PREP: How long have you been a champion for clean water?
Jen: Unofficially, probably since birth! I grew up on Lake Ontario, so clean water to drink, swim in and as a habitat for animals has always been important. I went to Cornell and received a BS in Natural Resources. My career working around water started in 1995 as an intern and deckhand for the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company. From there, I did an internship with the Whale Center of New England in Gloucester (where I met Blue Ocean Society’s co-founder, Dianna Schulte), and went back to ISSCo for several years before Dianna and I founded Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation. Along the way, I also got my MS at UNH in Resource Administration and Management.
PREP: How’d you get started in protecting clean water?
Jen: Oops, I think I answered that above! But I remember as a kid having an interest in whales and the environment, and doing what I could to help.
PREP: What’s your favorite thing to do with or on water?
Jen: Anytime I’m on a boat, I’m happy. But watching whales or other marine life is an obvious first choice. But I love swimming, walking on the beach and kayaking when I have time.
PREP:What’s been your proudest moment as a clean water champion?
Jen: I’m proud every day of how Blue Ocean Society has grown in the past 11 years, and how much we have accomplished with such a small staff. It is really the thousands of interns, school program participants, and volunteers that has made that happen. But I was also proud in 2007 when Dianna and I received the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award.
PREP: What’s one simple thing you would tell somebody to do to protect the places around the Seacoast they love?
Jen: Pick up litter when you’re on a walk, at the beach or out in a boat.