After beginning his career in journalism in the mid 1990s, Dave Wilson spent 18 years (1997-2015) working for the Maryland Coastal Bays Program—the first 10 as their public relations guru and the past eight as the Executive Director of this National Estuary Program, based in Ocean City, Md. As director, Wilson helped put nature tourism and wildlife front and center by securing funding for a variety of nature parks and trails including 1,000 acres of new county nature parks and the conversion of the Ocean City dump to a kayak launch. Wilson was named Tourism Person of the Year in Worcester County in 2005.
Adept at navigating local, state, and federal governments, Wilson helped protect more than 10,000 acres of forests and farms and instituted colonial nesting bird, terrapin, seal, and amphibian monitoring. His penchant for bringing together diverse factions helped finish the Bishopville Dam restoration, set in motion a US Army Corps of Engineers island restoration program, and create a new Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the Coastal Bays.
Fluent in Spanish, he is the Vice President of Focus Conservation Fund (an NGO doing conservation work in Central and South America) and he sits on the Maryland Sea Grant External Advisory Committee. He is an adamant volunteer in numerous bird, reptile and amphibian projects and is the former volunteer director of Delmarva Low Impact Tourism Experiences. Wilson loves playing ultimate Frisbee, cycling, fishing, kayaking, talking politics, and birding all over the world. He holds a BS from Penn State University and an MA from Boston College. He lives just outside Berlin with his wife, Keota, a professor in the Geography Department at Salisbury University.