Gentrup named Suncoast Waterkeeper’s new executive director as of March 1

Her background is in education and environmental activism

Samantha Gentrup. Photo from

Samantha Gentrup has been named the new executive director of the Suncoast Waterkeeper, the organization has announced.

She joined the nonprofit on March 1, a news release says.

Gentrup comes to Suncoast Waterkeeper “with an extensive background in education as well as grassroots environmental movements,” the release notes. She has an undergraduate degree in business and communication and a Master of Education degree in middle grades education, the release adds.

“After almost two decades of empowering children and young adults to use their skills and passion to make a difference in the world,” the release continues, Gentrup “is taking the next step in her career to make her environmental activism her primary focus.” She has been a public speaker, environmental speechwriter and organizer for local and statewide events in efforts to raise awareness about the destruction of the fragile ecosystems in Florida, the release points out. She also has been an advocate for making protection of the state’s natural resources a top priority, the release says.

“Sam understands the interconnectivity of the issues that face us and brings passion and energy to the environmental protection movement,” leaders of Suncoast Waterkeeper added in the release. “We are excited to have her join our team.”

The mission of Suncoast Waterkeeper is to protect and restore the Florida Suncoast’s waterways through enforcement, field work, advocacy and environmental education “for the benefit of the communities that rely upon these precious coastal resources,” the release notes. The nonprofit’s primary focus is the enforcement of laws that protect waterways, the release points out.

“In addition to litigation, we have a water quality monitoring program and will be expanding our educational initiatives, especially our youth program ‘Kids for Clean Water,’” the release says.

Suncoast Waterkeeper is part of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a worldwide network of more than 350 environmental organizations in more than 45 countries.

“Our members and supporters are the heart and soul of our organization,” Suncoast Waterkeeper leaders continue in the release. “Although 2020 and 2021 have brought challenges with in-person connections, we at Suncoast Waterkeeper are eager to continue to build ways for all stakeholders to be actively involved in the crucial mission to protect our right to clean water,” they add in the release. “There is a place for everyone and we welcome you to find out more at”

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