Happy May–American Wetlands Month! How fitting that my first day as the Executive Director of The Wetlands Conservancy was May 1st. I write this to you all only a few days into my tenure with The Wetlands Conservancy, and already I am so grateful for the opportunity to lead this amazing organization into the next chapter! Many friends of mine reacted with surprise when they learned that I was going to transition jobs in the middle of a global pandemic. But I thought, what better time for change, the whole world is changing. I know the future is uncertain, and we don’t know what the “new normal” looks like, but I am hopeful that some of the change we see results in more people coming together to protect the things they love. We know that our precious wetlands and wild places have been under threat, and now in this time of incredible change, we must prioritize these places and ensure they are here for decades to come.
I have a lot to learn still about wetlands ecology and this strong community I am now a part of. I look forward to connecting with you all, our partners, donors and volunteers, in the coming weeks and months, virtually or otherwise. The incredible team that is the Wetlands Conservancy staff and board have welcomed me with open arms and are busy helping me absorb all the amazing knowledge they possess. They have started work on an updated strategic plan, and I look forward to wrapping that up and sharing that with you all very soon.
I grew up in upstate New York, and my father loved nothing more than being outside in the woods. From him, I learned at a young age that these places are vital to our own lives, and that we have a duty to protect and steward them. I have spent the past 20 years of my career engaging kids and adults with their natural landscapes, believing that to care about a place one must first experience it. Through this work, I was exposed to wetlands in the high desert, coast, and valleys.
I am thrilled to bring my leadership and operations skills to an organization directly conserving and managing these important natural resources
All the best,
KATIE RYAN, Executive Director