Conserve Wildlife Blog

The Nature Conservancy’s Beth Styler Barry Honored for Leadership in Conservation

October 25th, 2018

Beth Styler Barry, River Restoration Manager for The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey, is the 2018 Women & Wildlife Leadership Honoree. Beth has selflessly devoted her professional career to keeping our waterways clean and habitable for wildlife. Beth has worked as a volunteer, member and Executive Director for the Musconetcong Watershed Association for over 15 years. Through all of this work, Beth guided a small organization to become a beacon for watershed associations and the poster child for small environmental nonprofits.

One of her key accomplishments has been the successful removal of five dams on the Musconetcong River. The removal of these dams opened the waterway to anadromous fish and improved the water quality for all forms of aquatic life. She currently oversees the Columbia Dam project on the Paulins Kill, which will be the largest dam removal in New Jersey to date.

Beth continues to work with colleagues to forge relationships, raise funds, garner community support, obtain required permitting, break down barriers, and engage with state, county and municipal officials to ensure the projects are successful. She combines her professional skills and her passion in her work, seeking to lead by example. She does not shy away from a challenge and provides teaching moments at every opportunity. Beth is steadfast in her mission to protect and improve our water and land. Through her career, Beth has continuously led the way for other women to succeed in challenging, multi-dimensional roles.

Beth received her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Rutgers and then went on to earn her Master’s degree in Environmental Management from Montclair State University. Her work has touched too many people to count. Those families who enjoy safer natural recreation, the thousands of school students who have learned about river wildlife and ecology, the diverse conservation partners, the restoration and monitoring volunteers – all have greatly learned and benefited from Beth’s knowledge, experience, and passion.

Join us to honor Beth and the three other 2018 Women & Wildlife Award Honorees on Wednesday, November 7th beginning at 6 PM. Purchase events tickets and find more information.

We asked Beth a few questions about what inspires her to dedicate her career to New Jersey’s conservation:

What is your favorite thing about your job?

I love that I am always learning. Not a week passes that I don’t need to learn more about something new in order to do my job.

Name one thing you can’t live without.

Water. Which of course has a few different meanings for me :).

Do you have a New Jersey wildlife species that you like best?

I’ll name five – wood ducks, American kestrel, Eastern Brook Trout, mink and humans.

Name one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to change the world.

Be persistent, making meaningful change takes time. Sometimes we have to be satisfied with baby steps at first, but eventually you’ll see things beginning to add up.

What do you find most challenging about your profession?

The disconnect between people and nature is quite a challenge. People protect what they love, so making or strengthening that connection between people and their local river, for example, is critical.

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?

I like to kayak, travel and spend time with family and friends.

Please join us on Wednesday November 7, 2018 from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Duke Farms’ Coach Barn to honor the contributions that Beth Styler Barry, Pat Heaney, Sharon Petzinger and Diane Soucy have made to wildlife in New Jersey.

We are excited to recognize the leadership and inspiration they provide for those working to protect wildlife in New Jersey.

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