Linda Baldwin is an attorney, city planner, and resident of City Island. In 2010 she helped to organize City Island residents to identify their priorities for inclusion in New York City’s comprehensive waterfront plan. She has been working ever since to help secure community access to the waterfront through the proposed Gateway Project so that residents will be able to learn about the ecology of Long Island Sound while enjoying water-based activities. She has been an active supporter of the City Island Oyster Reef since its inception and looks forward to future collaborations between the Gateway Project and the CIOR.

Leigh Beer is a 23-year resident of City Island and an environmental engineer with more than 30 years of experience in the field of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). She began her career working in pollution prevention, hazardous waste minimization, environmental auditing, soil and groundwater remedial investigations, and designing remediation systems for soil and groundwater contamination. She worked as an environmental consultant for 11 years before joining the NYC Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Water Supply as the East of Hudson Deputy Chief in 2002 and managed upstate operations and created the DEP’s first EHS section in 2006. In 2010 she joined the Bureau of Engineering Design and Construction as Environmental Chief, developing environmental programs for $20B construction projects. In 2022 she joined NYCDEP’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety as the Director of EHS Performance Measurement and Strategic Planning. She is a licensed engineer in NY and NJ, has a BS in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University and City University of London, and a ME in Environmental Engineering from Manhattan College. She manages stormwater compliance for local yacht clubs and is an avid sailor, paddleboarder, scuba diver and surfer and can often be found swimming in Eastchester Bay.

Michael N. Clancy, a native of City Island, is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and was a registered professional civil engineer for 24 years. He earned a BS in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers in 1993. He earned an MS in Engineering Management from the Missouri University of Science & Technology, an MS in Civil Engineering from Columbia University, and an MA in Strategy from the U.S. Army War College. As an Army officer, he served in six different combat engineer battalions around the world, spending 32 months in Iraq and 13 in Afghanistan, alternating these combat assignments with those in the Corps of Engineers. He served as Project Engineer, Project Manager, Deputy Area Engineer and Deputy District Commander in the New York District. He then went on to command New Orleans District and serve as Executive Director of Civil Works in the Corps’ headquarters in Washington, DC. He spends his time fixing up an old house on City Island, where he lives with his wife, Hailey, CIOR board member.

Daniel S. Connolly,  a long-term resident of City Island has been a practicing attorney for 30 years. He began his career as a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and served as Counsel in the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York. Since leaving government service, Mr. Connolly has been in private practice as a litigator in the New York office of Bracewell LLP.  Mr. Connolly’s family has roots on City Island dating back to 1936, when his grandparents first rented a summer cottage on Horton Street. In 1973, his grandparents moved permanently to City Island, where his grandmother taught at the local public school.

Rob Crafa is a Coastal Resource Specialist for the NYS Department of State and has been serving as Waterfront Director, development associate at SUNY Maritime College since 2004. He also acts as the Executive Director of Friends of the Bay. He was the executive director of the Waterfront Center from 2000 to 2004. Since 2012 he has served as the coordinator for the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor protection committee. His work highlights his passion and commitment to bettering the health of Long Island Sound. 

Allison Fitzgerald is an Assistant Professor at New Jersey City University. Since 2012 she has worked on restoration projects at the Soundview Oyster Reef, in partnership with NY/NJ Baykeeper, a local non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuary. Dr. Fitzgerald founded the popular citizen science program EcoVolunteers, which provides opportunities for adult volunteers to have hands-on experiences with oyster restoration. She received her PhD from the City University of New York and also does research on benthic invertebrates and microplastic pollution in the estuary.

Christine Frohnert is a partner of Bek&Frohnert LLC, a contemporary art conservation studio in New York City specializing in the preservation of time-based media and kinetic and light-based art. She was the inaugural Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and continues to be a research scholar and coordinator of the Time-based Media Conservation Program at the Institute of Fine Arts. Christine graduated from the Conservation of Modern Materials and Media Program at the University of Arts in Bern, Switzerland. She has been a City Island resident for the past 15 years.

Karen Heil is a middle-school science/S.T.E.A.M. teacher at P.S.175, the City Island School. She has a BS in exercise science and a BA in chemistry from the University of
Massachusetts, and she received her MS in secondary education from Mercy College. Karen has taught at P.S. 175 for more than 22 years, creating diverse learning opportunities for her students, such as hosting a NASA JPL engineer to participate in a week-long celebration of Mars Week. She is currently developing lessons and a marine ecosystem program for the middle school at P.S. 175 and has brought many innovative projects to the school, including the first “Teach-In for Climate Justice” in 2022. In 2023, Ms.Heil received the Big Apple Award for exemplary work in the classroom, inspiring students and enriching their school communities.

Leah Cabral Hill is an Assistant Biologist with the Natural Resources Department on Nantucket, whose aim is to preserve, protect and restore Nantucket’s natural resources through responsible active management, research, education, and outreach. She received her master’s degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Florida. Leah works at the Brant Point Shellfish Hatchery, growing Nantucket bay scallops, oysters, and clams for enhancement or restoration, and she established and still runs the town’s first shell recycling program “Shuck It for Nantucket,” using shells collected on the island for the Shimmo Creek Oyster Restoration Project.

Cody Jernigan grew up in a beach town along the Gulf Coast, which instilled in her a great concern for the conservation of coastal areas and their inhabitants. After completing her BA in psychology at the University of West Florida, she joined the animal behavior and conservation MA program at Hunter College. When she learned about the City Island Oyster Reef, she chose oyster reef restoration as the focus of her thesis, which was completed in December 2022. While working as an intern and educational coordinator at CIOR, she was able to conduct the research necessary for her thesis and learn about the impact that involving the community can have on a conservation project. She hopes to put these skills to use not only with CIOR, but with other conservation projects near her home in Florida.

Orion Lillyreed, a lifelong resident of western Long Island Sound and a current resident of City Island, is an oyster- and fishmonger at Fulton Street Fish Market. He received a BFA in sculpture at SUNY Purchase and from 1998 to 2013 worked in graphics applications and printing production, most recently as sale and production manager for King Displays, Inc., where he was responsible for project management from client files to finished product. Since 2013 he has owned and operated Pacific Gold Seafood, responsible for the wholesale distribution of West Coast seafood to purveyors and retail markets throughout the tristate area.

Peter Linderoth is the Water Quality Program Manager of Save the Sound. He has a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara and an MS in Environmental Science and Management from Sacred Heart University. He worked in the Education and Science Departments at the Bruce Museum before joining Save the Sound. He currently serves as Director of Education on the Friends of Greenwich Point Board of Directors, Committee Chair on the Village of Mamaroneck Marine Education Center Advisory Committee, and Alternate Member on the Town of Greenwich Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency.

Pete Malinowski is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Billion Oyster Project (BOP), a citizen science project coordinated by the New York Harbor School with the goal of restoring one billion live oysters to New York Harbor by 2035. BOP is restoring oyster reefs to New York harbor in collaboration with New York City communities. Having grown up on an oyster farm on Fishers Island, compassion for the environment is second nature to Pete. For most New Yorkers, early morning harbor boat rides would be the ultimate work perk, but Pete’s favorite thing about BOP is watching students at the New York Harbor School—BOP’s flagship school—become experts in their field.

Denis Mellett is the President of Coastal Steward Long Island (CSLI), which is dedicated to restoring and preserving Long Island’s coastline through education, raising public awareness, and community action. CSLI programs educate youth and local community groups in coastal environmental awareness through beach cleanups, shellfish population restoration, and citizen science. By engaging with local youth and communities, CSLI fosters a caring connection between Long Island residents and their shoreline.

Thomas Preuss, PhD, has been a resident of City Island for 18 years and a professor at Hunter College, CUNY. He received a doctorate in natural science from the University of Tübingen, Germany, with subsequent research and faculty positions at Stanford University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Together with his late wife, Dr. Heike Neumeister, he established a laboratory at Hunter College that focuses on the brain, behavior, and conservation of aquatic species, specifically cephalopods and fish. His current relevant research involves studying the potential detrimental effects of bioactive drugs accumulating in water bodies (e.g., the antidepressant Prozac) on the behavior and health of fish. He also is a passionate sailor in the waters of Long Island Sound. 

Rose Rodstrom is a longtime City Island resident who raised her family on City Island. She currently works in research at Meritage Group LP, a hedge fund in Greenwich, Connecticut. Rose has a BS in finance from C.W. Post/Long Island University and an MBA in finance from Baruch College. Before her work in the private sector, Rose volunteered as the PTA President for the local City Island school, P.S. 175, and during the following six years co-directed an educational marine-science non-profit organization called IDEA (Innovative Directions, an Educational Alliance). Rose was part of a committee that built the first two playgrounds on City Island and the first fitness program at the local community center. She continues to give back generously to the City Island community by dedicating efforts to CIOR and the City Island Roadies, a running club that raises money for organizations and families in need.

Eric Sanderson, PhD, is a resident of City Island and has a PhD in ecology from the University of California, Davis. He was the Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society for several years and is now the first Vice President for Urban Conservation Strategy at the New York Botanical Garden. He was Ecology Director for the Bronx River Restoration Project and is now co-chair of the ecology team at the Bronx River Alliance. He is currently focused on the historical and contemporary ecology of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and surrounding waters. As author of the best-selling book Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City, he is now leading a team to create an on-line forum to help the public envision climate-resilient designs for Manhattan (and eventually other cities) over the next 400 years.

Jason Smith is the Director of Northern Manhattan Parks for the New York Restoration Project (NYRP). In this capacity, he leads the stewardship of parkland and implements projects that enhance the resilience of northern Manhattan communities. Since 2008 he has managed Swindler Cove, a public park developed by NYRP on the shore of the Harlem River. At Swindler Cove, he is currently working to adapt the shoreline to environmental changes through wetland restoration, the construction of an artificial reef, research, and monitoring. His interests include ecological land management and the nexus of design and conservation in cities. His research has focused on urban soils and forest restoration. Before working at NYRP, Jason taught art and design at SUNY Buffalo and Canisius College. He received an MS from Brooklyn College in Earth and Environmental Science and an MFA in Visual Art from SUNY Buffalo.

Amelia Zaino, Education Coordinator at the Bronx River Alliance, is a GIS professional who specializes in using maps and images to tell the stories of our complex yet beautiful natural world. She holds a BA in Urban Studies from Fordham University and a master’s degree in Geographic Information Science from Lehman College. She has worked at Wave Hill, the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, NYCH2O, and the NASA Ames Research Center in California and is a board member of the Hutchinson River Restoration Project. She has taught at Lehman College and LaGuardia Community College. Her earliest memories of City Island are of going to buy bait with her Grandpa at Jack’s and having dinner at Tony’s Pier with her family.

Chester B. Zarnoch, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY), where he earned his PhD in biology in 2006. He is a member of the faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he teaches ecology, evolutionary biology, and behavior. He has been an active researcher in marine ecology and aquaculture since 2001 and has published papers on shellfish biology, sediment nitrogen cycling, salt marsh ecology, and intensive aquaculture. His current research aims to describe the biological and physical processes that influence ecosystem services derived from restored habitats in eutrophic estuaries.