Terry Backer has been the appointed Soundkeeper and Executive Director of the Long Island Soundkeeper Fund, Inc., since 1987. Soundkeeper’s mission it is to protect and enhance the environmental integrity of Long Island Sound. Terry oversees all projects with approval from the Board of Directors. A third-generation fishermen, long active in his family’s shell-fishing business, Terry has fished Long Island Sound for much of his working life. He has also fished the Pacific Northwest and Alaska for salmon and is a United States Coast Guard licensed master.
Terry built a reputation on the Sound by monitoring and patrolling its waters and watershed, tracking down polluters and making them accountable for violations. Today, he monitors the regulatory processes for projects that may jeopardize the biological integrity of the Sound, and he develops programs that will make a difference in the future of the waterbody.
Terry has been a state representative from Connecticut’s 121st District (Stratford) since 1992 and serves as Vice Chair of the Appropriations committee. Terry is also a member of the environment committee, Energy and Technologies committee and Regulations Review committee. His duties include overseeing budgets for 10 state agencies totaling more than $3 billion annually. He was appointed by Governor Weicker to serve on Connecticut’s Council on environmental Quality from 1990 to 1992, and he was appointed by the Senate President Pro Tempore to serve on the Long Island Sound Advisory Council. Moreover, Terry is an advisor to shell-fishing and environmental organizations concerned with water quality both in Long Island Sound and in estuaries around the nation, and he is a founding member of the Long Island Sound Watershed Alliance. He has been a member of the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation conference since 1988, and he is currently an Executive Board Member.
The U.S. Committee for the United Nations Environment Programme has honored Terry for his
contributions to protecting the earth’s environment. Additionally, under Terry’s leadership,
Soundkeeper received an Environmental Achievement Award from Renew America, a national
environmental organization based in Washington D.C. Soundkeeper was selected by leaders of
the nation’s environmental community for its success in protecting the environment, while serving
as a model for similar organizations around the country. Terry served on the Waterkeeper Alliance Board of Directors from the Alliance’s founding until last year.