Marine Sciences at Stony Brook University.

Betsey Wingfield is the Bureau Chief of the Water Protection and Land Reuse Bureau at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  In her 28 years with the Department, she has worked in water quality management, coastal management and site remediation.  Her academic background includes degrees in geology from the University of North Carolina and the University of Connecticut.