After 14 years at the helm, Center for Coastal Studies President, Richard Delaney, will transition to a consulting role as Senior Advisor in January 2022.

Delaney led the Center during a critical period of growth that included doubling the staff to 40; overseeing the full renovation of the Hiebert Marine Lab; expanding collaborations with a wide range of partners; and enhancing the Center’s visibility and role with environmental managers and policy makers.

Delaney has been affiliated with the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) almost from its inception, having participated in the very first field studies offered by the Center’s founders, and later serving on its Board of Directors.  “Being able to work every day with so many wonderful, talented and dedicated colleagues and members of the Board of Directors has been one of the most rewarding chapters in my career-long efforts to preserve coastal environments and ocean ecosystems,” Delaney stated. “I am honored to be able to continue that relationship as Senior Advisor, especially now when oceans and coasts are being so heavily impacted by a rapidly changing climate and the work of the Center is more critical than ever.”

The Center’s Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Sarah Oktay to succeed Delaney as the organization’s next Executive Director.  Oktay comes from the University of California Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment where she serves as Director of Strategic Engagement. Previously, she was the Director of the University of Massachusetts Boston Nantucket Field Station. Dr. Oktay is a PhD chemical oceanographer and brings a wealth of experience in coastal and ocean scientific research and educational outreach activities.

“I know well the long history of outstanding research and dedicated staff of Center for Coastal Studies, and I’m very excited to be able to join in that great legacy as the next Executive Director,” stated Oktay.

CCS Board Chair, Elizabeth Frankel, said “I know I speak for everyone at the Center for Coastal Studies when I say that we are all thrilled to have Sarah join us and are confident that she will lead the Center to new successes in its mission to understand, preserve and protect marine ecosystems through applied research, education and public policy initiatives. And having Rich Delaney’s long time experience and insights available to facilitate the transition as well as focusing on a few special CCS projects will be an added bonus.”

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