New York Offshore Wind Alliance Announces Joe Martens, Former NYS Environmental Conservation Commissioner, as New Director

ALBANY, NY – Joe Martens, who served as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s first Commissioner of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, is joining the New York Offshore Wind Alliance as its new director, the organization announced today.


“Joe has spent his very distinguished career making and implementing smart environmental policies and we are incredibly glad he will lead our efforts to bring the economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind energy to New York State,” said Anne Reynolds, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), an Albany-based nonprofit formed in 2006 to promote clean and renewable energy and energy efficiency. 


The Offshore Wind Alliance is a project of ACE NY.


Collin O'Mara, President & CEO, National Wildlife Federation, said: 'We are thrilled that Joe is bringing his strong leadership and vision to the NY Offshore Wind Alliance at this critical moment in New York's pursuit of the massive clean energy opportunity far off our shores. This unique collaboration of business, labor, conservation, and community leaders demonstrates the broad, diverse, bipartisan support for launching a new local industry that can create thousands of jobs while creating reliable, affordable, pollution-free electricity for New Yorkers." 


“We can think of no one better to take the reins of this effort. Joe brings deep understanding of the policy issues and an impeccable reputation to this work. Like so many other New Yorkers, Joe knows offshore wind will help create a new clean energy economy that means jobs and emission-free power, and less dependence on fossil fuels,” said Kit Kennedy, Director of Energy & Transportation for the Natural Resources Defense Council and ACE NY Vice Chair.


“Offshore wind is the wave of the future and New York is poised to lead the nation in its development. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help realize this vision and see New York reap the economic, environmental and public health benefits of offshore wind,” said Martens, who will start with the Alliance on August 7.


He succeeds Liz Gordon, who is leaving the Offshore Wind Alliance to rejoin New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office as Executive Director of Corporate Governance.


Martens’ appointment comes as the state works to implement Gov. Cuomo’s goal to have 50% of New York’s power generated by renewable energy sources by 2030. In his 2016 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo directed the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to develop an Offshore Wind Master Plan to advance projects that could power more than 1.25 million homes on Long Island and New York City.  NYSERDA is expected to release a procurement plan that outlines options for purchasing offshore wind energy this summer and complete the Master Plan by the end of this year.


This Offshore Wind Master Plan should create a roadmap for how New York State can take advantage of the strong winds far off the coast of Long Island and at the same time protect coastal and marine wildlife and preserve existing offshore industries and activities.


Leaders from Long Island’s business, organized labor and environmental communities, along with a bipartisan group of elected officials, have united to support the State’s efforts to make offshore wind a key component of the governor’s “50 by 30” strategy to increase renewable energy, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and spur economic development.


Martens joins the Offshore Wind Alliance after two years as a senior fellow at the Open Space Institute, which he also served as President from 1998-2010. He served as DEC Commissioner from 2011-15, chaired the Olympic Regional Development Authority from 1999-2010 and served as an environmental policy aide to Governor Mario Cuomo from 1990-94. He earned a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a Bachelor’s degree in Resource Economics from UMass Amherst.


About the New York Offshore Wind Alliance


The New York Offshore Wind Alliance (NYOWA) is a diverse coalition of organizations with a shared interest in promoting the responsible development of offshore wind power for New York.  A project of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), NYOWA has a particular focus on Governor Cuomo's goal of creating 2,400 MW of offshore wind power by 2030.