BAYSIDE WITH MAUREEN FOGARTY:
Meet Maureen, Save The Bay’s director of operations!
By Katy Dorchies, director of communications and marketing
With 25 years of Save The Bay experience, our director of operations, Maureen Fogarty, has seen it all. She shares her experience with us below, from the changes we’ve made to the culture that keeps us strong.
Walk us through your history with Save The Bay.
I joined Save The Bay in 1995, just prior to our 25th Anniversary Celebration. It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years. The mission is what initially drew me to the organization but the passion and commitment of the staff, board and our supporters are what have kept me excited and engaged all these years.
What do you do as director of operations?
Honestly, a little bit of everything and it’s one of the reasons I love my job. Every day, sometimes every hour, is different. I am, in some way, involved in all facets of the support functions of the organization: human resources, development, finance, facilities, communications and administration.
What are some of the changes you’ve seen over the years?
We had a $1-million budget and 17 staff when I started at the old Hospital Trust Bank building. Now, we have the Bay Center, the Exploration Center and Aquarium, and the South Coast Center. We have 32 staff and our budget has nearly tripled. What hasn’t changed is how we keep the mission front and center in all that we do.
What has been the most exciting time with us?
We’ve celebrated so many milestones over the years and each one builds toward the next. What is most exciting to me, though, is our organizational culture. The staff always strive to be exceptional stewards of the Bay and watershed, our donations, the community, our volunteers and students, and we always stay the course as a team.
Do you have a favorite Save The Bay project?
If I had to choose, I’d say the attenuator and pier at the Bay Center in Providence. It took nearly 12 years to achieve, from design to completion, and is a testament to one of our core values: public access to the Bay for all.
What do you wish people knew about Save The Bay?
That we are first and foremost a membership organization. Members are the lifeblood of Save The Bay and we need that support to be an effective watchdog of the Bay.
What’s your biggest concern for the future of Narragansett Bay?
Complacency. We’re always asked—sometimes jokingly, sometimes not—”Isn’t the Bay saved yet?” And the answer is, “NO, it’s not!” We’ve made tremendous progress in cleaning up Narragansett Bay, but we need to be ever-vigilant in our efforts to keep that progress and advance it.
Save The Bay originally published this interview in our Fall 2020 issue of Tides.