Coasts

Meet The Salt Marsh Team

Meet Ben Maher and Jillian Liner, Audubon New York's salt marsh science team.

They bring a unique perspective to existing salt marsh efforts along our coast by focusing on high marsh habitat, an essential component in the effort to save the Saltmarsh Sparrow.

In order to help marshes adapt to sea-level rise, Audubon's team is working with partners to protect marsh migration corridors, restore marsh, and improve resilience of marsh through techniques such as thin-layering with dredged sediments, terracing, restoring oyster reefs, and creating living shorelines. Together, these efforts will sustain and improve the health of marshes for the future.

MEET THE TEAM

Left to right: Ben Maher and Jillian Liner.

Benjamin Maher, Coastal Resilience Associate, Audubon New York. Based in Oyster Bay, NY, Benjamin Maher leads Audubon’s salt marsh conservation and coastal resilience work in New York. Ben has over 10 years’ experience working in wetlands and he previously worked as a marine biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, where he led marsh edge habitat assessments, implemented living shoreline projects, incorporated nature-based infrastructure into state permitting applications, and formed a Wetlands Research Advisory Committee. He co-leads the CT/NY Salt Marsh Conservation Working Group and is a member of the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture Saltmarsh Sparrow Planning Team. Benjamin has a BS in Marine Science and an MS in Marine Sciences from Savannah State University. Email benjamin.maher@audubon.org.

Jillian Liner, Director of Conservation, Audubon New York. Based at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, NY, Jillian leads conservation programs to improve the health and resiliency of New York’s priority coastal habitats, forests, waterways, and associated species. She co-authored Important Bird Areas of New York: Habitats Worth Protecting and works closely with state and federal partners, other NGOs, and Audubon Chapters across the state to protect birds and critical habitats through management, advocacy, outreach, and monitoring. In 2007, Jillian launched Audubon NY’s Coast Program to further coastal bird conservation and the program has grown every year since then. She earned her Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude in biology from Skidmore College and a Master of Science in Ecological Planning from the University of Vermont’s School of Natural Resources. In 2014, she completed a Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning Advancement Training to improve decision-making for the protection of marine resources. 

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