Advisory Board Member
Along with a passion for restoring the health of the Great South Bay, Stephen brings a strong background in shellfish restoration efforts, as well as fiscal planning and risk management skills from his work in the financial sector to our the Advisory Board.
Co-founder, Blue Point Brewing
In 1998, Mark Burford, a Long Island native and active environmentalist, co-founded Blue Point Brewing Company in Patchogue and began what is a true local success story for the region. The first beer the brewery produced won two World Beer Cup gold medals. In 2014, Mr. Burford sold Blue Point to Anheuser-Busch. He continues to lead its operations, brewing and management team from Patchogue, N.Y.
The Nature Conservancy
Chuck has a clear, indisputable record of being a strong environmental advocate and has used his knowledge and commitment to lead critical efforts to restore clams in the Great South Bay. One of his recent efforts helped to generate broad-based support for the passage of a bill putting an end to purse seining boats capturing menhaden in NY waters.
President, LI Oyster Growers
Chuck has a long standing commitment to oyster farming in the Great South Bay having founded Thatch Island Oyster Farm back in 2009. He also spearheads a community-based association representing the social, economic, environmental and political interests of Long Island Oyster Growers.
A marine mammal population ecologist, Dr. Kopelman’s passions are environmental protection and education through citizen science involvement in offshore and coastal ecosystems.
He is the president of the Coastal Research and Education Society of LI (CRESLI) and a newly retired Professor Emeritus of Science/Ecology in the Department of Science and Mathematics at the Fashion Institute of Technology of the State University of New York.
He also holds the rank of SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus.
Mike is a native (no pun intended) of Mastic Beach and has an impressive background in rare plant surveys and identification of associated species, seed collection, timber, shrub, and herbaceous plants. He also was actively involved in plant surveys for timber cutting and thinning, in the forests and grasslands of the Nez-Perce National Forest.
His most recent & local projects include a massive invasive species removal/native planting along the Pattersquash Creek in Mastic Beach. He not only secured the DEC permits for the projects, but also did site selection, invasive identification, and removal, as well as, native species planting. In collaboration with our Mastic Beach Creek Defender, Walt Meshenberg, Mike has revived the Bayview Park Native Pollinator Garden project run with the Town of Brookhaven.
These projects are important because they serve as the first line of defense against pollutants running into the creeks, which are the arteries to the Bay.