Ben Wegleitner joined the Cahaba River Society team as River Sustainability Director in April 2021. His main focus is working collaboratively with cities and developers to educate and advocate for green infrastructure and low-impact approaches to development to protect the river from stormwater runoff and other urban impacts. Ben is also CRS’s lead for science and policy, building on the achievements of retired Field Director Dr. Randy Haddock.
Ben is a recent transplant from Lafayette, Indiana where he worked with homeowners, businesses, cities, and Purdue University for education and practical approaches to solve stormwater and drainage issues. He has worked on water quality, land use and watershed planning, stakeholder engagement, and fisheries issues throughout the Great Lakes Basin for the last five years. Ben holds a Master’s degree in conservation biology, and his experience and research in fisheries management, invasive species, and water resources allows him to view water quality issues within broader biological and ecological contexts.
When he’s not working, he’s often exploring trails and creeks with his wife, Avril Harder, and their two dogs, Ozzie and Pearl. Ben and Avril are casual anglers but keep a “life-list” of the fish they catch. They’re looking forward to adding to their lists in Alabama. Ben is also a life-long hunter and he’s eager to explore the diverse public lands of the Southeast and the opportunities they provide. Ben and Avril enjoy getting involved with local land trusts and environmental organizations to share their time and knowledge for creek cleanups, invasive species workdays, and bio-blitzes.
If you would like to invite Ben’s expertise for river-protective design of development, education, tools local governments can use to better manage stormwater and meet their MS4 permit requirements, or just to have fun on the River, reach him at [email protected].