Advisors

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. 

Barbara Bratone is an Island resident, formerly of Pelham, where she founded and worked for a number of organizations, including the Pelham Art Center and the Pelham Picture House. After obtaining her degree at SUNY Cortland, she worked as a teacher and then for the Phelps Stokes Foundation, the Ms. Foundation for Women, and the Bishop Tutu Scholarship Fund. Ms. Bratone was the founder and first executive director of  the American Indian College Fund and the La Napoule Art Foundation, before working as a consultant to several not-for-profit organizations. She specializes in new organizations and focuses on board development, fundraising, public relations, and strategic planning.  

Daniel S. Connolly is a 22-year resident of City Island and has been a practicing attorney for 32 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.  For the past 15 years, Mr. Connolly has been in private practice as a litigator in the New York office of Bracewell LLP.  

Rob Crafa is a Coastal Resource Specialist for the NYS Department of State and the Waterfront Director for SUNY Maritime College.  He also serves as the Executive Director of Friends of the Bay and Founding Executive Director of the Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor.

Allison Fitzgerald is an Assistant Professor at New Jersey City University. Over the past 13 years, 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 Ph.D. 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, 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 at New York University. 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.

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. Ms. Hill 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. 

Peter Linderoth is the Water Quality Program Manager of Save the Sound. He has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Management from Sacred Heart University. Mr. Linderoth 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. 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 is a City Island resident for 18 years and a Professor at Hunter College of 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. 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 of the Long Island Sound waters. 

Eric Sanderson is a resident of City Islandand has a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California, Davis. Dr. Sanderson is the Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society and was the Ecology Director for the Bronx River Restoration Project and is currently 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. He is also the author of the best-selling book Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City and is now leading a team to create a new version of Mannahatta, 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 NYRP developed on the shore on 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, Mr. Smith taught art and design at SUNY Buffalo and Canisius College. He received an M.S. from Brooklyn College in Earth and Environmental Science and an M.F.A. in Visual Art from SUNY Buffalo.

Amelia Zaino is an environmental educator and GIS professional who specializes in using maps and images to tell the stories of our complex yet beautiful natural world. She holds a Bachelor of Arts 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. 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 dinners at Tony’s with the family.

Chester B. Zarnoch is a Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology at Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY) and is Graduate Faculty in the Biology Program at CUNY’s Graduate Center. 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. Zarnoch holds a Ph.D. in Biology (The Graduate Center – CUNY, 2006).