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About Us

Staff at DEC Clear Communications Award event in 2015
Former DEC Commissioner Joe Martens, Hudson River Estuary Coordinator Fran Dunwell, current staff Ingrid Haeckel and Laura Heady, and former colleague Karen Strong at the DEC Clear Communications Awards in 2015, when our NRI guidebook was recognized. NYSDEC Photo

The Hudson River Estuary Biodiversity Program was formed in 1997 as a major joint initiative of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program and Cornell University’s Department of Natural Resources. Working with scientific partners, we've increased our understanding of ecological resources and conservation priorities in the watershed, and continue to develop new data and tools.

Now called the Conservation and Land Use Team, our extension staff have delivered outreach and technical assistance since 2001 to raise awareness about estuary watershed biodiversity and conservation approaches; provide access to current, science-based information; and increase the planning capacity of communities and non-profit partners through technical assistance. By exchanging ideas and fostering new collaborations, we have advanced effective practices and policies that will help to sustain the estuary watershed and inspire communities to play an important role in biodiversity conservation.

Read more about our extension approach:

Ingrid Haeckel talks to a conference participant at a poster session. Photo by L. Heady
Ingrid at the Association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals conference in 2016. Photo by L. Heady
Nate and Laura stand in front of a poster presentation at a conference. By Brian Buchanan
Nate and Laura at the Black Rock Forest Research Symposium in 2019. Photo by B. Buchanan