Nancy Kelley, a longtime chief at the Character Conservancy in Long Island, N.Y., who helped the firm broaden into maritime restoration, died on Saturday. She was 65.
The Character Conservancy New York introduced Kelley’s demise yesterday. The Southampton Press described that Kelley died from issues of multiple program atrophy.
Kelley, who worked with the Nature Conservancy for almost 22 decades, led the South Fork-Shelter Island and Prolonged Island chapters of the team. She was promoted to turn out to be the organization’s New York finding out and enhancement supervisor in late 2020.
New York Executive Director Bill Ulfelder recalled Kelley’s function in expanding the organization’s focus to incorporate oceans and water quality.
“She was a wonderful close friend, a superb chief and a marvelous colleague,” Ulfelder instructed E&E News, noting that Kelley’s impact reverberated throughout the organization, and not only in her residence point out. “She was extensively adored and beloved and admired.”
He afterwards extra: “Her contacting was conservation and it was about main us into new arenas, new locations of get the job done, new means of conservation that the occasions termed for. Not most people can direct and handle as a result of all those kinds of transitions, and she did that.”
In individual, Ulfelder pointed to Kelley’s job in the organization’s acquisition of 11,500 acres of marine acreage in the Long Island Bay in the early 2000s (Greenwire, Oct. 22, 2002).
The conservation team acquired maritime bottom lands from Bluepoints Co., which experienced elevated and harvested Blue Factors oysters there.
“This was among our really initial forays into doing work in ocean conservation and restoration, and it was a match changer for the group,” Ulfelder spelled out, noting the team is now among the the biggest ocean conservation corporations globally.
The maritime bottom lands acquisition would prompt a different change that Kelley would immediate, when an effort to restore shellfish to the bay led to discoveries about drinking water top quality issues.
“We place millions of shellfish, generally clams, into the drinking water out there in an energy to restore the shellfish populations, and they never ever took hold, they retained dying,” Ulfelder claimed. “As a result of scientific examination it was realized it was a drinking water high quality difficulty.”
That study prompted a community facts campaign and in the end led to policy modifications for residential septic units on Extended Island, which had been leaking into the bays and estuaries for decades.
“The Nature Conservancy less than Nancy’s leadership started to educate all people and allocate means,” Ulfelder said.
Kelley mentioned her get the job done in a 2015 TEDx Talk at Hofstra University, telling the viewers: “Nature requirements to be identified and valued as the most beneficial player it is. But as a modern society we really do not do this terribly nicely. We can do superior.”
Ulfelder also pointed to Kelley’s get the job done to conserve the 822-acre Plum Island, a one particular-time federal animal condition investigation facility in the Extensive Island Audio that experienced been slated for the auction block (Greenwire, Dec. 23, 2020).
“This was a fruits of a decade of function on her watch, and a little something I know she was immensely gratified by,” Ulfelder stated.
But Kelley’s perform also extended outside of New York to the conservation group’s efforts to guard lands globally, in locations like Belize.
“She experienced a superb way of connecting with people today,” Ulfelder reported. “She actually recognized that people are component of mother nature and that our mission in conservation is as significantly about human effectively-being as it is the perfectly-remaining of normal ecosystems, habitats, and the plants and animals close to us.”
During Kelley’s tenure, the conservation team was 2 times honored by EPA’s Location 2.
It awarded the Prolonged Island and South Fork-Shelter Island chapters its yearly “environmental top quality award” in 2004 for their work shielding the Peconic Estuary.
The two chapters would merge in 2006, and the Extensive Island Chapter received an additional EPA award in 2017 for its work to handle nitrogen pollution in ground and floor waters.
Kelley gained a bachelor’s diploma from Cornell University and a master’s from Harvard University’s Kennedy College of Authorities.
The Southampton Press described that Kelley will be honored with a “celebration of lifetime” afterwards this yr. Kelley’s loved ones requested that donations be designed to the Mother nature Conservancy’s Lengthy Island Stewardship Fund in lieu of bouquets.