Who We Are

JUSTIN BLOOM
Suncoast Waterkeeper’s founder and Executive Director, Justin Bloom, got his JD at Tulane Law School and has been a practicing environmental attorney specializing in prosecuting pollution cases and representing communities for over 18 years. His experience includes investigation, enforcement and litigation of Clean Water Act violations and “Toxic Tort” cases. He has successfully represented many plaintiffs affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and other oil spills in the US. Prior to returning to the Suncoast, he worked in New York City as Waterkeeper Alliance’s Eastern Regional Director. Justin’s family first came to the area in the ‘70s. He attended New College, where he graduated with a concentration in environmental studies in 1991.

ANDY MELE
Andre MeleThe Suncoast Waterkeeper is Andy Mele, former Executive Director of a major Hudson River environmental group that was instrumental in forcing General Electric to remove 300,000 pounds of toxic PCBs from the Hudson. He is author of Polluting for Pleasure (W.W. Norton), the book that rendered the old two-stroke outboard motor all but extinct, keeping millions of gallons of oil and gasoline from American waterways every year. Andy has an MS in environmental science, Bard College.

 

OUR BOARD:

JOE MCCLASH
Joe is the current Board Chair. He is a former commissioner for Manatee County from 1990-2012, publisher of the Bradenton Times and the owner of McClash Rentals, Inc. After serving in the United States Marine Corps from 1975–1979, at the age of twenty-four, he founded McClash Heating And Cooling, continuing that business from 1982–2002. He founded TBT in 2008 to provide a "one-stop" location for all community information and local news. 

SANDRA RIPBERGER
Sandy is the Board Secretary - more to come

MERRIE LYNN PARKER - Merrie is a retired Manatee School District administrator. She is a boardmember of the Manatee Fish & Game Association and a certified Master Naturalist.  She enjoys painting water colors of wildlife and its natural habitat and kayaking the local tributaries and water bodies.

STUART SMITH - bio to come

TOM WALKER - Tom is co-founder of Watson & Walker, a computer consultancy he created with his wife Cheryl. In addition to serving on the SCWK Board, Tom chairs two nonprofits – the Florida Consumer Action Network, and WSLR, a community FM radio station, and helps run two informal groups, one devoted to current affairs and one to reading great books.

JUSTIN BLOOM 


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