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Windsurfing Team

WHO WE ARE

VISION

Our coastal waters, drinking water, and natural areas are clean, valued, and protected by those who live, work and play in the region.

collaborative • result-driven • passionate • experienced • inclusive • creative

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HOW IT BEGAN

Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT) was first established in 1970 as The Committee to Preserve Assateague Island.  The catalyst for the creation of this all-volunteer, grassroots group was the introduction of legislation that established Assateague Island National Seashore, including a provision that would have allowed a significant portion of the island to be developed as a resort, destroying the unspoiled beauty of the island.

Meet the Team

Staff

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Verena Chase

Coast Kids Program Director

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Taylor Swanson

Assateague COASTKEEPER

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Nicole Maskell

Operations / Administrative Specialist

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Debbi Dean

Community Engagement Coordinator     

Image by Noah Usry

Board of Directors

Eric Vinson

Eric joined the ACT Board in June 2019. A CPA, he is the owner of Vinson and Company, CPA in Berlin, MD and is passionate about the coastal watershed, enjoying sailing, diving and fishing. He brings many years of non-profit financial management expertise to the Board.

President and Treasurer

Jon Bukeley

Jon grew up in nearby Selbyville, Delaware. A lifelong waterfowl hunter and offshore fisherman, he realized the importance of preserving and protecting our Coastal Bays and their islands at an early age. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Delaware, Jon went on to attend Vermont Law School where he earned a Juris Doctorate. Throughout his legal career, Jon has assisted environmental organizations in their efforts to protect and preserve land and waterways. Jon returned to the Ocean City area in May 2021 where he continues to practice law, waterfowl hunt and fish.

Board Director

Wyatt Harrison

Wyatt Harrison resides in Ocean City, MD, and is the owner of Plak That, a local sign & printing business. He graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in Cultural Anthropology and Urban Sustainability. After graduation, Wyatt lived in Australia for two years working various jobs before moving back to the Eastern Shore. He started Plak That in 2012 and after serving for two years as President of the Ocean City Surf Club (a local 501C3), he joined the board of ACT in December 2019. Wyatt has grown up in and around the water, traveling and competing internationally in surfing, and still finds time to sneak in surfing between jobs. Wyatt is passionate about the intersection of business and environmental causes and contributes a good deal of his business philosophy and environmental knowledge from the teachings of Yvon Chouinard and the 1% For the Planet organization.

Vice President

Chris Seymour

Chris was involved with Assateague Coastal Trust when he was a member of Assateague Island National Seashore for 25 years of his 33-year park ranger career. He retired in 2012 after leading the Annual News Years Day Walk. Chris interacted and worked with many involved ACT individuals and employees over the years. His time spent with Judy Johnson, Ilia & Joe Fehrer, Joe F Jr., Pat Pilling, Verena Chase, and Kathy Phillips, just to name a few, was most memorable and quite rewarding. With his interest in assisting the ACT organization, he hopes with his long-term affiliation involved with Assateague Park, will potentially gain a new perspective to the original ACT mission statement with the current mission goals.

Board Director

Susan Emond

A lifelong Maryland resident, Susan moved to Ocean City after attending Towson University. In 1994, she opened her business, ‘Raggamuffin Boutique’ in Ocean City and became a dedicated supporter and donator to local environmental groups. Growing up with an appreciation for nature, science and culture led to her becoming a citizen scientist and social activist locally and abroad. A self-described "bird nerd", Susan has worked on bird conservation projects, yearly bird counts, testifying at city, county, and state legislation for conservation. Susan is a volunteer Seal Steward in Ocean City working to protect the seals from harassment while they rest on the beach and to educate the public about their migration and protection. With her deep love of the outdoors and cultures, Susan has traveled the world and spent numerous winters exploring South America with her family. You can often find Susan hiking the back trails of Assateague Island, birding the wildlife refuges, camping in the OBX, snowboarding in Vermont, planning her next trip and spoiling her dogs.

Secretary

Mario Raminez

Mario graduated from the Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora with a bachelor’s in environmental science. He is passionate about the environment, conservation, birds, horseshoe crabs, reptiles and amphibians, and sustainable growth. Mario moved to the Eastern Shore in 2010, and lives in Salisbury. During his time in the area, Mario has served as a board member for the Wicomico Environmental Trust and the Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership; he has worked as a science technician for the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, an environmental tour guide and manager for Assateague Outfitters, and an environmental educator at the Ward Museum. In his free time, Mario enjoys volunteering for environmental and social causes, playing board games, kayaking, hiking, bird watching, and playing trivia. Mario joined the Assateague Coastal Trust to help preserve the natural beauty of the area as well as to keep the natural resources accessible and available for generations to come.

Board Director

Charlie Brown

President and co-owner of Charles Brown Glass Company in Salisbury, MD, graduated from Wicomico High School and Gettysburg College As a lifetime Eastern Shore resident he enjoys boating, biking and frisbee golf. He served as a Boy Scout leader in Snow Hill for many years and is actively involved with his church. “My hope is to preserve the special quality of this area for our grandchildren and future generations” he states.

Board Director

Ginny Kearney

Virginia (Ginny) Kearney is a resident of Ocean Pines. She retired in 2019, after 39 years working in the area of environmental management. From 1994 until her retirement she worked in the Maryland Department of the Environment, managing Statewide programs to protect drinking water, and to regulate activities that affect groundwater, wetlands and waterways through various permitting and compliance mechanisms. She implemented a variety of State and federal grant and loan programs to local governments to upgrade drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems in the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays. She has served as a Board member for the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and served as the State representative on the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin.

Board Director

ACT's Justice - Equity - Diversity - Inclusion Statement (JEDI)

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