Captain Bill Sheehan, the Hackensack Riverkeeper, is a lifelong resident of the Hackensack River area, having lived most of his life in Union City and Secaucus, New Jersey. He is a dedicated, active conservationist who founded Hackensack Riverkeeper in 1997 and serves as the organization’s Executive Director. Captain Bill, as he is known to most people, holds a Master of Inland Waterways license from the US Coast Guard.
In 2006, Captain Bill was named co-chair of the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary Program Citizens Advisory Committee, a bi-state agency that oversees federal management efforts in the region. He is a founding (and current) member of the Bergen County Trust Fund Public Advisory Committee and is the current Chair of the Meadowlands Conservation Trust; the latter being the agency charged with acquiring, holding and managing conservation properties in the New Jersey Meadowlands and throughout the Hackensack River watershed.
Captain Bill has been recognized for his work on numerous occasions by the media, government and the environmental community including the New Jersey Audubon Society’s 1996 Conservationist of the Year Award and the 1999 Annual National Clearwater Award for excellence on the waterfront from the Waterfront Center in Washington, DC. In 2002 the US Fish and Wildlife Service recognized him for his work on behalf of Meadowlands conservation.
In 2003, he and the organization received an Environmental Excellence Award from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. Also that year, Captain Bill was named Bergen County’s Person of the Year by County Executive Dennis McNerney. In 2004 River Network honored him as one of America’s River Heroes.
When he is not conducting Eco-Cruises aboard the vessel Edward Abbey, chairing meetings, or otherwise advocating for the Hackensack River watershed, Captain Bill enjoys rock n’ roll music, movies and fishing for Striped bass in his favorite river.