Friday, 08 February 2013 00:00
Patricia Aitken was truly surprised when she walked into Jack Halyards American restaurant on Jan. 30. Friends and colleagues were there to celebrate her career change. After working for the Friends of the Bay for eight years, Executive Director Patricia Aitken decided to expand her horizon. As of Feb. 5, she is working for Nelson, Pope & Voorhis, engineers (NP&V). She has interfaced with them on projects as they worked on FoB projects.
Aitken said, “I’ve been working with the people from NP&V for a long time and I am enthusiastic about working with them. I’m looking forward to a new challenge.”
Aitken began working with FOB as their Water Quality Monitoring coordinator. It is at the very heart of what FOB does – protect the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor’s health. FOB took over as the Nassau County DOH stopped doing the monitoring because of budget reasons. The material FOB created has done a great deal for the community including help in the clean up of Bayville’s Mill Creek and currently the new Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee.
Aitken said, “One of the things I am most proud of is the completion of the Watershed Action Plan, which will provide a greater level of protection for our harbors and bays, habitat restoration projects, and environmental stewardship on a watershed wide basis.
“I have so many good memories from my years at Friends of the Bay. It’s impossible to single out any one, but I have to say that many of the very best occurred during my time doing water quality monitoring with our citizen scientists (all volunteers). Their enthusiasm for the job, even on cold, really unpleasant days, is inspiring and contagious. We shared many good laughs, truly terrible jokes, solved the problems of the world many times over, and reviewed books and movies. And all the time, we got the job done.
“The party at Jack Halyard’s was amazing. It was a surprise party (my first one ever) but I was not surprised, by the people who were there. The Oyster Bay community is phenomenal: we don’t always agree on what actions should be taken, but the level of caring and dedication to the betterment of the community is incredible. I always felt welcome and supported, and am so very grateful for that. These past eight years have been a very rewarding and fulfilling time in my life. It has truly been a privilege to be part of the legacy Friends of the Bay will leave.”
FOB is currently searching for a new director. Each of them have gone on to exciting careers.
The Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot readers have been learning about what FOB is up to with Ms. Aitken’s weekly column, How’s the Water? Happily,