Wendy W. Benchley

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Biographical Information

"Wendy Benchley has a long career as an environmental activist and elected government office-holder. Her primary passion resides in ocean and shark conservation with frequent 'field visits' as an avid scuba diver.

"Her environmental life began in the '70's as a co-founder and Trustee of the New Jersey Environmental Federation (NJEF). At NJEF, Wendy fought hazardous substances in the home, developing award-winning educational campaigns to encourage people to stop using toxic products.

"As founder and chair of the Mercer Citizens for Public Accountability, Wendy was instrumental in defeating the construction of a municipal waste incinerator in the county in 1996.

"Wendy has also worked on national environmental issues for 23 years with Environmental Defense Fund. She was a member of the National Board of Trustees from 1986 to 2003 and is now an Advisory Trustee. During her years on the National Board she chaired or worked on various board committees including chair of the Nominating Committee.

"During the '90's, Wendy became active in NJ politics. She was elected to the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 1992 and then to the Princeton Borough Council for three terms, from 1999 to 2008. During her years as a Councilwoman she worked on smart growth issues including a prize winning downtown development, establishment of a jitney service, school car pooling, increases in affordable housing, use of Leed (green construction) standards in building and creation of extensive new open space.In 2008, Wendy resigned her elected position in order to work full time on ocean conservation issues.

"During their marriage of 43 years, Wendy was a partner to her husband, Peter Benchley, in his work on ocean and shark issues. Wendy has joined Shark Savers in order to build on the powerful Benchley family legacy in shark conservation."[1]

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Related Sourcewatch


  1. Wendy Benchley, Wendy Benchley, accessed November 29, 2011.