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Massachusetts

Q&A with Jeff Porter

Following four years on the Conservancy's Board of Trustees in Massachusetts, environmental attorney Jeff Porter has taken on the role of board chairman. Here, he talks about his lifelong interest in conservation and what he hopes to achieve in 2009.
"The Nature Conservancy's science-based approach to conservation is the conservation movement's gold standard."

Jeff Porter, Massachusetts board chairman

nature.org:

When did you first become interested in conservation? What sparked that interest?

Jeff Porter:

I can't remember a time when I wasn't interested in nature. As a child, I would spend hours turning over rocks in the woods behind my house to find the salamanders, snakes and bugs living there. That interest in nature stayed with me — even after my high school science grades made it very clear that a career as a marine biologist wasn't in the cards. As an adult, particularly given my 20 years of practice as an environmental lawyer, I've always appreciated the need for a commitment to the conservation of natural places.

nature.org:

Why did you choose to become involved with The Nature Conservancy?

Jeff Porter:

The Nature Conservancy’s science-based approach to conservation is the conservation movement’s “gold standard.” I'm honored that the Conservancy’s Massachusetts Board and professional staff in Massachusetts thought I had something to add to the cause. I knew that there was no better way for me to attempt to put myself to work in the interest of conservation.

nature.org:

What do like best about your role as a trustee? What is the most challenging?

Jeff Porter:

What I enjoy most about being a trustee is the continuous flow of the most current information about the conservation challenges we face and the best strategies for meeting those challenges on a local, regional and global scale — all from the world’s best conservation scientists. My greatest challenge is digesting all of this information to put it to good use!

nature.org:

What do you hope most to accomplish in 2009?

Jeff Porter:

I hope that we'll be able to set priorities for conservation in Massachusetts that are consistent with our regional goals and then work with other Conservancy chapters and partners in the region to meet those goals. I’m particularly excited about developing priorities in Massachusetts' marine realm as the Commonwealth develops its ocean management plans.

nature.org:

What is your favorite place?

Jeff Porter:

Any beach, river, mountain or field where I'm with my family or the underwater face of any healthy coral reef.


Jeff Porter is chairman of the Environmental Law Section at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo, P.C. with 20 years of experience in dealing with complex environmental issues. Porter also serves on the board of directors of the Boston Harbor Island Alliance which promotes the Boston Harbor Islands national park area by creating vibrant public spaces, facilities, and programming on the islands, raising and managing the public and private resources necessary to do so.

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