President, New York Harbor Foundation; Billion Oyster Project
Murray Fisher is currently the Executive Director of the New York Harbor Foundation, an organization he started in 2010 with a mission to develop and support a network of students, schools and communities working together to restore New York Harbor.
Murray graduated in 1998 from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN with a degree in Biology and a double minor in Latin American Studies and Environmental Studies. Inspired by “The Riverkeepers”, Murray moved to New York City to work for Hudson Riverkeeper through AmeriCorps. He was then hired as the Waterkeeper Alliance’s first Field Coordinator in 1999. Murray left Waterkeeper Alliance in the fall of 2002 to found the N ew York Harbor School with Richard Kahan from The Urban Assembly and the founding Principal Nate Dudley.
Harbor School was approved in April 2003, and Murray became the school’s Program Director, charged with leading the school with Principal Nate Dudley, and developing, managing and funding the unique Harbor programs for the school, which was located in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Most importantly, Murray focused on locating a new home for the Harbor School, and in September 2010 the school moved to its $34 million new home on Governors Island.
That same fall, Murray created the New York Harbor Foundation to support the Harbor School and completed the $4.5 million capital campaign for the school’s future Marine Science and Technology Center.
Along with Harbor School Aquaculture teacher Pete Malinowski, Murray started the Billion Oyster Project in April 2014; with a goal of restoring one billion live oysters to New York Harbor by 2035. That project is managed by the Harbor Foundation, has restored 18 million oysters for ecosystem services, and now has over 100 partners including 50 schools and 30 restaurants.