New Narragansett Baykeeper Appointed

The RI-based environmental advocacy group Save The Bay announced the appointment of Michael Jarbeau as its new Narragansett Baykeeper.

Jarbeau, who began his new position on March 21, becomes Save The Bay’s fourth Baykeeper since 1992. As Baykeeper, he will be the public face of Save The Bay on the water, a point of contact for the public to report pollution concerns, and a contributor to Save The Bay’s policy and advocacy initiatives.

Jarbeau is a fourth-generation Rhode Islander, born and raised in Warwick, who spent most of his summers swimming, fishing and sailing with his family. His first exposure to pollution problems on the Bay were shellfish closures. “I remember being disheartened by the fact that the place I loved so much wasn’t healthy and thriving. The Bay played a major role in my development, education and career choices, which is why I’m thrilled to be in a position to directly advocate for the Bay as Baykeeper,” he said.

Jarbeau says the Bay is much healthier than it was 40 to 50 years ago when Save The Bay was founded, “and that speaks to the hard work of the people who came before us. But there are still many issues facing Narragansett Bay, such as climate change, which is creating a whole new range of issues that people weren’t thinking about decades ago.”

Prior to joining Save The Bay, Jarbeau served his country with an environmental protection and life-saving focus as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the United States Coast Guard Academy and a master’s degree in marine affairs at the University of Rhode Island. He served as a commissioned officer aboard the USCGC VENTUROUS in Florida, the USCGC SANIBEL in Massachusetts, and the Fifth Coast Guard District in Virginia, participating in fisheries, counter-drug and other law-enforcement missions, search and rescue operations and development of Mid-Atlantic fisheries regulations. He is now a Lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.