Hackensack Riverkeeper Program

High Tor Mountain to Newark Bay


 Monday, April 29that 7 PM

Captain Hugh Carola, Program Director at Hackensack Riverkeeper since 2001, will present "From High Tor Mountain to Newark Bay: the Hackensack River and its Waterkeeper".Featuring photos taken from the river’s headwaters to Ports Newark and Elizabeth, the presentation will cover the blended natural and cultural histories of our watershed region. Special emphasis will be given to our organizations’ shared mission of protecting, preserving and restoring the unique wildlife habitats we are privileged to oversee.

Hugh Carola, Program Director

Captain Hugh Carola graduated Ramapo College of New Jersey with a BA in Political Science in 1980. During the late 80s he took up birding and developed an avocation as an environmental advocate that included ten years’ service as president of the Ramsey, NJ-based Fyke Nature Association (1993 – 2002). In 1998 he co-founded the Bergen Open Space Coalition, which established the Bergen County Open Space, Recreation, Historic and Farmland Preservation Trust.

Hugh’s avocation led to a career change in January 1999 when he left retail management to volunteer full-time at Hackensack Riverkeeper. In July 1999 Capt. Bill Sheehan selected him to serve as Coordinator of the Hackensack Meadowlands Preservation Alliance. Under his leadership, that ad hoc group grew tenfold from twelve to one hundred twenty member groups by January 2001 when its work was deemed complete.

That same month he joined the staff of Hackensack Riverkeeper as Program Director. In June 2002 he earned his 25-Ton Master’s License from the U.S. Coast Guard. Each year he conducts upwards of 150 Eco-Cruises aboard the 30-foot research vessel Robert H. Boyle II and oversees environmental programs that engage over 10,000 people each year. Hugh is also Riverkeeper’s wordsmith, writing or editing the majority of the organization’s official correspondence. Additionally, he leads the Hackensack RiverCreepers in the World Series of Birding and administers the Ron Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship.

Hugh represents Hackensack Riverkeeper as a member of four regional groups: the Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains, the NYC-based Waterfront Alliance; the Bergen-based Nature Program Cooperative, and the Harbor Herons & Colonial Waterbirds Working Group – part of the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary Program.

New Jersey’s environmental community also benefits from Hugh’s volunteerism.

He’s Fyke’s Land Trust Director; an active member of the Hudson River Chapter of Ducks Unlimited; and a Trustee of the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE). Hugh served two terms as ANJEE president (2012-13 and 2014-15) and received the group’s Outstanding Environmental Educator award in 2005.

Hugh’s wife Dorothy teaches high school in Newark, NJ. They have been married since 1984 and live in Maywood, NJ. They have two grown, married children: Daniel and Andrew. The empty-nesters spend their summer vacations each year birding, hiking, boating and enjoying nature & history in New England and Canada.