Meghan Wren Briggs
Meghan E. Wren is founder and Executive Director of the Bayshore Discovery Project. A student of literature at the University of Pennsylvania and later of environmental studies at Stockton State College, she interrupted her degree work to create the Bayshore Discovery Project in 1988 at age 23. Her youth spent on (and in) the water, her deckhand experience on the 1877 barque Elissa and others, her work as a crabber and shipwright on Delaware Bay and her passion for things old and the cultural landscape of South Jersey inspired her to transform a decrepit hulk of an oyster dredger into a living voice for Delaware Bay. With a commitment to community involvement, volunteerism and consensus building, Ms Wren built the organization and amassed the financial, technical and human resources necessary to restore the 1928 schooner A.J. Meerwald. Throughout the eight year, million dollar restoration, the organization grew into a well-respected educational institution in the Delaware Valley serving nearly 50,000 people annually. In addition to its shipboard programming, BDP delivers shore-based field trips from the 1904 Oyster Shipping Sheds and Wharves (currently undergoing a $4 million restoration), operates the Delaware Bay Museum and hosts Delaware Bay Days , a free festival attracting 12-15,000 attendees. In 1998, the A J Meerwald was designated New Jersey’s official Tall Ship. Bayshore Discovery Project has received numerous awards, including: excellence in historic preservation from the New Jersey Trust for Historic Preservation; Watershed Awareness Education by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Governor’s Heritage Tourism Award and Tall Ships America's 2005 Sea Education Program of the Year Award. In addition to her work with BDP, Ms Wren served for eight years as CoChair of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee of the Delaware Estuary Program, was a founding board member of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, South Jersey Land Trust, and South Jersey Bayshore Coalition, serves on the Cumberland Empowerment Zone Advisory Board, American Littoral Society board and is currently president of the Port Norris Rotary Club. In 2003, Ms Wren married Captain Jesse Briggs of Lane Briggs/Norfolk Rebel legacy and in 2005 they welcomed Delbay Wren Briggs to the family.