Veteran Conservationist Joins Chesapeake Conservancy

Chesapeake Fellow Joseph McCauley, Retired USFWS, to Mentor Conservancy Staff and Enhance Virginia Outreach 

Annapolis, MD – Chesapeake Conservancy today announced that Joseph McCauley has joined the Conservancy’s staff as the organization’s new Chesapeake Fellow.

McCauley, recently retired from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), brings vast conservation experience, both at the policy level and in the field, to the Conservancy.  As Chesapeake Fellow, McCauley will serve as a mentor to the Conservancy staff and enhance the organization’s conservation efforts in Virginia.

McCauley was most recently served as regional chief, Division of Realty, Northeast Region, USFWS, where he was responsible for overseeing real property acquisition within the 13 Northeast States.  His accomplishments included adding nearly 18,000 acres to the National Wildlife Refuge System, working with the Rivers of the Chesapeake Landscape Conservation Collaborative, the Conservancy’s Envision the James Core Team, and the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership Steering Committee.

McCauley was responsible for establishing and maintaining partnerships with other federal agencies including the National Park Service, Department of Defense, and the US Forest Service.  He also worked with national and regional non-profit organizations such as The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Land, Chesapeake Conservancy, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, James River Association, Audubon chapters, Northern Neck Land Conservancy, and the Essex County Countryside Alliance.

“My retirement from the USFWS does not mean my retirement from making a difference in the Chesapeake,” Chesapeake Fellow Joseph McCauley said. “I have had the pleasure of partnering with the Chesapeake Conservancy over the last 5 years on various projects and have admired their ability to approach conservation by combining partnerships with cutting edge technology. I look forward to mentoring some of the younger members of the staff and continuing to make a difference in the Chesapeake.”

“Joe is well known, respected and admired in both the national and Chesapeake conservation communities,” Joel Dunn, president & CEO of the Chesapeake Conservancy, said.  “Recently, I joked with USFWS Director Ashe that Joe’s retirement from USFWS was his loss, but is our gain.  Joe will serve as an excellent mentor to our staff and brings a great love for the Chesapeake and vast experience to the Conservancy.”

Previously, McCauley served as refuge manager of the Eastern Virginia Rivers National Wildlife Refuge Complex, where he managed the expansion of the Rappahannock River Valley NWR from 3,800 to more than 8,400 acres.  McCauley was also coordinator of the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture (ACJV), one of the original joint venture partnerships developed to plan, implement and evaluate habitat conservation activities in support of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.  He served as deputy project leader at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia Beach, Virginia, one of the most complex refuge field stations in the Northeast Region, and as assistant refuge manager of the Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsville, New Jersey. Earlier in his career, McCauley was a wildlife biologist conducting land acquisition planning in the Division of Realty, Northeast Region, USFWS.

McCauley is the recipient of the USFWS Northeast Region’s John Gottschalk Partnership Award (2006), the Secretary of the Interior’s Partnerships in Conservation Award (2009), and the Department of the Interior’s Superior Service Honor Award (2015).

A graduate of West Virginia University, McCauley lives in the Richmond, VA area.  He and his wife Julia have two grown sons.  In his spare time, Joe enjoys fishing, gardening and birding.