Melissa Samet
American Rivers
San Anselmo, California

The Senior Director of Water Resources at American Rivers in San Francisco, Melissa Samet has dedicated her career to the protection and restoration of wetlands through the use of advocacy, education, and litigation. While at American Rivers, Ms. Samet has taken on some of the country’s largest, most complex, and controversial wetlands issues and projects, including providing significant contributions to the Wetland Mitigation Reform Provision in the 2007 Water Resources Development Act and helping to end the dredging of the Apalachicola River in Florida. She played a key role in deauthorizing the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, a navigation channel that damaged 20,000 acres of coastal wetlands.

Ms. Samet spent much of the past decade opposing a project in the Yazoo River by pursuing highly technical research; implementing complex political strategies; and mobilizing activists nationwide to protect over 200,000 acres of ecologically significant wetlands in the Mississippi River delta.

Prior to joining American Rivers in 2001, Ms. Samet worked for six years at Earthjustice as a litigating attorney and Director of their Marine Biodiversity Program. She has a J.D. from New York University School of Law, and a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont.