Ocean Career: Director of Coastal Resiliency at SoundWaters, Inc.

SoundWaters, a nonprofit environmental education organization based in Stamford, CT, is accepting applications for Director of Coastal Resiliency Projects. Founded in 1989, SoundWaters works towards a sustainable environment where people share a passion for Long Island Sound, students succeed, and our community thrives.

Annually, SoundWaters partners with schools to amplify science learning through investigation of Long Island Sound for over 30,000 students, aboard our three-masted Schooner, at our Coastal Education Center, our Harbor Center and on and along the coast. We provide high-level study opportunities, aboard our research vessel and in our labs, where interns gain expertise through rigorous, hands-on research to give local high school students a path towards college success. We engage the public to create sustainable practices through outreach and we develop youth by creating life skills and job readiness opportunities in the environment.

Reporting to the SoundWaters Vice-President of Programs, the Director of Coastal Resiliency Projects is a key leadership role at SoundWaters and is responsible for leading and creating a full range of coastal resiliency projects that range from kelp farming to habitat restoration; from water quality testing to coastal clean ups; from oyster seeding to climate science study. While the portfolio of projects is broad and changing, the goals of all projects are focused and clear. Coastal resiliency projects at SoundWaters each meet the three goals of 1) improving the Sound, 2) engaging the public and 3) providing opportunities for student learning.


The Director of Coastal Resiliency Projects will:

  • Develop, pilot, and sustain programs that improve the Sound, engage the public and provide opportunities for high-level student learning. Working in concert with colleagues, the Director of Coastal Resiliency will expand SoundWaters capacity to impact the local environment and build our voice as a regional organization.
  • Mentor the staff, interns and students involved in Coastal Resource projects.
  • Coordinate and lead the governmental permitting process for Coastal Resource projects.
  • Engage with SoundWaters Research Intensive students in semester-long research projects.
  • Coordinate with SoundWaters program staff to ensure program content is current and participate in staff training.
  • Coordinate with SoundWaters Dir of Education and Dir of Stewardship to plan and manage programming and events connected to coastal resources.
  • Partner with the Program Committee to design, promote and deliver public programs for adults that promote SoundWaters unique voice.
  • Research and apply for funding to support coastal programs to provide long term support for projects.
  • Report regularly on the progress of the existing and planned projects.
  • Maintain highest possible standards of safety in all work on land and on the water.
  • Fiscal management - Participate in the annual budgeting process and monitor Coastal Resource finances.


  • Commitment to the SoundWaters belief that our community is stronger when we are connected to and learning from the Sound.
  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant and progressive experience in mission-based conservation programs or organizations, including management experience.
  • A comprehensive understanding of coastal resiliency and marine conservation issues. Specific knowledge of issues relating to Long Island Sound is helpful.
  • A proven track record of leadership in coalition-building, as well as in the management of successful research, conservation programs and initiatives.
  • Experience in fundraising and securing/managing grants and gifts.
  • An attitude of creativity, innovation, confidence and entrepreneurship.
  • Strong leadership ability with proven management skills in leading and developing a staff and working within the highly motivated SoundWaters team.
  • A strong public speaker, able to communicate effectively with diverse audiences.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, and strong interpersonal skills to share SoundWaters projects and vision.
  • Excellent field skills to develop and sustain coastal projects.
  • Excellent research skills to identify, develop and sustain applied resiliency projects.
  • Leadership skills and the ability to be a positive mentor for young people.
  • Internally motivated and capable of working independently.
  • Comfortable working in the outdoors in a variety of weather conditions.
  • A valid driver’s license in good standing.


  • Strong small boating handling skills and CT Safe Boating Certificate or equivalent.


Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, with advanced degree preferred, in environmental (preferably marine or climate-related) science.

Required experience: 7+ years
Salary: Up to $55,000 annually

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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