Associate Long Island Soundkeeper
Who We Are Save the Sound leads environmental action in your region. We protect the Sound, restore its rivers, and fight climate change while building resilient communities and preserving endangered lands. We do this in many ways, from legislative advocacy and legal action to engineering, environmental monitoring and hands on volunteer efforts. For more than 40 years we’ve been ensuring people can enjoy the healthy, clean and thriving environment they deserve – today and for generations to come. Our organizational leadership and staff are working to deepen Save the Sound’s diversity, equity and inclusion. We work in diverse communities and landscapes, and are seeking to broaden the range of perspectives and lived experiences represented at all levels of our organization. We are currently working to redouble our efforts to drive environmental justice action for equitable outcomes through our work.
Position Description: This is a full time position, which will begin June 1, 2022, reporting to the Long Island Soundkeeper and based out of either of Save the Sound’s offices in New Haven or Larchmont. Boat/Field work will take place throughout Long Island Sound leaving from the homeport of Blackrock Harbor in Bridgeport, CT and at times Mamaroneck, NY with a primary focus on the Western Sound. The Western Sound runs from Bridgeport, CT to Port Jeff, NY and down to Queens, the Bronx and back up through Westchester County. The position is supervised by the Long Island Soundkeeper and will collaborate with Water Quality Team, the Legal Team and the Ecological Restoration Team. The full Soundkeeper Program actively patrols the Long Island Coastline from Plum Island to the East River. Boat days can be long with exposure to the elements and rough seas. Tracking down pollution sources by collecting water quality data and samples are primary duties associated with this position. Many issues are identified through citizen reports requiring frequent travel to diverse locations around the Sound. This work may involve launching a kayak from the patrol vessel to access shallow water discharge pipes. In addition, river patrols and stream walks may occur to identify inland pollution sources that drain to the Sound as well as potential habitat restoration projects and fish passage impediments. Job responsibilities are diverse and schedules are flexible within the 40 hour work week.
The applicant must have a CT or NY safe boating certificate and be able to pilot vessels up to a 25’ Parker 2530
General duties: • Vessel maintenance: Cleaning, small repairs, equipment maintenance •Data Collection: Using scientific equipment such as handheld GPS units, water quality meters, bacteria sample bottles and data loggers • Research: Online researching of water pollution incidents, history and impacts • Program Development: Tabling events such as boat shows, oyster festivals and National Estuary Day • Outreach/Education: Supporting the Soundkeeper in scheduling and preparing for evening presentations on a variety of water quality and fishery topics to yacht clubs, conservation groups, community programs and schools. • Internship Mentoring: This position will assist with providing a well-rounded experience for 1-2 Soundkeeper interns
Specific Projects for 2022. •Remote Aerial Mapping - We are developing an aerial drone thermal imaging and mapping program to identify potential sources of bacteria entering along the coastline. ArcGIS skills are highly desired for this application though not required. •Assessment of Abandoned Lobster Pots - Utilizing a side-scan sonar to potentially locate abandoned lobster pots. This project is in its first year of funding to determine if side-scan transect data is a reliable way to detect pots abandoned after the decline in the LIS lobster fishery and crew lobster boats for removing lost pots. Abandoned pot collection is a collaboration with CTDEEP Marine Fisheries, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk and Project Oceanography who may be contracting commercial vessels to retrieve pots this season depending on grant funding. The vessel will support these efforts in Bridgeport and may include scuba diving to assist the project.
Miscellaneous Projects • We periodically assist academic researchers with projects by providing a sampling platform. • The Soundkeeper regularly attends conferences and onshore meetings with legislators, the press and the Waterkeeper Alliance so the applicant must be able to pilot the boat independently with the Soundkeeper Intern and be willing to work with other Save the Sound Programs as needed. • The other programs include a Citizen Bacteria Monitoring effort in the Western Sound, the Unified Water Study which coordinates 23 citizen science groups across 40 bays of Long Island Sound, beach clean-ups and habitat restoration projects which include stream and culvert assessments and wetland plantings. • A pilot eel grass restoration project is currently underway and may include snorkeling or diving for eel grass seeds. Scientific diving certification is a plus.
Desired Qualifications: We are looking for a highly motivated and independent individual with: • Boating experience with boating safety certificate and/or Coast Guard approved certificate • Ability to work independently and prioritize daily tasks to meet program goals • Strong communications skills • Ability to work with and coordinate all types of people mixed together in a group setting • Excellent organizational skills, experience working with data and Microsoft Excel • Passion for protecting and restoring water quality and familiarity with Long Island Sound • Ability to use ArcMap is highly desirable, though not required
Terms and Compensation: This is a full-time non-exempt position that pays $18-20/hour for an average work week of 40 hours. Our comprehensive benefits package includes: company-sponsored health insurance, a 403b plan (partially funded after one year of employment), life and long-term disability insurance, very generous Paid Time Off benefits (holidays, vacation, personal time, and sick days), subsidized parking, the opportunity to participate in a company-sponsored FSA account, and opportunities for professional development. The position begins June 1, 2022. Access to a computer will be provided. Reimbursement for work-related travel is provided. Some evening and weekend hours will be required on an as needed basis
To Apply: Please submit a resume, three references, and a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications for this position. As this is a unique position applications will be rolling with preference given to those received by April 1, 2022. You can submit your materials electronically to Bill Lucey at: email@example.com We will be in touch to acknowledge receipt of your application and to schedule selected applicants for an interview. Our selection process can take from 7 to 10 weeks. You will be informed when the process is complete.
COVID-19 Considerations: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Save the Sound is moving to a permanent hybrid inoffice/remote arrangement. Office opening/closing and health policies are regularly updated based on the current state of the pandemic. All office use and field work must follow Save the Sound’s most up-to-date safety protocols. Save the Sound requires that all new hires submit proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 for the safety of all staff and the communities where we work. Save the Sound is an equal opportunity employer. We prohibit discrimination based on age, color, disability, marital or parental status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or any other legally protected status in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.
Long Island Soundkeeper Background: The Long Island Soundkeeper Fund began in 1987 founded by Terry Backer and was modelled after the nearby Hudson Riverkeeper. The Long Island Soundkeeper was a founding member of the Waterkeeper Alliance which is now a global water advocacy program operating in over 40 countries with more than 300 member groups. The Long Island Sound program grew from a commercial fishing advocacy group, the CT Coastal Fisherman’s Association, angered by poor water quality in the waters they harvested. CFE/ Save the Sound merged Soundkeeper into their organization in 2017. Save the Sound is a regional leader protecting Long Island Sound’s shoreline, marine habitat and water quality for more than 30 years, and merged with Connecticut Fund for the Environment in 2004. Linking Soundkeeper’s mission of swimmable, drinkable, fishable water with CFE’s legal, scientific and policy expertise and Save the Sound’s stewardship, restoration, and community outreach capability has further enhanced our reputation for leadership in protecting and restoring the Sound. In 2020, the organization combined under one banner as Save the Sound. We are committed to making every beach and its surrounding waters in the Sound safe for swimming, fishing and wildlife.