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Judy Haner

Judy Haner

Marine and Freshwater Programs Director, The Nature Conservancy in Alabama

Judy Haner is the Marine and Freshwater Programs Director for The Nature Conservancy in Alabama, where she oversees marine, estuarine and freshwater restoration, coastal ecology, regional conservation efforts and linking communities with resources.

She joined the Conservancy in 2010, just months before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Now a key member of The Nature Conservancy’s Gulf of Mexico team, Judy has spent countless hours focused on post-spill recovery and long-term restoration efforts in Mobile Bay and the larger Gulf region. She helped conceptualize and initiate the “100-1000: Restore Coastal Alabama” project to build 100 miles of oyster reefs (essential to shoreline protection and wildlife habitat) and enhance 1,000 acres of coastal marsh and seagrass. With public and private funding, The Nature Conservancy and its partners installed the first ¼ mile of reef in early 2011 with the help of public agencies, private partners and more than 500 volunteers from across the country.

Judy has worked for 20 years with state agencies from Puerto Rico to Florida to Alaska in partnership with NOAA, linking watershed activities with estuarine health to implement long-term coastal, estuarine and marine restoration. From managing the 375,000 acre Kachemak Bay Research Reserve – the largest NERR in the national system – to developing restoration plans and leading outreach efforts for Everglades Restoration, Judy has secured more than $11M in competitive grants to implement coastal planning and restoration projects that link science and management with on-the-ground actions and communities.

Judy received a master’s degree from the College of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science, where she worked on crustacean population dynamics and studied the impacts of water quality on molting blue crabs. She has a dual major B.S. in biology and chemistry from Lynchburg College in Virginia and has previous experience in watershed management, habitat and hydrologic restoration, and management planning.

When not at work, Judy is usually on her boat with her husband and 2 dogs, fishing, diving and swimming along the Gulf coast.

Honors and Committees
  • 6/2010-present, Northern Gulf Institute, Advisory Council
  • 6/2010-present, MS-AL Sea Grant Consortium, Advisory Council
  • 8/2010-present, Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Restoration Council
  • 8/2011-present, The Society for Ecological Restoration Board of Directors and Southeast Region Representative
  • 2011, National Audubon Society’s Women in Conservation Award
  • 2008, South Florida Water Management District, April Team of the Month, Aqua Kids
  • 2008, South Florida Water Management District, March Team of the Month, Media
  • 2007, South Florida Water Management District, Instant Cash Award, Xtreme Yard Makeover
Media and Outreach

Judy has an extensive media background and has been involved in television series, documentaries and special features.

  • 2010 Georgia Public Broadcasting, Georgia Outdoors-Dark Waters Ahead (documentary)
  • 2008 Big Cypress Swamp "The Western Everglades” Big Cypress National Preserve (documentary)
  • 2008 Aqua Kids, Episode 22: The Everglades, Stormwater Treatment Areas (television series)
  • 2008 Aqua Kids, Episode 23: The Everglades, Hydrologic Restoration (television series)
  • 2008 Aqua Kids, Episode 24: The Everglades, Coastal Estuaries (television series)
  • 2007 South Florida Water Management District, Xtreme Yard Makeover (multimedia features)
Blog Posts


Judy Haner

Marine and Freshwater Programs Director, The Nature Conservancy in Alabama

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