Shereen Hughes, Wetlands Watch Assistant Director
I have always loved being on and in the water. As a kid, we lived near the beach in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, California. Many of my early memories are associated with exploring the tidal pools, collecting shells and rocks, and walking through the native, sun-crisped meadows. Twenty years ago, my husband and I bought a “rivah” cottage in Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Potomac River. My kids have grown up swimming, crabbing, fishing, and boating in the Bay. After all these years of enjoying this beautiful treasure, I feel obligated and motivated to promote the changes in our water and land-use practices to protect this valuable resource and it’s habitats.
Wetlands Watch has provided me with an opportunity to blend my passion for environmental conservation and preservation with my professional expertise gained as an environmental consultant, landscape designer, and planning commissioner. As an environmental consultant, I gained experience with flood insurance studies, hydrogeology, groundwater modeling, environmental litigation, and permitting. As a landscape designer and small business owner, I encouraged my clients to use native plants and minimize lawns and pesticides. As a former James City County planning commissioner, I developed public policy, became knowledgeable about the land-use decision-making process and environmentally-friendly development techniques such as low impact stormwater management and green infrastructure.
My philosophy matches the Wetland Watch philosophy that “citizens properly informed and motivated, will be the source of the energy and vision needed to guide Virginia through the difficult times ahead”. I look forward to working for Wetlands Watch as we continue to inform and motivate our localities and region to plan for adaptation to sea level rise and wetlands preservation and restoration.