Dwayne Shaw, Executive Director
Dwayne Shaw is Executive Director of the Downeast Salmon Federation, where he has led the development of the Federation’s fisheries and land conservation programs since 1989, beginning with the removal of the Pleasant River dam and the renovation of the facility as a hatchery and fisheries research center in Columbia Falls. In 2000 he led the removal of the East Machias River dam and received the National Coastal America Partnership Award from President George W. Bush. The East Machias site is now home to DSF’s Peter Gray Hatchery for the restoration of Atlantic salmon.
Dwayne holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies / Fisheries Concentration from University of Maine, Machias (1984). Dwayne has conducted research at UM Darling Marine Center and was employed as a Manager and Research Director at the Beals Island Regional Shellfish Hatchery for ten years. Dwayne also served as a fisheries biologist in the U.S. Peace Corps in Nepal. Dwayne has served on numerous fisheries boards and advisory committees including the ME Sea Grant Public Advisory Committee and the Federal Recovery Team for Endangered Atlantic Salmon. Dwayne has held certifications as a US Coast Guard Licensed Captain and ME Licensed Master Guide.
Greg Lounder, Associate Director
Greg joined the DSF team in the spring of 2020. His hometown is Ellsworth, Maine and he is a fourth generation native of Hancock County. He earned a B.A. in Geography from the University of Maine at Farmington in 1987. Greg has over 30 years of experience as a land use/natural resource planner and non-profit executive administrator with municipalities and businesses throughout central, eastern, northern and Downeast Maine. On behalf of 187 Maine municipalities, he led the creation of an expansive public-private partnership to ensure environmentally sound processing of municipal waste for conversion to energy and reduction of materials requiring disposal by about 90%.
Since childhood, Greg has spent a great deal of his free time enjoying the fish, wildlife and natural resource attributes that our major Downeast rivers, and their watershed ecosystems, have to offer. He looks forward to applying his life and work experiences advance the critical DSF mission and vision for the benefit of current and future generations. Greg and his wife currently reside in Otis.
Tracy Shaw, Office Manager
Tracy and her family reside happily in Cherryfield. Tracy joined the DSF team part-time in 2002 as the Membership Coordinator having over fifteen years of experience with the State of Maine and Town of Falmouth, Massachusetts retirement systems. Tracy’s responsibilities with DSF have grown and she currently serves the organization as the full-time Office Manager. Tracy’s original interests were based with the land trust aspects of the organization, however, her employment and learning experiences have led to a deep appreciation of wild Atlantic Salmon and the Downeast fisheries.
Tanya Rucosky, Director for Habitat Restoration & Land Trust Programs
Tanya comes to Downeast Salmon Federation after running a multi-state citizen science program in Australia focused on water quality, riparian revegetation, invasive fish management, and iconic (platypus) monitoring. There, she was instrumental in creating the Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach — a cooperative working group which included two states, three shires, a major industry and a half dozen NGOs that has made major habitat improvements on 90 miles of the Upper Murray-Darling River System. Here in Maine, Tanya has worked for the Downeast Lakes Land Trust as a Communications and Education Manager, and as Sunrise County Economic Council’s Natural Resource Program Manager. Before moving to Maine, Tanya worked as a librarian in Washington D.C. and Taiwan, a park ranger and organic farm manager in Pennsylvania as well as been a project manager in South East Asia focused on HIV/AIDS Harm Reduction and Landmine Removal.
Tanya is deeply committed to restoring the connections people have to the landscapes in which they live. She believes it is only through these connections that both our ecosystems and our own spirits remain healthy, vibrant and strong.
Restoration and Engagement Coordinator, Alewife Ambassador
Brett grew up not far from the muddy banks of a small tidal river. Brett attended the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor and found himself drawn to the watersheds of Eastern Maine. Between the banks of these rivers he became a whitewater kayaker and learned about the culture and ecology of the region. After graduating with a degree in Human Ecology in 2009 he traveled to river communities in Northern Canada, Italy, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Costa Rica. In these places, he saw how deeply tied people are to their rivers and fisheries. He returned to Maine after a few more meanders and has spent the last several years co-managing an organic farm on Mount Desert Island and teaching part-time at the Bay School in Blue Hill. He is thrilled to be a part of DSF and to be serving as the organization’s ambassador for such an ecologically and culturally important fish — the alewife.
Sarah Madronal, Fisheries Biologist and Regional Organizer
Sarah Madronal joined the DSF team in May of 2017. Sarah earned her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Policy from Colby College in 2014, which is where her love and fascination with sea-run fish began. Since that time, she has worked as a Law Clerk for the Environmental Law Division of a general practice law firm in the Hudson Valley of New York and most recently as the Fisheries Associate at Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, formerly Penobscot East Resource Center, and Downeast Fisheries Partnership.
Zach Sheller, Hatchery Manager
Zach Sheller joined the DSF team in May of 2014. Zach earned his Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from The University of Maine, Machias in 2006. Since that time he has done a variety of jobs including Atlantic salmon restoration work, work as a fisheries technician at sea, endangered species observing, and sea turtle conservation work along with various other managerial jobs in the metal recycling industry. These various jobs have taken him all along the east coast from the Key of Biscayne in Florida to Downeast Maine. These past years of operating within the Peter Gray Parr Project (PGPP) have allowed him to not only raise salmon to restore the rivers but participate in the assessment of the PGPP in the rivers. Tasks including electrofishing, smolt trapping, habitat restoration, egg planting, and redd counting to name a few.
Michelle Wright, Bookkeeper
Michelle Wright joined DSF in January as our new bookkeeper. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Maine at Machias and over 20 years of bookkeeping experience. She resides in Addison and enjoys camping and boating with her family.
Charlie Foster, Habitat Restoration Project Manager
Charlie grew up exploring the rivers and woods of the Virginia piedmont. An obsessive passion for the ocean led him to the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he graduated with a degree in marine biology. While a student there, he studied the diets of early juvenile red drum in the New River estuary.
After college, he earned a master’s degree in marine science from the University of Texas at Austin. His thesis was an investigation of population trends and migration phenology of coastal birds on Mustang Island, Texas.
He comes to DSF with over a decade of professional experience in environmental science and project management. During his career, he has worked on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts as an ecologist and environmental educator. Personally, he enjoys the therapeutic qualities of rustling leaves, running rivers, breaking waves, and chatting birds.
Martha Siano, Communications and Development Coordinator
Martha has an extensive background in marketing and business development, after more than 20 years in corporate work. A passionate community advocate, she has also been the Executive Director of a youth development nonprofit, the American Youth Council.
Her work with DSF is in the upgrade of the website, communications and membership systems with a focus on highlighting the history and achievements of the organization.
She lives in Machias Maine with her husband Michael.
Mitch Monini, Peter Gray Parr Project Technician
Mitch earned his Bachelor of Technology in Fisheries and Aquaculture from the State University of New York at Cobleskill in 2017. During his time at SUNY Cobleskill, he learned how to rear brook trout, brown trout, tiger trout, and arctic char hybrid. In the winter of 2016, he studied abroad in the Peruvian Amazon studying local fish and wildlife. He worked for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, rearing Chinook Salmon for 2 years. During his time with the IDFG, he helped release over 3 million Chinook Salmon into the South Fork of the Salmon River. He has always had a love for fishing and the outdoors, trying to do what he can for the others who have the same passion that he does.
Alex Frank, Hatchery Technician
Alex earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife with a concentration in fisheries from Paul Smiths College in 2019. Alex worked with Project Share during the 2019 field season right here in Downeast Maine. There he assisted in salmon habitat rehabilitation along the Narraguagus River, to increasing spawning habitat for Atlantic salmon. He also assisted Ernie Atkinson, Marine Scientist II at the DMR Jonesboro office with electrofishing assessments of an egg planting habitat quality project. This consisted of electrofishing for young of the year salmon in the Machias, Narraguagus, and Pleasant River watersheds. With this data, they could determine the fry dispersal rates, or put another way, how far the young salmon had moved from the redd (nest). Alex has a passion for being outdoors, taking full advantage of what nature has to offer. He enjoys fishing, hunting, and hiking.