Andrew Lipsky

Acting Chief, Northeast Cooperative Research Program


With over 25 years of fisheries experience, Andy has worked at the NGO, State, Tribal, and Federal levels. Prior to his return to Federal service at NOAA in 2016, in the private sector he served as a Senior Partner at SeaPlan, a marine resource planning organization. In this role he led planning, business development, and management to advance coastal and marine business planning efforts in the region, including helping to advance the first offshore wind energy investments in the region and in cooperation with recreational and commercial fisheries. As a co-PI, he led the science and commercial fishing industry team to design and implement the first collaborative fisheries studies to monitor effects of offshore wind energy on demersal finfish and lobster fisheries through multi-year studies; and played a key role in reaching historic industry to industry agreements culminating in the onset of construction of the first U.S. offshore wind farm-The Block Island Wind Farm. With decades of experience working closely with commercial and recreational fishermen, he has also led an innovative program to advance regional electronic reporting/mapping with charter/party boat fishing industries in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

An interdisciplinary scientist, regulatory and policy expert, and project/program manager; he led the planning, coalition-building, design, permitting, implementation, research, and adaptive management of marine and land conservation projects throughout the United States. From cruising timber in the Pacific Northwest, conducting fisheries studies in desert riparian ecosystems of the Southwestern U.S., to advancing marine stewardship and energy production; he is experienced in applying science, planning, and facilitation techniques to solve conflicts and build on the ground/in the water projects. He has experience working at the land/sea interface and has planned and secured over $23 million in funds, and managed over 100 coastal, marine, watershed, and diadromous fisheries conservation and research projects in partnership with dozens of federal, state, tribal, NGO, and industry clients. As the national water quality and ocean sciences leader at USDA NRCS, he advised the Office of the Secretary on ocean aquaculture, marine planning, and regional marine restoration initiatives. As a fish and wildlife biologist at USDA he led environmental compliance, science and technology development, conservation planning, and project management of dozens of fisheries restoration and aquaculture-related initiatives, including developing and managing over $4 million in market-based conservation BMP’s with marine aquaculture producers. His role as State Biologist also included ensuring agency compliance with all state and Federal Environmental Statues, including developing practices to address conservation issues associated with marine mammals and endangered species. At Save the Bay, he led early efforts in the 1990’s developing coastal and estuarine community-based restoration science partnerships.

Andy currently lives in Cumberland, Rhode Island, with his wife, Kiela, and his three daughters- Juliet, Thaila, and Malia. On his free time, when he is not planning fisheries- related activities, he is fishing Rhode Island sound and Narragansett Bay.