St. Regis Mohawk Tribe names new environmental services director
AKWESASNE -- The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe has appointed Tony David as the new Environment Division director.
He replaces Ken Jock who retired on Friday, March 8 after 32 years “of helping guide the development of the Tribe’s environment program,” tribal officials said in a news release.As the new environment director, David will “expand the application of his knowledge and experience in directing the areas of air quality, land resources, solid waste, remediation and environmental regulations,” the tribe said.
“I am grateful for the broad support from our community and from friends and colleagues at the local, state and federal level,” David said in a prepared statement from the tribe. “I look forward to helping our Tribe become more resilient to address evolving environmental challenges. We must enhance opportunities for cooperation and consultation to attain mutual environmental goals for the benefit of all who enjoy it—now and in the future.”
He previously served as the Environment Division’s Water Resources Program manager, where for 15 years he oversaw efforts to protect and restore fisheries, wetlands and safeguarding the overall health of Akwesasne’s waterways, the tribe said.
During his time as the water resources manager, David spearheaded the effort to remove the 330-foot-long Hogansburg Dam in September 2016, which was an impassable barrier to fish on the St. Regis River for over 85 years. The dam’s removal opened up 555 miles of upstream habitat — restoring natural flows and fish migration to critical spawning and nursery habitats. It represented the first decommission and removal of a federally licensed dam by a tribe, as well as the first removal of a hydroelectric dam in New York State, the tribe said.
David’s previous work experience included managing a number of significant environmental projects in collaboration with local, state, federal and international bodies. He has worked in coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, U.S. Geological Survey’s Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Science and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to enhance Akwesasne’s fish species and natural habitats. For nearly 10 years, the joint initiatives have been working to restore Atlantic salmon and lake sturgeon into Akwesasne’s waterways, which often include educational components for local students, the tribe said.
Adding to his environmental experience, David was the recipient of the 2017 Environmental Champion Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for his “dedication and commitment to protecting and enhancing environmental quality,” the tribe said. It is the highest recognition bestowed upon an individual in EPA’s Region 2 for their accomplishments and countless hours of dedication, both professionally and personally.
David also recently completed a two-year term on the International Joint Commission’s (IJC) International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board, which ensures that regulated outflows from Lake Ontario are consistent with the approved plan, known as Plan 2014.