New Baykeeper takes the helm to protect the Peconics


Six months after a highly publicized, unceremonious split with Kevin McAllister, the nonprofit Peconic Baykeeper water protection group has anointed a new frontman.

Brady Wilkins is a South Shore resident familiar with the needs and dynamics of area waterways, according to the group. 

Mr. Wilkins is a U.S. Merchant Marine officer and a former captain and crew member of passenger ferries and excursion vessels of the Great South Bay and Puget Sound in Washington State, the organization announced Wednesday.

He is also a former educator, having taught a number of classes — including science — in Suffolk County.

Brendan McCurdy, a member of the group’s board of directors, said “Brady’s intimate knowledge of local waters, his maritime licenses and experience, his passion for our mission, and his background as a teacher make him the ideal person to come on board and take the helm.”

“I can’t wait to meet community members, get out on the water and into classrooms and help increase awareness of the many issues that are unfortunately impacting the health of our bays, streams and rivers,” Mr. Wilkins said in a statement.

Mr. Wilkins takes the position following the abrupt dismissal of former Peconic Baykeeper Kevin McAllister, who helped establish the 16-year-old advocacy organization.

Mr. McAllister has since started his own water protection group, called Defend H2O.

Read more in the Riverhead News-Review newspaper.