Come and Celebrate an Environmental Legend

KINGSTON – On Sunday, September 18th, the Hudson River Maritime Museum will be hosting its Pilot Gala in honor of environmentalist, activist and author, Fran Dunwell. The event will be hosted at Diamon Mills in Saugerties, NY, and tickets are now available to members of the public.

Fran Dunwell recently retired as the Hudson River Estuary Coordinator at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, a position she held since 1984. In that role, she managed the implementation of the state’s Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda and its $6.5 million annual budget. The Estuary Program organizes many partners to conserve the tidal Hudson and the extraordinary natural heritage of its watershed using programs founded in science and implemented in ways that support the quality of life of the Valley’s citizens.

Prior to working for DEC, she was Executive Director of the Center for the Hudson River Valley and then Associate Director of Scenic Hudson. Dunwell has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies from Yale University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from Kirkland College. Dunwell is also the author of two award- winning books – The Hudson River Highlands (1991) and The Hudson: America’s River (2008).

The Hudson River Maritime Museum’s Pilot Gala is in celebration of Fran Dunwell and her work in the Hudson Valley. The evening will include a cocktail hour and seated dinner, an programming auction in support of the museum’s sailing and woodworking school as well as their green museum initiative, and a short film about Dunwell’s work.

Tickets are available for purchase on the museum’s website at Also available is a raffle for an 18-person private character on the museum’s 100% solar-powered tour boat, Solaris, in the 2023 season. All proceeds from the event go towards supporting the mission and programming of the museum.

The Hudson River Maritime Museum is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries and related communities. In addition to extensive collections documenting maritime transportation, industry, recreation, and natural science, the museum offers classes and programs at its Wooden Boat School, Sailing and Rowing School, and aboard its floating classroom, Solaris. The museum is located along the historic Rondout waterfront in downtown Kingston. Visit for more information.

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