Julie Barrett O’Neill is the Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER. A native of WNY who gained familiarity with the water as a rower, Julie joined Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper in 2001 as the organization’s first permanent staff person. Under her leadership the organization has grown to 11 permanent and 6 temporary staff members and is currently adding more. The organization’s budget has bloomed from $26,000 to a projected $3 million in 2009. Riverkeeper’s recent project accomplishments include the Niagara Power Project Environmental Settlement, Niagara River Greenway Plan adoption and a first ever $1.2 million sediment clean up agreement with the US EPA. In 2006, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper was recognized by US EPA Region 2 with its highest citizen organization award. In 2005, Julie was recognized as the Erie County Environmental Citizen of the Year.
Julie is an attorney and holds a masters in economic development planning as well as an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies. She lives in Buffalo in a recently remodeled “green” building with her husband and three children.