A Place I Love: The Delaware Bayshores hold a special place in Andrew Manus’s heart after spending a lot of time working in the estuary. “There is nothing more beautiful than the first hard freeze and light dusting of snow on Delaware’s tidal marshes just as the sun is coming up.”
Just as unique and valuable as the species the Conservancy protects are the dedicated staff members around the world who inspire groundbreaking projects and ultimately advance the organization’s mission. With valuable hindsight resulting from almost four decades of leadership in the non-profit, academic and government sectors, including as Director of the state’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, Andrew Manus represents one such staff member who has spent the last nine years moving the Conservancy’s work forward in the mid-Atlantic region’s forests, rivers, coasts and farmlands.
However, when asked to reflect upon his many accomplishments upon retirement from the Conservancy, Andrew chose to focus on the people rather than the projects.
“Conservation projects come and go and when old folks like me retire the tendency is to list a litany of project accomplishments,” says Manus. “To me the thing I will remember most favorably about the Conservancy are the special people I had the opportunity to work with during the closing chapter of my professional career.”
The sentiment is mutual as several colleagues weighed in to share their thoughts about how Manus has embodied the Conservancy’s values over almost a decade of conservation in the First State.
“One thing that has stood out the most to me is how much importance Andy places on relationships with colleagues and partners and making sure the Conservancy is making an impact on the ground,” says Patty Doerr, the Conservancy’s Director of Conservation Projects in New Jersey. “From working on the Delaware River Basin Conservation Initiative to conservation business planning for the Mid-Atlantic, he was never shy about offering his words of wisdom to ensure we’re making a real conservation difference – and that was invaluable.”
Adds Manus’s counterpart in Virginia, “Whether on issues of offshore wind energy siting or menhaden fishery policy reform, Andy has been an instrumental part of our Mid-Atlantic Seascape team, bringing his decades of experience, keen insight and shrewd perceptions to inform our conservation activities,” says Gwynn Crichton, Senior Projects Manager.
Perhaps Andrew will let his former colleagues check in from time to time to brainstorm ideas, although that may prove challenging with his ambitious plans to work on his family’s farm in Clayton in between visiting the occasional national park.
“I feel grateful to be able to retire from the conservation field after 38 years,” adds Manus. “Now it’s time to spend more time outdoors!”