In a letter to Save the Sound members this week, Johnson said Schmalz “has been the driving force in cleaning up our waters, restoring our rivers and coasts, protecting endangered lands and fighting against climate change,” adding that “you deserve his energy and visionary leadership.”
Schmalz was the unanimous choice of the board, as was Johnson before her.
Johnson highlighted what he described as “great accomplishments” during his tenure, “like leading a collaboration that tests the waters from Flushing Bay to Mystic Harbor, protecting 15,000 acres of water company land in the Fairfield County, passing the Global Warming Solutions Act, shutting down Broadwater, and restoring Sunken Meadow. The organization has also played a leading role in the fight for the preservation of Plum Island in Long Island Sound.
“It has been an honor to serve as President of Save the Sound for the past five years, and I am also honored to pass the baton to Leah. There are so many essential environmental actions that call for the leadership of Save the Sound,” he noted. Johnson said he plans to remain involved with Save the Sound on a part-time basis, as part of the organization’s public engagement team.
Incoming President Leah Schmalz wrote to members that “in my 20 years at Save the Sound, I have seen our organization blossom into a thriving and engaged community that catalyzes change in Connecticut, Westchester, New York and Long Island. Save the Sound is now entering its 50th year, and as we look to our next chapter, we will be guided by a long-term vision for a healthier Long Island Sound.
Referring to a recently developed strategic plan, she explained that it will guide the way to “build on our proven approach of uniting scientific advocacy, legal expertise, construction and community engagement to protect waters. and the lands of the Sound, restoring its rivers and transforming the communities we call home.
“Whether it’s partnering with a homeowner to stop pollution with a single rain garden or taking on Shell Oil to protect our climate and Long Island Sound, Save the Sound is here for the long haul – and I know so are you,” she concluded. .