Our Directors are neighborhood residents and business owners with a record of community activism and dedication to protecting the environment. The Board Membership includes representatives of the Gowanus neighborhood and of each of neighborhood our Activity Committees serve, including Red Hook, Staten Island, Harlem and Long Island City. All Board Members make an annual financial contribution to our Organization, a contribution intended to empower them as vested board members, who collectively define the direction of our Not For Profit Corporation.
Bart Chezar worked for over 25 years at the NY Power Authority, first as a research and development engineer and later as the manager of the electric transportation department. Since retiring in 2002 he has been involved in the hybridization of the taxi and livery car fleets, reducing school bus emissions, and developing a program for NYS to reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. He is chair of the Sierra Club, NYS Transportation Committee. Currently he is involved in implementing a program to reintroduce oysters into NY Harbor. Bart has a M.S. in marine Science from L.I. University.
Eymund Diegel is an environmental planner specializing in local water quality issues. He collects old maps and cool stuff for the Proteus Hall of the Gowanus, and is mapping historic streams as part of the Secret Gowanus Canal Superfund Tourism Project. He first became interested in boating when Switzerland defeated America to win the America Cup, making him realize that if landlocked mountaineers could sail , canoeing on a sewage free Gowanus had even better odds.
Owen Foote, Treasurer
For the past two and 1/2 decades, Owen has been an advocate for the Gowanus neighborhood. Trained as an architect and planner, he works professionally to maximize the value of properties with minimal impact to the environment and communities. His knowledge of governmental regulations, combined with over 20 years of employment with not-for-profits, is instrumental in guiding the direction of the Gowanus Dredgers. He spent 7 summers at the North Country Camps of the Adirondacks, where he explored commercial waterways and extreme rivers of upper New York State and achieved the highest honors in the waterfront sports of sailing, canoeing, kayaking and windsurfing. Owen is a PADI certified SCUBA diver and has been a guest lecturer at many Middle and High School environmental science programs, presented at the Water Water Conference, the National Technology Conference at the Polytechnic University and sits on the New York City Watertrail Association (NYCWTA) steering committee.
Tim Gamble, Secretary
Tim Gamble helped launch the Downtown Boathouse in New York City in the early 1990s, He served on the Downtown Boathouse Board of directors for almost 10 years as the Secretary and during this tenure, the Boathouse saw its fleet of public kayaks grow from one to over 100 and the number of yearly participants in their free walk-up program grew from a few hundred to tens of thousands.
In 2007, Tim moved to Red Hook Brooklyn where he was instrumental in founding the Red Hook Boaters Activty Committee. He continues to be an active supporter of the Gowanus Dredgers and has helped the oorganization apply for and comply with many grants and other funding opportunitites.Tim holds a BCU (British Canoe Union) level 3 Sea Kayak Coach certification.
Tina Johnstone is an experienced kayaker and resident of Staten Island. She currently serves as Chair of the Kayak Staten Island activity committee and is a founding member of the committee.
Agnes immigrated from Poland with her family in the early 1990’s. She earned her BA from Rutgers University in Art History and Public Health. She began her career in Managua, Nicaragua distributing vaccines and studying community health-care access. She continues to grow her career working with a focus on Medicaid reform for one of the largest hospital systems in New York City.
Annually, Agnes Michalek serves as swim support paddling distances of at least 10 miles throughout the country. Agnes is currently working on becoming ACA certified, is passionate about serving her community by providing them with an opportunity to access & enjoy their local waterways. She currently serves as Chair of the Long Island City Community Boathouse activity committee.
Lee Reiser, First Mate
Lee Reiser, a professional musician/entertainer from Rockland County NY, has been kayaking as a trip leader for over 15 years. He is an ACA Certified Level 2 Coastal Kayaking Instructor and is the Head Instructor of our Riverbank State Park Pool Program in NYC. Lee is also a member of the Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club and the Yonkers Paddling & Rowing Club, where he has served as Board Secretary, Safety Officer and instructor for new members.
Brad Vogel, Captain
Brad Vogel moved to the Gowanus neighborhood because of the opportunity to canoe on the Gowanus Canal. Brad organizes and leads many voyages with a waterway theme, including poetry reading, urban sketching and art installation tours. Brad represents the Dredgers on the Gowanus Superfund Community Advisory Group (CAG) to be a voice for recreational users and artists of the neighborhood. Brad holds an Eagle Scout Canoeing merit badge, has had many canoeing adventures along the boundary waters of Minnesota to Canada and spent some time whitewater rafting in Nepal. In New Orleans, during law school, while working for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Brad took to kayaking as often as he could on Bayou St. John. He is an attorney who in his spare time, when not canoeing, writes and recites poetry, is an artist and serves on the advisory board of the S.S. Columbia Project, with a mission to restore and run a 1902 steam vessel on the Hudson River.