After more than 20 years as The Wetlands Conservancy (TWC) executive director, Esther Lev will be retiring at the end of the year. We will honor Esther and her many accomplishments at this year’s “Wetlands and Wellies” event on Nov. 14. Tickets are available at www.wetlandsconservancy.org.
Esther has built TWC into the small but powerful organization it is today. Through her efforts and charisma, the organization has gained a reputation as a leader in wetland conservation grounded in the latest science. From the central coast to SE Oregon, Esther has catalyzed wetland community conservation, often with disparate groups that grow into dear friends. TWC now manages more than 30 wetland preserves that are over 1,500 acres across the state, improving environmental and human health and spurring economic development. “Working for The Wetlands Conservancy has been a great honor, privilege and pure joy! I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to travel all over Oregon exploring wetlands and developing new friendships. I have gained a deep understanding and appreciation of the diverse communities and geographies that comprise our unique and beautiful state.”
Under Lev’s leadership, TWC truly became a statewide organization. With its beginnings rooted in the Tualatin basin, Lev expanded TWC’s preserves and projects into the central coast, north coast, Harney County and Willamette Valley. Never one to shy away from trying things that have never been done before, Lev established new partnerships with restaurants, chefs, artists and ranchers, all based on her core belief that wetlands benefit and impact our statewide community. “I extend my heartfelt thanks to all of you who have been my mentors, partners and supporters through the years. You inspired me to ‘be like water’ – to look for creative paths around obstacles. I am immensely proud of the work we’ve done together, and I am really excited about The Wetlands Conservancy’s next chapter.”
To finish out the final months of this year, Lev will be focused on transitioning major projects and partnerships; and TWC will be onboarding a veteran interim executive director, Ann Witsil, to run the operations of the organization.
In her retirement, Lev looks forward to continued exploration of wetlands on her beloved kayak, returning to her days of global travel, printmaking and taking time to watch the sunrise, sunset and starry night skies.
The Wetlands Conservancy will miss Esther’s unbounded passion for wetlands, waterways and the people who live in and love these places. We look forward to this next chapter and introducing our new leader in 2020.