Director of Conservation Programs, The Nature Conservancy
Dr. Marci L. Bortman is the Director of Conservation Programs for Long Island and the New York Lead for tackling climate change adaptation. Her responsibilities include leading marine, coastal and forest restoration and stewardship activities with a specific focus on estuarine conservation, resource use, public policy strategies and water quality protection. For nearly two decades, Dr. Bortman has made significant contributions to the organization, playing a key role in finding ways for people to adapt to problems associated with a changing climate, including sea level rise, and improving water quality of the bays and harbors and the aquifers, which are the sole source of drinking water for almost 3 million people.
Prior to joining the Conservancy, Dr. Bortman was a marine researcher in the Caribbean examining the relationship among land development, water use, and water quality and their impact on marine ecosystems. She was also a Policy Fellow, and later, a Senior Congressional Staff member to the Honorable William J. Hughes of the United States House of Representatives, advising him on marine and environmental federal policy. Throughout her career, Marci has focused on the nexus of science and policy to help solve societal challenges. She recently co-authored a book chapter on coastal climate adaptation. Marci holds a BA in Geology and in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island. She earned an MS in Oceanography and in Coastal Management from Florida Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography from Stony Brook University.