John Blandin - Founding Member

Founding Member, John Blandin

I grew up on the water in Norfolk – both at play in boats and with its daily presence through my living room window.  Tidal marshes were a part of the landscape in which we as children would muck about, watching fiddler crabs scurry into their burrows and periwinkles glacially climb the marsh grass away from the rising tide.

That marsh is gone now, a victim of people’s quest for deeper water in a place nature said none should be.  But, as if to remind them of that folly, ever-higher tides are nurturing new wetlands on once dry ground in my childhood neighborhood.

John earned a M.S. in Geology from Old Dominion University and taught Earth Sciences and Oceanography for nine years at a Virginia Beach high school.  He is a co-founder of Wetlands Watch.

Ann Fitzgibbon - Board Member

Ann is working on her bio

Phil Langlais - President and Board Member

President and Board Member,  Phil Langlais

I have lived the better part of my life in cities on the Atlantic and Pacific oceans - Salem and Beverly, MA., Galveston, TX, Carlsbad and San Diego, CA, and now Norfolk, VA . Attending international conferences as part of my professional activities as a neuroscientist, psychologist and university administrator has taken me to nearly every continent and most countries on the planet. I feel very connected to the oceans, marshes and wetlands and totally resonate with the Buddhist concepts of oneness of self and the environment, impermanence and the immutable nature of energy that permeates and sustains all physical forms on the planet. Serving on the Board of Wetlands Watch has given me the opportunity to work with a wonderful group of individuals who are so dedicated to preserving wetlands, one of our most precious natural resources.

Phil earned a masters degree in neurophysiology from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX and a doctorate in psychology from Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Prior to joining ODU as Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Research, he spent several years as a professor of neuroscience at UCSD School of Medicine, professor of psychology and Associate Dean of the College of Sciences at San Diego State University.

Carol Taaffe - Board Member

Carol is working on her bio

Jay Taylor - Secretary, Founding Member

  Secretary and Founding Member, Jay Taylor

My day job is seeing patients as a clinical psychologist in private practice. I also administer this group practice of 15 clinicians. While that’s been very challenging and gratifying, my work with Wetlands Watch has tested me just as much. I feel passionate about Wetlands Watch, which I helped to found. I’ve served as its president and am now its treasurer.

My involvement in Wetlands Watch grew out of a “backyard issue,” the dredging of Crab Creek, a tributary of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk. I grew up sailing and crabbing on this creek, where my grandparents built their home in 1929. For over 20 years I have lived there with my family, as its tides gently rise and fall. I am rooted to this place and I love it dearly.

At first, I felt violated and desperate to stop the dredging. As I grappled with the problem, though, I learned to be thoughtful as well as passionate about environmental advocacy. Wetlands Watch has taught me to use my head, as well as my heart, to educate the public, challenge the regulators and push for improvement in wetlands protection policy. I’ve learned that two heads are always better than one and that words more softly spoken are usually better heard.

Jay is a clinical psychologist, and is owner/director of Hampton Roads Behavioral Health Services. He was the 2004 recipient of Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s William H. Savedge III Environmental award.