FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 26, 2023
Contact: Jesse Iliff, Executive Director
Severn River Association (SRA) Is Pleased to Welcome Dr. Ben Fertig as the New Restoration Manager to Spearhead Efforts in Watershed, Shoreline, and River Restoration and Conservation
SRA is proud to announce that Dr. Ben Fertig will be joining the team as Restoration Manager. He will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of SRA’s restoration programming throughout the watershed (e.g. green infrastructure), shoreline (e.g. living shorelines), and in the river (e.g. oyster restoration) and will report to the Executive Director. “I am so excited about this opportunity to work throughout an entire tributary from the headwaters to where the river meets the Chesapeake,” Ben enthused. “I am eager to return to working in Annapolis and throughout the Severn River area where I spent my graduate school days researching sources of pollution to the Bay using chemical indicators in oysters. It feels like I’m returning home. I love that SRA uses sound science, community partnerships, and advocacy to drive its restoration priorities.” In this newly created role, Ben will conduct preliminary site assessments, develop funding streams, draft requests for proposals for design and construction services, review bids, and work with the Executive Director to select contractors to ensure projects are appropriately designed, permitted, constructed, monitored, and maintained. He will administer project grants as required by individual grantors, manage the organization’s oyster restoration efforts, assist with watershed restoration planning, and engage volunteers. “We are excited about bringing Ben on board to help execute the Severn River Action Plan and develop our restoration program,” said SRA Executive Director Jesse Iliff. “His breadth of experience and deep understanding of the Bay and its ecosystem equip him well to deliver state of the art restoration projects to all of our watershed communities, and I expect that his friendly and outgoing demeanor will be a great asset as we continue to connect with the people who live, work and play on the Severn River.”
Ben comes to SRA with a wealth of experience. Previously, he was Program Director for Howard EcoWorks where he managed watershed restoration projects and environmental workforce development in Howard County, and before that he was Community Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator at Irvine Nature Center in Owings Mills. He has taught ecology, evolution, GIS, and other courses to hundreds of students at Stevenson University and at the Community College of Baltimore County. He completed his doctorate in Marine, Estuarine, and Environmental Science through the University of Maryland, College Park in 2010. Subsequently, he held a postdoctoral position at Rutgers University Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences and later monitored the health of restored oyster reefs in various Chesapeake tributaries. Dr. Fertig has published over a dozen scientific peer reviewed journal articles on using oysters and other biological indicators of ecosystem health.
Founded in 1911, the Severn River Association is the oldest river group in the country. The mission of the Severn River Association is to connect the people who live, work, and play on the Severn River to restore and protect it for all of our communities. www.severnriver.org