Bay Heros 2016

Meet the 2016 Bay Heros...

Peter Baye

Peter Baye is a coastal ecologist and botanist specializing in conservation management of coastal vegetation. He began applied studies of dunes and barrier beaches as an undergraduate at Colby College in Maine in the late 1970s, and expanded to tidal marshes and lagoons in Cape Cod, Canadian Maritime Provinces, Great Britain, and California. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario, Department of Plant Sciences, Canada, in 1990. In California he worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District, as a senior ecologist specializing in wetlands regulatory projects, from 1991-1997. He prepared endangered species recovery plans for coastal species and ecosystems, including the first draft of the tidal marsh recovery plan covering the San Francisco Estuary, while he worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento, from 1997-2002. After leaving the Fish and Wildlife Service, Peter continued his diverse wetlands and endangered species conservation work in the Bay Area and Central California as an independent ecological consultant. Adaptation of coastal ecosystems management to accelerated sea level rise and shoreline retreat has been a major focus of his independent consulting work in the Bay and outer coast. His projects include original designs for mixed gravel-sand estuarine beaches as “soft” shoreline and marsh-edge erosion control (alternative to rock armoring), terrestrial transition zones of tidal marshes (including slope wetland “horizontal levees”), high tidal marsh mounds, submerged aquatic vegetation beds, and specialized habitats for endangered plant and wildlife species.

Jeremy Lowe

Jeremy Lowe is a senior scientist with the San Francisco Estuary Institute and has over 30 years’ wetland restoration and flood management experience in Europe and the US, the last 15 years on the West Coast. His work has included the design of sea defenses in Venice, Italy and the planning of wetland restoration at Ballona Wetlands in Venice, California. Jeremy is actively involved in a number of climate change planning efforts in the Bay including the San Francisco Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals. He has worked on several demonstration projects in the Bay piloting nature-based adaptation to climate change - the Horizontal Levee project which combines flood protection, wetland restoration and wastewater; the Living Shorelines project creating oysters and eelgrass habitat; and a pilot project for placing dredged sediment to increase marsh growth.

Michael Stewart Connor, Ph.D.

Dr. Connor is General Manager of the East Bay Dischargers Authority (EBDA) that discharges treated sewage effluent from the approximately 900,000 residents living between Oakland and San Jose. In that role he also serves as chairman of the Bay Area Clean Water Agencies that are responsible for developing sustainable water treatment strategies for residents of the SF Bay. Dr. Connor’s education and experience have focused on improving the scientific basis of environmental policy formulation. He combines doctoral training in marine ecology and post-doctoral training in public health with 30 years experience working at the local, regional, national, and international levels. He has international experience in Hong Kong, Korea and Japan and has served as an environmental advisor to projects in a dozen coastal states. He has more than thirty peer-reviewed publications. His career has focused on coastal water quality issues in New England and central California from the perspective of regulatory agencies, dischargers, and environmental NGOs. He has spent about ten years working in each of those sectors. He was responsible for initiating National Estuary Programs for Long Island Sound, Narragansett Bay, and Buzzards Bay as an EPA staffer. He was the lead scientist for Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s Boston Harbor “clean-up’ Project where he led negotiations with NGOs concerned about outfall impacts He was Vice President of New England Aquarium’s Programs and Exhibits, overseeing the Aquarium’s worldwide research, conservation , and education programs. Before moving to EBDA, he was Executive Director of the San Francisco Estuary Institute, an NGO responsible for monitoring Bay water quality.