As Water Project Manager based in Buffalo, NY, Nate Drag leads the Alliance’s on-the-ground efforts in New York state and work on basin-wide policy issues such as plastic pollution, ballast water and invasive species, and crude oil transportation. He played a critical role in the Alliance’s efforts to pass the Microbead Free Waters Act of 2015, which bans the manufacture and sale of products containing plastic microbeads nationwide. Nate also acts as a local representative for the Alliance on Lakes Erie and Ontario. Nate Drag joined the Alliance in the spring of 2011 as the New York Outreach Coordinator where he established the Adopt-a-Beach in the state. He continues to lead New York Adopt-a-Beach and coordinates the program’s online training system for the entire Great Lakes basin.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Nate earned a Masters in Urban Planning with a concentration in Environmental Planning from the University at Buffalo in 2008. After that, he was a member of the National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program in Ecosystem Restoration through Interdisciplinary Exchange. He focused his research on the historical relationship between communities and the Great Lakes in the 20th century using a cross disciplinary analysis of environmental policy and history. Nate’s personal relationship with the Great Lakes began as a child swimming and lifeguarding on the Lake Erie shores in New York, developed on visits to all five Lakes during a six month cross country road trip after college, and blossomed as a shipboard environmental educator for the Buffalo Urban Outdoor Education Foundation. Nate loves living by the shores of the Niagara River, kayaking every chance he gets, and working on boats in the Buffalo Harbor until he can afford his own someday.