University of Delaware

Sea Grant council

Delaware Sea Grant welcomes new members to advisory council


8:27 a.m., March 10, 2014--The Delaware Sea Grant College Program has announced the addition of five members to its Sea Grant Advisory Council.

The new members are:

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  • Bill Baker, owner, Bill’s Sport Shop;
  • Todd Fritchman, president, Envirotech Environmental Consulting Inc.;
  • Daniel Leathers, Delaware state climatologist, Office of the Delaware State Climatologist;
  • Ernesto B. Lopez, 6th Senatorial District, Delaware State Senate; and
  • Hilary Valentine, department chair, Environmental Training Center, Delaware Technical Community College.

The council serves as the statewide external advisory body to the Delaware Sea Grant College Program. Its members hail from marine-oriented business and industry, resource management and engineering firms, state government, public interest groups, the pre-college educational sector, and the media.

“These new members will join our seasoned cadre of individuals who help us consider the ways in which we serve the citizens of Delaware through coastal science, outreach, and education,” says Nancy Targett, Delaware Sea Grant director and dean of the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. “I’d like to thank George Carey (retired state representative) and Gary Patterson (Delaware Petroleum Council), for their service as they rotate off of the council.”

Working within the national priorities identified by the National Sea Grant College Program, the council helps further define priority coastal issues relevant to Delaware. 

In 1975, the Sea Grant Advisory Council spearheaded the request to the Delaware General Assembly for a $250,000 line in the state budget earmarked for the UD Sea Grant College Program. Since then, the council has assisted in maintaining and increasing this initial appropriation as well as helped us identify potential partners for accomplishing specific research and outreach objectives.

In addition to the five new members, the Sea Grant Advisory Council members are:

  • Jennifer Adkins, executive director, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary;
  • Gene R. Bailey, executive director, Diamond State Port Corporation;
  • Chris Bason, executive director, Center for the Inland Bays;
  • Ruth Briggs-King, Delaware state representative;
  • Sarah W. Cooksey, program administrator, Delaware Coastal Programs, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control;
  • Gerard Esposito (SGAC Chair), president, Tidewater Utilities Inc.;
  • Thomas J. Fikslin, manager, Modeling, Monitoring and Assessment Branch, Delaware River Basin Commission;
  • Lorraine Fleming, board member, Delaware Nature Society;
  • James L. Ford III, mayor, city of Lewes, Del.;
  • Jeanie Harper, Samuels and Son Seafood;
  • Richard Heffron, senior vice president for government affairs, Delaware State Chamber of Commerce;
  • David B. McBride, Delaware state senator;
  • Tonyea Mead, Delaware Department of Education;
  • William Miller, SGAC Chair Emeritus, retired, Delaware River and Bay Authority;
  • Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., executive director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council;
  • Betsy Reamer, executive director, Lewes Chamber of Commerce;
  • Michelle Rodgers, Ph.D., associate dean and director, Cooperative Extension, University of Delaware;
  • Paul E. Sample, consultant, Samples Inc.;
  • Dave Saveikis, director, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control;
  • John Schneider, program manager, Watershed Assessment Section, Division of Water Resources, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control;
  • Edward M. Simek, Ph.D., principal, Environmental Resources Management Inc.;
  • F. Gary Simpson, Delaware state senator;
  • Halsey Spruance, executive director, Delaware Museum of Natural History;
  • Hillary Valentine, department chair of the Environmental Training Center, Delaware Technical Community College;
  • Katherine Ward, executive director, Delaware Press Association; and
  • Stuart Widom, senior environmental consultant, Conectiv.

About Delaware Sea Grant

The University of Delaware was designated as the nation’s ninth Sea Grant College in 1976 to promote the wise use, conservation and management of marine and coastal resources through high-quality research, education and outreach activities that benefit the public and the environment. UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment administers the program, which conducts research in priority areas ranging from seafood safety to coastal hazards.

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