Mary McNamara

Since 2000 Mary has worked to empower and connect communities to advocate for shared water resources. The co-creator of several new intermunicipal watershed alliances in the Hudson Valley, Mary has co-written grants to receive funding from universities, state programs, and not-for-profit organizations.

These experiences have provided her the opportunity to work with many different committees and boards in the Hudson Valley: Hudson River Watershed Alliance (since 2013), Esopus Creek Conservancy (since 2013), Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program (since 2010), Ashokan Release Working Group (since 2011) and Lower Esopus Watershed Partnership (since 2007).

Previously, Mary worked with Chinese art at New York City’s Sotheby’s auction house and in Taipei at the National Museum of History. This eventually led her to produce her own art, a pursuit that brought her to the Mid-Hudson Valley. Her many years working and studying in Asia strengthened her appreciation for the international issues surrounding water, knowledge that became relevant as she settled into in her new home.

Her move away from an urban center to the Mid-Hudson/Catskill area prompted Mary to explore new directions, and she immersed herself in water related issues and opportunities. Combining social sciences with the environmental sciences was a natural evolution. Creating alliances among local governments both in and out of the New York City watershed provided an opportunity to work with all the different programs that exist in New York State.

Mary has a B.A. in political science and East Asian studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has done course work in environmental science at SUNY Ulster and an internship with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) Stream Management Program and has participated in many professional workshops.

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