PORTLAND — Ivy Frignoca has been hired as the next Casco baykeeper.
Friends of Casco Bay, an environmental organization working to protect Casco Bay, announced Friday, Oct. 30, that Frignoca will take over the role in January. The organization’s executive director, Cathy Ramsdell, said Frignoca was chosen “from a strong field of candidates.”
“In Ivy Frignoca, I believe we have chosen the right person to join our team,” Ramsdell said. “She has the past experience, the personality, and the passion to be our next Casco baykeeper.”
Frignoca, of Cumberland, will be the third Casco baykeeper. Casco Baykeeper Emeritus Joe Payne was hired by Friends of Casco Bay as the first baykeeper in 1991 and retired in January. Ramsdell has been serving as a temporary baykeeper since then.
According to Friends of Casco Bay’s website, the baykeeper is an advocate “who acts as the eyes, ears, and voice of the bay.” The baykeeper’s job is to work with volunteers, businesses, and other community members to find solutions to various problems facing the bay.
Payne said Frignoca is a great choice for the position.
“Ivy is a powerful package,” he said. “I have high regard for her work ethic, her communication skills and the energy she brings to her work.”
Frignoca, an environmental attorney, most recently worked for Conservation Law Foundation in Portland on issues such as ocean and coastal acidification. She was also CLF’s clean water and clean air advocate.
Ramsdell said Frignoca’s “notable” legal skills will be useful for Friends of Casco Bay, but that’s not why she was hired.
“We are hiring her to be our Casco baykeeper because she offers a diverse skill set, as well as an engaging combination of warmth, accessibility, humor and brilliance,” Ramsdell said.
In the past Frignoca also worked as a marine biologist and ecology teacher. In addition, she worked in Vermont on policies to protect Lake Champlain as well as state parks and forests.
Ramsdell said she has “seen firsthand” the ways in which Frignoca will be an asset to the organization.
“Ivy has a tremendous capacity to study a topic and comprehend the issues involved, find ways to broach the issues with a wide variety of stakeholders, listen and then bring people together to find common ground to address the challenges and move forward,” she said.
Ramsdell said she will be introducing Frignoca to Friends of Casco Bay at a volunteer and member meeting in January.
Frignoca said she is looking forward to getting to work as the new baykeeper.
“I have long admired Friends of Casco Bay’s collaborative approach to advocating for the health of the bay,” she said. “It will be an honor to serve as Casco baykeeper.”