Mission Statement

About the Watershed

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Board of Directors

Photo right: Science Chair Bob Paul      


See Committee Assignments Below


Joe AndersonJoe Anderson  is the president of the St. Mary’s River Watershed Association. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from Tufts University, and is a prep cook for Ruddy Duck Seafood and Alehouse. Joe came to St. Mary’s County from Connecticut in 1974 as a Vista volunteer, and has devoted much of the last 40 years to community service. He served as a St. Mary’s County Commissioner (1998-2002) and is a past member of the St. Mary’s County Planning Commission. Joe currently serves on the Greenwell Foundation and the Southern Maryland Higher Education boards.


Master Will GatesCaptain Will Gates  holds the title of “Maritime Curator” at the Historic St. Mary’s City Museum, but is better known for his main responsibility as the Master (skipper) of the replica ship Maryland Dove. He has served in this capacity since 1989, having previously worked on the Mayflower replica in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and for several years in the educational windjammer trade. He apprenticed as a rigger at Mystic Seaport, and was later schooled in archaeology, but soon discovered that, as the bumper sticker says, “I’d rather be Sailing!”


John GiustiJohn Giusti  received a Masters in International Studies from American University. Currently retired, he was a certified financial planner and former career transition counselor. John is a frequent cast member at Three Notch Theater where he has portrayed a variety of characters. Excelling in comedy, John's portrayal of Galileo in "Babu's Burgers," (by Keith William) provided the right balance of authenticity and imagination in a geographical and time displaced farce with characters Benjamin Franklin, Hitler, Genghis Khan, and Jesus. When not on stage, John can be found tending his oysters under his pier, playing tenis, or hiking the local trails.


Paul KellamCaptain Paul Kellam and his wife Judy have lived in Ridge, Maryland for more than 30 years. Paul is the owner and operator of Kellam Seafood in Ridge, and can be found most mornings out on the Bay fishing for the market. He also runs an oyster aquaculture operation and works closely with other entrepreneurs in the area. One of only a handful of folks with an unlimited captain license, Paul can be seen piloting the Smith Island ferry from time to time.


Divid LewisDavid Lewis  and his wife, Marcia Greenberg, live on St. Inigoes Creek where they purchased their home in 2003. Dave has lived on or near the water for nearly all his life. He grew up on the shores of Clear Lake in California, was on the crew as an undergraduate in college, lived in a fishing village as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines, sailed on Cayuga Lake while working in upstate New York, and is now retired on the water in St. Mary's City. Aside from his personal interest in the stewardship of water resources, Dave brings to the Board two professional types of experience: regional development management and organization development. As a faculty member at Cornell University (35+ years) he specialized in regional planning and the management of development programs. His administrative roles within the university provided "institutional battlefield experience" in organization development and management. Dave earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in engineering at Stanford, and his PhD in regional planning at Cornell.



Larry O'BrienLarry O'Brien  is a lifelong resident of St. Mary's County, growing up on the Patuxent River with family roots in White Point on the Potomac going back to the early 1900s. His love of the environment was engendered early on by his parents, both avid fishermen and protectors of the environment. His father co-founded the Save Our Rivers League in an effort to stop the industrial development of a deep water port for Volkswagen of America on the Patuxent River. After a long career as a father of 4, realtor, land developer and builder, and now mortgage lender, Mr. O'Brien has entered the Maryland Master Naturalist Program to engage with the public through the public school system and other forums, as well as the St. Mary's River Watershed Association to promote the restoration of our area's estuaries. He hopes to use his experience in his professional life to benefit the many environmental needs of the area. Since a student at St. Mary's College of Maryland many years ago, he feels a special bond for the St. Mary's River and its watershed. He resides with his wife Julie on St. George Island.


Bob PaulBob Paul  is a retired Professor of Biology and has been at St. Mary’s College of Maryland since 1977. He received a Phd in Zoology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. His specialty includes aquatic ecology and the application of Geographical Information System (GIS) technology to land use policy and ecological concerns. From 1999 to 2009, Bob co-directed the St. Mary’s River Project, a long-term, federally-funded water quality monitoring study of the St. Mary’s River and its watershed. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and is currently chair of that board.


Patricia SamfordPatricia "Tricia" Samford  received a Phd in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, majoring in historical archaeology. She is currently the Director of the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in St. Leonard, Maryland. Her research has dealt with the archaeology of free and enslaved African Americans in the American South and in cultural resource management. She enjoys gardening, kayaking on the St. Mary’s River and reading.


John SpinicchiaJohn Spinicchia  received a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Mary's College of Maryland and a Masters at American Military University. He teaches Natural Resources Management classes at the James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center for St. Mary's County Public Schools. When John is not teaching or with his family, Jeannie and the twins Rebecca and Nico, he is probably communing with nature in some way —possibly counting toads and frogs, surveying stands of trees, or just watching the beauty of nature.


Elaine SzymkowiakElaine Szymkowiak  received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from St. Mary's College of Maryland. Since 1981, she has served as Biology Laboratory Coordinator and instructor in scanning electron microscopy at the College. She is the advisor to the student club, Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC). Elaine has an avid interest in conservation issues and a life long love of nature. She enjoys spending free time on outdoor activities including hiking, nature study, sailing, skiing and gardening.


Michelle WilliamsChandler Wyatt  serves on our board as the student representative for St. Mary's College of Maryland. Chandler interned for us in the summers of 2015 and 2016—the first year as a STEM volunteer. He is majoring in environmental studies and biology and currently serves as a resident advisor. Chandler brings to our board his energy and passion for saving our planet from human neglect and carelessness.



Bob LewisBob Lewis  received a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and Music Composition from the State University of New York, and certificates in arts administration, personnel management, Web marketing, and communications technology. He graduated from the Institute for Conservation Leadership, Executive Director Leadership Program (2008). He holds a certificate of completion from Leadership Southern Maryland (class of 2014). He is a founder and graduate of the Chesapeake Institure for Grassroots Organizing (2012-2014). In 2013, Bob founded the Future Bay Leaders, a program to mentor high school and college students through hands-on learning, leadership training, and work skills development. Bob serves on the steering committee for the St. Mary's County Watershed Steward's Academy and is a graduate of the 2016-17 inaugural class.

        Bob was recognized in 2006 as the Environmentalist of the Year by the Potomac River Association. Also in 2006, Bob chaired the Cultural Diversity Task Force for the county superintendent of public schools. In February 2009, Governor O'Malley recognized Bob with the Lower Potomac Tributary Team River Hero award, and in spring of 2013 Bob was awarded the Champion of the Chesapeake by the St. Mary's River Watershed Association. In summer 2013, Bob was awarded the title Chesapeake Bay Ambassador by Governor Martin O'Malley who subsequently appointed Bob to the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin where he still serves. Bob prides himself on his "connection" to our natural world and when he is not working he can be found in his vegetable and berry patch, or pulling on a paddle almost anywhere in North America.


Meghan Webster  worked with us as a STEM intern in the summer of 2014 and again in 2015 after graduating from Great Mills High School with the STEM Academy. She's currently enrolled at the Coastal Carolina University, where she intends to study Marine Science and continue into Veterinarian Medicine. In the fall of 2015, Meghan was promoted to Outreach Coordinator. In her spare time, you may find her playing the piano or biking.


TJ McPhaul  will be a Senior as a double major in Environmental Science and Anthropology at St. Mary's College of Maryland in the Fall of 2017. Whilst in the search for a summer internship in 2016, he came across our association and says that he genuinely connected with our mission. TJ joined our team for a second summer as a full time intern. TJ is very active as an avid runner and biker. He runs cross country for St. Mary's College and continues to pursue his ultra-marathon passion. TJ is also part of the Sustainability Club and Best Buddies Club on campus.


Emma Gilligan  is a 2017 graduate of Leonardtown High School and the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center’s Natural Resources Management Program. Emma has been interested in environmental conservation throughout her life. She has been very grateful for the opportunity to contribute directly to efforts to local environmental restoration efforts through this internship. Emma will be studying environmental science at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County. Emma also enjoys musical theatre, playing violin, and rabbits. She starred as Gertie Cummings in the 2017 Summerstock production of Oklahoma.


Alex Eckley  will be an incoming STEM Academy senior in the Fall of 2017 at Great Mills High School. Alex plays lacrosse for Great Mills as well as performs as a dedicated drummer in the marching band. Alex loves the outdoors and all the surrounding wildlife and looks for a future in environmental sustainability.


Meg Gitter  is a rising senior at St. Mary's College of Maryland. She is studying biology, biochemistry and mathematics. As a scientist, she is interested in ecology and environmental conservation. Meg has dedicated her summer to producing baseline data of our oyster reef for future college research as well as conducting her own research project on spat recruitment versus mortality throughout our sanctuary. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, anything with water, and petting dogs.


Emma Green  is a rising senior at St. Mary's College majoring in Biology and Environmental Studies. After she graduates, Emma plans to pursue a career in environmental biology. Emma is a member of the swim team at St. Mary's and loves to spend her free time at St. Mary's waterfront. Emma has also been an integral part in collecting baseline data for St. Mary's College and quanitatively measuring the success of the St. Mary's River Oyster Sanctuary. Emma also is conducting her own research on what pollutants the oysters consume through nitrate analysis.


  • Membership:  John Spinicchia, Joe Anderson—ex-officio
  • Development:  Tricia Samford, Joe Anderson, John Giusti, Larry O'Brien
  • Public Policy:  Joe Anderson, John Giusti, Bob Paul
  • Science/Technical:  Bob Paul, John Spinicchia, Elaine Szymkowiak, Joe Anderson—ex-officio
  • Education:  Elaine Szymkowiak, John Spinicchia, Will Gates, Joe Anderson—ex-officio
  • Budget & Finance:  Bob Lewis, John Giusti, Joe Anderson—ex-officio
  • Strategic Planning:  Joe Anderson, Tricia Samford, John Spinicchia, John Giusti
  • Public Relations: Bob Lewis, Joe Anderson, Chandler Wyatt

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St. Mary's River Watershed Association, Inc.
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St. Mary's City, MD 20686

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