Lisa Bloodgood – Director of Advocacy & Education
Lisa has worked on environmental issues impacting the North Brooklyn community for the past decade. She began her efforts in Bushwick in 2009 working with an elementary school’s afterschool program, and a local community garden to bring a permanent garden to the school. Lisa spent five years working for New York City Council Member Stephen Levin as environmental advisor and constituent liaison where she worked with city, state and federal agencies on complex problems involving contamination, health, infrastructure, and environmental policy. She is currently a full time student at the City University of New York, Brooklyn, pursuing a B.S. in Earth and Environmental Science.
Willis Elkins – Executive Director
Willis is co-chair of the Newtown Creek Superfund Community Advisory Group (CAG), member of Brooklyn Community Board 1, including chair of the Environmental Committee and a founding member of the North Brooklyn Boat Club. He has a number of years working in administrative capacities for non-profit organizations including the Buckminster Fuller Institute, where he serves as a review team member for an annual design challenge. Willis received a BA from New York University and has been a Newtown Creek watershed resident since 2007.
Board of Directors
Mike Dulong is a senior attorney at Riverkeeper. His work focuses on a range of watershed and community protection issues, such as advancing sustainable animal farming practices, investigating pollution violations, and promoting strict drinking water protections for nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents while minimizing the impact of those measures on local ecosystems and municipalities. Mr. Dulong received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 2011. Prior to law school, Michael received his B.A., cum laude, from The University of Massachusetts and his M.A. in British and American literature from New York University.
Michael Heimbinder (Chair) is Founder and Executive Director of HabitatMap, a Brooklyn based non-profit that builds web-tools to support grassroots environmental organizing. He is also a technical advisor to the Organization of Waterfront Neighborhoods where he consults on solid waste management issues in New York City. Michael is a graduate of Colorado College and received his M.A. in International Affairs from the New School for Social Research.
Annel Hernandez is the Associate Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. Annel works on city and statewide climate policy issues, focusing on local advocacy and research that further equitable investments in coastal resiliency, green infrastructure, and renewable energy. She also works on various coalition campaigns to push for more aggressive climate legislation – with equity as a central focus. She previously worked with the Urban Climate Change Research Network at the Earth Institute, collaborating with scholars, experts, and advocates on pushing forward new climate change resources for cities. Annel also worked in the NYC Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity as Social Innovation Fund Advisor managing the program implementation of a multi-city initiative focused on economic opportunity programs, and was also a NYC Urban Fellow. She also worked as a Teaching Assistant at the Earth Institute and a Research Assistant at the Institute of Latin American Studies. Annel received an MPA in Energy and Environment from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and her BA in Political Science and Latino Studies from Fordham University. Annel is a lifelong New Yorker currently residing in Bushwick, Brooklyn within the Newtown Creek sewershed.
Christine Holowacz is the Community Liaison at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment plant for the Newtown Creek Monitor Committee. Christine received the Woman of the Millennium and the Carmine “Dusty” De Chair Community awards from the Seneca Club in 2001 & 2002 for her work with GWAPP and a Citation in 2002 from the Borough President for her work in the Polish Community. President of the Greenpoint Property Owners since 1989, Christine devotes much of her time to issues concerning senior citizen homeowners. She is also the Church of St. Cecilia political and housing coordinator. She holds a BA in Economics and Accounting from Brooklyn College.
Laura Hofmann is a St. Anthony’s parishioner, mother of six and grandmother of five. Laura works for St. Nicks Alliance as a housing counselor/outreach specialist. She is a lifelong Greenpoint resident whose family has been negatively impacted by environmental factors in her community. Because of this, she’s been active in parks, waterfront and environmental organizations, with a focus on her community’s health. Laura is currently a member of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee, Kosciusko Bridge Stakeholders Advisory Committee, Newtown Creek Community Advisory Group, Greenpoint Community Advisory Panel, Greenpoint Williamsburg Organizations United for Trash Reduction and Garbage Equity and is a co-founder of Barge Park Pals. Laura earned an Associate of Arts degree in Labor & Community Organizing at LaGuardia Community College, and is currently studying at Hunter College as an Urban Studies major. She brings with her an honorable mention for the Municipal Arts Society Yolanda Garcia Planning Award, certification in street tree pruning, and odor paneling training.
Steve Lang (VIce Chair) has a PhD in sociology and is an associate professor at LaGuardia Community College where he teaches urban sociology and environmental sociology. He has done research on the political ecology of urban and suburban coastal environments. At LaGuardia, he helps foster a sense of awareness on the part of faculty and students regarding the environmental, political, and economic issues facing Newtown Creek.
Thomas Outerbridge has worked in recycling for more than 23 years, including for the State of Maine, the NYC Department of Sanitation, and his own business. Since 2003, he has worked for Sims Metal Management. He is General Manager of Sims Municipal Recycling (SMR), and responsible for processing and marketing New York City’s curbside recyclables. SMR operates waterfront facilities on Newtown Creek, the Bronx River, Gowanus Bay, and at Claremont Terminal in Jersey City.
Bill Schuck (Treasurer) is a Greenpoint resident who has the good fortune to be one of the few City residents to actually live on the Newtown Creek. Bill is a visual artist and educator with a studio located a few feet from the Creek’s bulkhead; he has been living in Greenpoint for 30 years and boating on Newtown Creek for 20.
Dewey M. Thompson has been active in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg community for almost two decades. Helping to found the Greenpoint Williamsburg Youth Soccer League got him involved in parks and open space issues. In addition to co-chairing GWAPP, he served on the Parks Committee of Community Board #1 for five years, is on the board of the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn and, most recently, founded and helms the North Brooklyn Boat Club. Dewey lives in Greenpoint with his wife Katherine (also a chronic volunteer) and three children.
Natalie Vichnevsky is the Manager of Entrepreneurship Services at Evergreen, a non-profit Industrial Economic Development Corporation based not far from the Newtown Creek’s English Kills tributary. Evergreen provides business services to and advocates for Brooklyn’s industrial and manufacturing community with the underlying mission of retaining and growing good quality jobs at all skill levels for the residents of North Brooklyn. Natalie has lived in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area for just shy of 20 years and was a local small business owner prior to her economic development days. Natalie has a Bachelor’s in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia and MS in City and Regional Planning from the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.