RI Native Appointed As Narragansett Baykeeper
Save The Bay, a community-based organization committed to protecting and restoring Narragansett Bay, announces the appointment of Tom Kutcher as Narragansett Baykeeper, a licensed program of the Waterkeeper Alliance. Kutcher will lead the prominent on-the-water advocacy and watchdog program for the organization.
Kutcher brings extensive experience in coastal ecology from his previous work with the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve as well as his time consulting with the Estuarine Reserves Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The Narragansett Baykeeper serves as a respected authority on water quality, pollution, coastal ecology, and resource management for the Narragansett Bay watershed and adjacent coastal waters. The Baykeeper also works cooperatively with federal and local authorities to address pollution problems and use conflicts – as well as provides rapid response to environmental threats or emergencies.
“I grew up with the Bay in my backyard,” says Kutcher. “Like so many Rhode Islanders, my summers were spent on the water, boating and fishing, or exploring the nearby shore. My career reflects the deep affinity I feel toward the Bay – and obligation I feel toward protecting it for future generations to enjoy. Having the opportunity now to directly advocate on its behalf as Baykeeper is exciting for me.”
Kutcher joins the Save The Bay team on the heels of one of the organization’s most successful advocacy fights in its forty-one-year history. The organization mobilized thousands of Rhode Islanders in its successful fight against Hess and the proposed liquified natural gas offloading facility and pipeline in Mt. Hope Bay. Last summer, Hess announced its decision to abandon the project amidst heavy scrutiny from residents and community advocates.
“Tom brings a wealth of experience and personal connection to Rhode Island and our Bay that position him well to lead the Baykeeper program,” says Jonathan Stone, Save The Bay’s executive director. “While we’ve made significant progress in recent years, the Bay is still under stress. We need a tireless champion like Tom to lead the next chapter in its revival so it can be healthy and productive for years to come.”
In his new role, Kutcher will also lead strategies to build support for the ongoing protection, restoration, and science-based management of Narragansett Bay.