Welcome to the Living Shoreline Collaborative’s (LSC) Partner Highlights! In this series, we are meeting with LSC partners to learn more about them, their home organizations, and why they have chosen to be a part of the collaborative.

For this month’s Living Shoreline Collaborative Partner Highlight, we met with Ryan Walsh, the Senior Coastal Restoration Manager for the James River Association.

Q: Can you tell me a bit about your background?

A: I am from Southern Pines, North Carolina and studied marine biology at UNC Wilmington and marine technology at Cape Fear Community College. I have studied nesting sea turtles, worked on research vessels, and have been working with living shorelines since joining JRA in 2019. I connect people to the River by designing and implementing resilient shoreline projects that reduce erosion while removing pollution and providing habitat for native wildlife.

Q: Can you explain a bit about what your home organization does?

A: The James River Association is the only non-profit dedicated to serving the entire James River Watershed. Our Lower James River Center serves the tidal stretches of the River, from the fall line in Richmond to Fort Monroe. We want a fully clean, Grade A James River.

Q: How did you first become affiliated with the LSC?

 A: I became affiliated with the LSC at the very beginning! I was hired shortly after the group formed and have seen it grow from roughly ten people, to over one hundred joining recent meetings.

Q: How has your affiliation with the LSC affected your role and/or the impact of your organization on the geographic area you serve?

A: My affiliation with the LSC has connected me with wonderful partners who have helped me grow and learn about cutting edge advancements in the world of living shorelines.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish with the LSC in the future?

A: I hope that the LSC continues to grow, bringing in more and more passionate partners who want to increase the number of living shorelines within the Lower James Watershed.