Michael Yerdon is the Development Director for Waterkeeper Alliance and joined the organization in the Fall of 2023. He is responsible for leading Waterkeeper Alliance's fundraising efforts and manages a portfolio of individuals, corporations, and foundations that collectively support key organizational priorities.
Originally from Central New York, Michael grew up surrounded by rivers, lakes, and streams, and has a deep appreciation for the beauty and importance of water in sustaining life and the environment.
Michael has over 15 years of experience in fundraising for nonprofit organizations that support and protect at-risk communities. Before joining Waterkeeper Alliance, Michael was the Senior Director of Development at New York Restoration Project, an environmental justice nonprofit that builds and programs parks and gardens in under-resourced areas throughout New York City. He has also worked at several education and community-based organizations in New York City that directly support low-income children and families.
Michael has a BA in Policy Studies and Political Science from Syracuse University and lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children. He is an avid distance runner, die-hard Everton supporter, and long-suffering Syracuse sports fan. He hopes to one day become better at gardening.
"At a young age, I could clearly see how access to a clean environment and water wasn't equal. I grew up near a lake, Onondaga, that at the time was the most contaminated in the US. Fifteen miles away, wealthy people lived near Skaneateles Lakes, which was so pristine that it supplied unfiltered drinking water to the whole region. While strict measures were in place to protect that lake, companies were allowed to dump untreated waste into the water close to my home for more than a century. Policy makers didn't seem to care about the impact of pollution on working-class communities like mine, and I am proud to work for an organization that protects and preserves waterways around the world to ensure they remain clean and healthy.”