President’s Message 2022


Ferry Park photo by Laurie Marshall

This year was action-packed for the Fishers Island Conservancy. Thanks to your support, we focused on a wide variety of initiatives, starting with a successful spring Parade Grounds burn with the Fishers Island Fire Department, continuing through to our fall Migratory Bird Count.

Tom Sargent

If you’re on-Island and haven’t yet checked out Ferry Park, please do. Lucinda Herrick and others had a vision to upgrade the land and shoreline berm by the entrance to Silver Eel Cove, and we were happy to partner with the Fishers Island Ferry District to help them realize their concept. Over 15,000 native Virginia beach grass plugs have transformed a barren parking lot into a charming pocket park. As you know, native plants bring native insects, native insects bring native birds, and so on…

Below, you’ll find more exciting 2022 highlights and shout-outs. We’re looking forward to continuing this momentum and accomplishing even more together next year. To help make that possible, please consider donating a year-end gift now.

If I may, another request. Do you have phragmites on your property? We’ve entered into a five-year program to treat phragmites in and around the Parade Grounds. In conjunction with the Town of Southold and the NY DEC, we’ve hired outside contractors to tackle the problem. If you have phragmites on your property, please let us know and we’ll manage the estimates, coordination and timing to help eradicate this insidious invader. Contact Kristen Peterson at to get started.

Thank you again for being part of our community and for caring for Fishers Island as much as we do.


Tom Sargent
President, Fishers Island Conservancy

Thanks to you, more highlights from 2022:

  • The John Thatcher Native Garden and Parade Grounds never looked better thanks to Dianne Crary, Alden Butt, Geb Cook, Charlie Curtis, Dave McIntyre and others.
  • We had the honor of recognizing two legendary members of the community, Carol Giles and Ellie Kelly, at Sunset on the Beach in July. They have led by example in science education and environmental activism. Thanks to all who joined us to celebrate.
  • Michele Klimczak’s relentless efforts in our Marine Debris program continued to be a cornerstone of FIConservancy’s impact, and many of you rolled up your sleeves and joined in this important program, removing tons of waste from our shoreline. Michele’s work is highlighted in artist Duke Riley’s exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum on display now!
  • We tallied a whopping 64 species during our Spring Migratory Bird Count, and in October, despite howling winds and cold temps as Hurricane Ian swept through, we were able to coax out 42 species for the Fall Bird Count.
  • Stephanie Hall led the largest group of Island Sentinels yet! These eager young environmentalists monitored sensitive sites Island-wide and collected data to record changes in our fragile ecosystem.
  • Our youngest islanders converged on the Parade Grounds for creative, informative activities and lots of ice cream at Nature Days in August. Thanks to our Executive Director, Kristen Petersen, for her efforts on this event and the many tasks she accomplishes throughout the year.

Your generosity is essential to our work — we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you.

A gift to the Fishers Island Conservancy is a gift to Fishers Island.

Please give today.