2023 Board Update

As we embark on another exciting year, we thank ORP’s Board of Directors for their steadfast service in support of Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration efforts. We also recognize the significant contributions of two outgoing members, Mr. Joe Jackins and Mrs. Karen Oertel, whose involvement with ORP has had a huge impact on the organization’s mission and programs.  

Mr. Jackins and Mrs. Oertel are founding board members, serving in many roles since ORP was created in 1994. Mr. Jackins was drawn-in by his love of sailing, an appreciation for the Chesapeake Bay, and sense of responsibility to restore its health. An established businessman, Joe contributed strong financial expertise that strengthened mission-delivery, serving as treasurer, Chair of the Finance Committee, and as a member of the Executive Committee. As an owner of Harris Seafood, Mrs. Oertel possessed an intimate understanding of why a healthy oyster population is vital to the Bay’s health and contributed valuable industry knowledge that shaped ORP programs. She served on the Executive Committee and as the Chair of the Nominating Committee where she was instrumental in growing the organization’s board membership. ORP thanks both individuals for their dedicated service and wishes them all the best with their next passion projects! 

ORP’s two newest Board Members, Dr. Katheryn Matthews and Mr. Jeff Harrison, will begin service next month. We are grateful and excited to incorporate their unique talents, expertise, and perspectives to advance ORP’s mission. Dr. Mathews has decades of experience working to advance marine conservation and sustainable seafood and is currently serving as Chief Scientist at Oceana. Mr. Harrison is Fifth generation Chesapeake Bay Waterman, President of the Talbot County Watermen’s Association, and is an active member in several of Maryland’s fisheries management bodies. 

Once again, thank you to all who have served on ORP’s board! We rely on your good guidance and governance as we employ the latest science and innovations to increase oyster populations and improve Bay health.