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our crew
It takes a special team to run our programs.

With a science-based mission, Tampa Bay Watch’s staff members seek to promote its vision through habitat restoration programs and youth education each year, including habitat restoration in the bay, field trips, teacher training, and summer camps. 

image of staff member dwayne virgint

Dwayne Virgint

Chief Executive Officer

Dwayne joined Tampa Bay Watch in October 2019. Dwayne earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Bridgeport. He brings more than 25 years of broad experience in leadership, operations and management of mission-based organizations to TBW including zoos, aquariums, and museums. He served over twelve years as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and its affiliated companies in Albuquerque, NM. His goal at TBW is to ensure that generations of young leaders will continue the mission of protecting the bay and the world’s ocean. He is a beekeeper and an avid scuba diver and spends much of his spare time in local waters.

Peter A. Clark


Peter A. Clark is the founder and president of Tampa Bay Watch. Under his watch, the organization has coordinated more than 100,000 volunteers, installed 10,000 oyster reef units and 1,200 tons of oyster shell to create more than two miles of oyster shell reef communities, planted more than 1,000,000 salt marsh grasses to restore 200 acres of coastal tidal ponds to Tampa Bay. In 2005, Tampa Bay Watch completed construction of the $4 million marine and education center in Tierra Verde, Florida. Until 1993, Mr. Clark served as Director of the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s Agency on Bay Management, an alliance of agencies charged with protecting the Bay. Mr. Clark has a BS in Marine Biology and over fifty professional publications on natural resource restoration, water quality and environmental planning. Mr. Clark also initiated the nomination, which ultimately led to the designation, of Tampa Bay into the EPA’s National Estuary Program. Mr. Clark holds a US Coast Guard Captains License, received the Outstanding Environmentalist of the Year award from the Florida Marine Research Institute Environmental Excellence Awards program in 1994, and the NOAA Fisheries / American Fisheries Society Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award in 2005.

Celeste Ablin

Oyster Shell Recycling Program Specialist

Celeste joined the crew at Tampa Bay Watch in 2023 to expand the Oyster Shell Recycling Program and help with other restoration projects. Originally from the West Coast, Celeste studied at Prescott College in Arizona before graduating in 2022 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Before joining Tampa Bay Watch she worked as a substitute teacher for the Pinellas County Schools and assisted the Arizona Wilderness Coalition with a wildlands inventory project. In her free time, you can find Celeste spending time outdoors, cooking with her family, working on art projects, practicing yoga, or reading.

image of staff john anderson

John Anderson


John Anderson was introduced to Tampa Bay Watch through its volunteer programs and ended up in the oyster reef ball program. John won the position of part-time grounds keeper in mid-December 2012. John’s background includes being a hardhat construction worker, a stockbroker and picking up a B.A. in Zoology along the way. The stated goals of Tampa Bay Watch give John, a native Floridian, something he can enjoy working for and believing in. Hobbies include writing, martial arts, and snow skiing.

image of staff member rachel arndt

Rachel Arndt

communications manager

Rachel Arndt has worked on Tampa Bay Watch communications since 2007. Her primary responsibilities include coordinating volunteers through weekly announcement of activities, writing the quarterly newsletter and gaining media interest for restoration projects. She has lived the majority of her life in Florida. Rachel received her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and graduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has a wealth of working experience with non-profit and governmental agencies. Rachel is a runner and enjoys jogging along the downtown St. Pete waterfront and the Pinellas Trail. She is an avid sports fan and follows all of the local teams, especially the Florida Gators.

Sabrina Bahre

education coordinator

Sabrina joined Tampa Bay Watch in December 2022 as the Education Coordinator for Estuary EDventures. She holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her internship experience includes Mote Marine Laboratory as part of the Manatee Research Program, as well as Lee County Manatee Park as a Summer Education Intern. She has also volunteered at North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher on the education and the dive team, The National Aquarium as an aquarist assistant, and Clearwater Marine Aquarium as a dive volunteer. She is passionate about sharks and marine conservation. In her free time, she enjoys scuba diving with sharks, traveling, and spending time with her family and dog.

Leah Biery

discovery center director

Leah joined Tampa Bay Watch as Discovery Center Director in 2022. She is responsible for ensuring that the Discovery Center, located on the St. Pete Pier, provides meaningful opportunities for locals and visitors to learn about Florida’s unique ecosystems and Tampa Bay Watch’s efforts to protect and restore them. With an academic background in marine science and career experience in nonprofit management and communications, she is passionate about combining her skills to promote environmental stewardship. Leah holds a Master of Science in Zoology from the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre and a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from North Carolina State University, where she also earned a minor in Nonprofit Studies. She has been a collaborator on marine conservation, education, and aquaculture projects in Florida and abroad. In her free time she enjoys yoga, stand up paddleboarding, and exploring near and far.

Sara Brehm

GIS Specialist

Sara joined Tampa Bay Watch in August 2022. She is responsible for providing mapping and GPS support to a variety of restoration projects. She graduated from Jacksonville University with a B.S. and M.S. in Marine Science. Prior to joining Tampa Bay Watch, Sara worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for seven years in environmental compliance and aquatic preserve resource management roles. In her free time, Sara enjoys spending time with her husband and dogs, kayaking and paddle boarding, sewing, reading, and biking.

Kimberly Duncan

Events and Development Coordinator

Kim joined Tampa Bay Watch as the Events and Development Coordinator in 2023. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Kim received her B.F.A. in Art History from North Texas University, and an M.L.A. in Art History and Arts Management from Oklahoma City University. She has lived in St. Petersburg since 2001. Before joining Tampa Bay Watch, she worked in the development department at the Museum of Fine Arts St Petersburg, and has over ten years of experience in the event industry as an event manager. In her free time, Kim likes to garden, travel, explore Maya sites, design jewelry, and other artistic endeavors.

Reagan Fennessy

Education Specialist

Reagan joined the team in March 2022 as our part-time Education Specialist, and was promoted to a full-time Education Specialist position in November 2022. She helps facilitate Estuary EDventure field trips and Tampa Bay Watch Summer Camp programs. Reagan holds a B.S. in Marine Biology, as well as a minor in Visual Arts from Eckerd College. During her time at Eckerd, she spent extensive time studying the marine environment surrounding Tampa Bay through both coursework and fieldwork. Her career goal is to contribute to environmental education initiatives by combining both her scientific background and creativity. In her spare time, she enjoys scuba diving, playing beach volleyball, and running with her friends.

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Serra Herndon

habitat restoration director

Serra joined the Tampa Bay Watch team 2006 is responsible for  the management and oversight of the organization’s community-based habitat restoration programs which include oyster reef building, seagrass restoration, marine debris cleanups, and living shoreline implementation. She holds a Master of Marine Affairs degree from the University of Washington and a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Oregon.  In her free time, Serra enjoys traveling and exploring new places, hanging out with family and friends, and enjoying the estuaries and beaches she is working to protect.

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Tiana Kirby

database and IT projects manager

Tiana joined Tampa Bay Watch in August 2018 in support of a variety of needs in our growing organization before officially joining our development team in November. With degrees in the performing arts and anthropology, and 15 years in the Information Science and Management section at FWRI in support of the conservation sciences, Tiana is interested in the ways diverse fields can intersect to generate pro-environmental change and instill stewardship. A native St. Petersburgian, she enjoys photography and hiking in natural areas, writing and playing music, dancing, vegan cooking, and being out on the water when possible.

Tara Kok

Restoration Specialist

Tara joined the Tampa Bay Watch team as the Restoration Specialist in January 2022. She is responsible for providing support for our Bay Grasses in Classes (BGIC) program and assisting with various restoration projects and programs. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Sustainability. Prior to joining Tampa Bay Watch, Tara worked as an after-school teacher and summer camp counselor with The Art of Science and brings with her a passion for environmental education and fostering engaging learning experiences. In her free time, Tara loves kayaking, gardening, cooking, embroidering, and exploring Florida’s natural landscapes.

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Katie Mastenbrook

director of education

Katie Mastenbrook runs the Marine Education Center at Tampa Bay Watch. She is in charge of the Estuary EDventures field trip programs and Tampa Bay Watch Summer Camp. She joined Tampa Bay Watch in September 2014 bringing with her more than seven years of experience in the Marine Science and Environmental Science field. She has held instructional and coordinator positions at the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute, MarineLab, FWC Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, and was even a state park ranger. Katie received a B.S. Degree in Marine Science, with a minor in Environmental Science from Coastal Carolina University. She holds a USCG Master Captain License and loves spending time out on the water.

eric plage

Oyster Reef Ball Program Coordinator

Eric Plage graduated from Eckerd College in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Geology. Here at Tampa Bay Watch, he facilitates our Oyster Reef Ball Program  He also facilitates the Living Shoreline Project at MacDill Airforce Base. He has a passion for the outdoors and can be found most weekends fishing, birding, kayaking, or boating around the Tampa Bay area.

Molly Rabin

Membership Coordinator

Molly joined Tampa Bay Watch in 2022 as a restoration intern before being recruited by the development team. Molly is originally from SoCal and moved to St. Pete for warmer beaches and to attend Eckerd College where she earned a Bachelor’s in Economics and Marine Science. In her free time, she is a scuba instructor, who enjoys trying new food spots and going to the beach.

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Richard Radigan

Oyster Shell Program Coordinator

Rick joined Tampa Bay Watch’s restoration team as the Oyster Shell Program Coordinator in September 2020. Originally from Michigan, he and his wife moved down to Florida to escape the cold winters and lack of marine life. Having worked in a number of fields from directing helicopters on a flight deck in the U.S Navy to serving as a firefighter/paramedic, Rick finally decided to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a marine biologist. Prior to joining Tampa Bay Watch, Rick had been an oyster biologist at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for the last nine years. Rick holds a BS in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Tampa. In his free time, Rick enjoys spending time with his family, playing in the water, and golfing.

Molly Robison

Annual Giving Manager

Molly joined Tampa Bay Watch in September 2021 as a member of the Development team. As a fairly recent transplant from Colorado, Molly is delighted to retire her snow shovel and start enjoying the beautiful Florida weather and Tampa Bay. With a BS in Business Administration, Molly has worked in the nonprofit community with a strong focus on fundraising, event planning, administration, and donor relations throughout her career. Since arriving in Florida, Molly’s newest hobby is long walks on the beach while taking pictures of sunsets!

Lauren Twele

Education Specialist

Lauren started at Tampa Bay Watch in Fall 2021 where she helped facilitate Estuary EDventures field trips. Now moving into a full-time role in support of these programs, she is excited to continue working with this amazing team! Lauren is a graduate of The University of Tampa where she earned a B.S. in Marine Science and Biology. Having always been passionate about conservation education and inspiring youth to protect our aquatic habitats, she has worked at several organizations as a science instructor including The Florida Aquarium and Seacamp Association, Inc., and also has experience as a first mate on eco-tourism boats around the Tampa Bay area. In her free time, you can find her helping assist scuba classes as a divemaster, dog sitting, paddle boarding, and hiking through America’s national parks.

image of staff rachel zafar

Rachel Zafar

administrative accountant

Rachel Zafar joined the Tampa Bay Watch team in 2015. Interested in marine life conservation and new to the area from New Jersey, Rachel discovered Tampa Bay Watch while researching volunteer opportunities nearby. She earned a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Delaware, and she worked in project management in the logistics industry prior to moving to Florida. During her time at Tampa Bay Watch, she has supported the development team and now currently serves on the administrative and accounting side of the organization. In her free time, Rachel loves traveling, gardening, skiing, and spending time at the beach with her family.

image of staff member jon ziegler

Jon Ziegler

Bay View Community Room Coordinator

Jon joined Tampa Bay Watch in 2015. Originally from Illinois, he moved to Florida in 2005 to escape the cold winters and be closer to his family. Jon is our Bay View Community Room coordinator, planning the weddings that take place here at Tampa Bay Watch. When not planning weddings, Jon enjoys gardening, cooking and playing with his dogs.

Click here to meet our crew at the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center on the St. Pete Pier!