The Nature Conservancy Welcomes New Director for Its Long Island Sound Program
Chantal Collier brings vast experience to a key Conservancy post.
NEW HAVEN, CT | December 02, 2011
The Connecticut and Long Island chapters of The Nature Conservancy today welcome Chantal Collier as director of the Conservancy’s Long Island Sound Program, which is dedicated to ongoing revitalization of a crucial urban estuary.
Collier most recently oversaw the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program for seven years, where she successfully increased the program’s visibility and funding. In addition, Collier managed state and national partnerships that included stakeholders from more than 70 resource user groups, industries, academic institutions, agencies and nongovernmental organizations.
In her new position, Collier will be responsible for the Conservancy’s engagement in marine and coastal conservation in the Sound, where pressures from population growth, development and climate change escalate daily.
About 21 million people live within 50 miles of Long Island Sound. According to the Long Island Sound Study, a cooperative effort involving researchers, regulators, user groups and other concerned organizations and individuals, the Sound’s estimated annual value to the local economy is $8.91 billion.
“Having spent many of my childhood summers on the shores and in the waters of Connecticut and Long Island, I am delighted to return to the place that inspired me to pursue a career in marine conservation,” Collier said. “Long Island Sound is a place of remarkable beauty and intrinsic, as well as economic, value. Working together, we can restore and protect the invaluable resources of the Sound for the benefit of our communities today and for future generations.”
Conservancy initiatives in the Sound include:
- Working with local communities using a computer-based Coastal Resilience Tool to project and prepare for potential impacts from storm surge and sea-level rise;
- Developing innovative ways to restore damaged coastal habitats and rejuvenate or sustain seagrass and shellfish;
- Creating the first-ever comprehensive ecological assessment of the Sound, which will allow the Conservancy with community, agency, university, industry, and other organization partners to create an “Ocean Plan” that accommodates the growing demand for use of the Sound to enhance economic growth while protecting its valuable natural resources.
“We’re so thrilled to welcome Chantal,” said Frogard Ryan, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. “Chantal is a clear leader, and we’re confident she’s bringing the skill-set that will best suit this crucial program now and into the future.”
Said Nancy Kelly, executive director of The Nature Conservancy on Long Island: “We are very enthusiastic about Chantal’s ability to engage public and private partners in Connecticut and New York as we work to protect and restore this nationally significant estuary for both people and nature.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.