Director, Onset Bay Center

Buzzards Bay Coalition
186 Onset Avenue
Wareham , MA 02558
United States

Charitable / Not for Profit
Manages Others
Experience Required
Degree Required
From $70,000 To $90,000
Per Year    
Employment Type
Full Time
Work Schedule
No Travel

Job Description
The Buzzards Bay Coalition seeks an accomplished professional to serve as Director of the Onset Bay Center for this energetic, performance-driven and growing regional organization. The full-time position reports to the President, joins a talented management team and dedicated Board of Directors, and is responsible for the management of on-the-water boating and public engagement facilities, more than 100 acres of publicly-accessible conservation lands, and a starting staff of one full-time Program Assistant and a seasonal staff of up to 20 sailing, boating and coastal ecology educators.

This is an exciting opportunity to join the Coalition team as it prepares to fully launch its new “Onset Bay Center” – a year-round Bay exploration and on-the-water program facility on Onset Bay in Wareham, MA. The “Onset Bay Center” will provide high-quality, on-the-water programs that engage people of all ages in a wide range of outdoor activities and educational programs focused on building connection and a sense of stewardship toward Buzzards Bay.

This position is for someone looking to take over the official launch and growth of this exciting new initiative at a critical moment in its development. The core lands needed to establish the Center have been acquired and public support strong. What is needed now is a dynamic and inspiring leader to build a strong staff, design programs, consult on facility rehabilitation, open and implement activities. It requires a motivational self-starter, dedicated to the mission of transforming people’s perspective and connection to the Bay through active, on-the-water experiences.

In return, the organization offers a great working environment; the opportunity to contribute to the success of a dynamic organization and have a direct impact on the future of our regional environment; and an outstanding quality of life on the shores of Buzzards Bay – all one hour or less from Boston, Providence, Newport and Cape Cod.

Founded in 1987, the Buzzards Bay Coalition is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration, protection and sustainable use and enjoyment of Buzzards Bay and its watershed. The Coalition works to improve the health of the Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research and advocacy. The Coalition works throughout the entire Buzzards Bay Watershed and on Vineyard Sound to protect the region’s coastal, river and drinking water quality and the forests, wetlands and streams that support a healthy coastal watershed ecosystem. We are a $3.2 million/year organization staffed by a team of 21 conservation professionals, aided by hundreds of volunteers, and supported by more than 10,000 members.

Our vision for the Onset Bay Center involves a complex of diverse natural lands on Onset Bay anchored at and supported by a main clubhouse facility at the Onset Bathhouse in the heart of the Village. In the past three years, we have acquired nearly 100 acres of beach, dune, tidal flats, saltmarshes and coastal forestland on Onset Bay at Burgess Point, Wickets Island and Shell Point Bay. These and other lands will provide the destinations for Bay ecology and on-the-water programs.

Summary information about the development of the Onset Bay Center is available at:

The programmatic focus and success of the Duxbury Bay Maritime School ( serves as the inspiration for what Onset Bay Center programs will become. Founded in 1998, DBMS is a non-profit organization open to all which offers a variety of programs for all ages and serves more than 2,000 people each summer. On-the-water programs at the DBMS include sailing, rowing, kayaking and standup paddleboarding for children and adults from beginners to racers, kayaking for children, sailboat rental program for adults and motorboat training for teens and adults. On-shore educational programs include ecology, fishing and shellfish programs, boating safety courses, and a variety of seminars. We are committed to bringing a similar wide range of on-the-water programs to Onset and aim to grow to serve at least 1,000 children and adults by our fifth year of operation.

The Onset Bathhouse facility, once fully renovated and expanded, will serve as headquarters for Onset Bay Center programs. Program administration, daily gathering, drop-off, classroom and meeting space, boat and equipment storage would all operate out of this facility and provide the launching point for exploring Wickets Island, Burgess Point and the saltmarshes of Shell Point Bay. The Bathhouse is currently at the mid-point of renovations and will be completed in time for a Spring 2020 opening.

Operationally, the Onset Bay Center will become a core program of the Buzzards Bay Coalition. Our plans call for a full-time Center Director and Program Assistant - based at the Bathhouse in Onset - to manage all aspects of the facility and programs. The Center Director will also hire and manage a team of seasonal staff, including sailing instructors and environmental educators. The use of seasonal staff, hired and managed by a year-round Director is based on the staffing model of organizations such as the Community Boating Center in New Bedford (, Sail Newport (, and the Duxbury Bay Maritime School which operate similar programs.
Job Requirements
The Center Director will be responsible for the development and implementation of all aspects of the Onset Bay Center, including,

• design and implementation of on-the-water recreation and bay exploration programs that attract a wide range of people;
• hiring and management of year-round and as many as 20 seasonal staff; providing workplans and supervision, ensuring training, and evaluating progress while fostering an environment that rewards performance, builds confidence, and encourages teamwork.
• exemplary maintenance of all facilities (Bathhouse, outbuildings, docks & piers) and more than 100 acres of natural lands including public access to Wickets Island;
• identification, acquisition and care of all vessels and outdoor exploration equipment;
• fundraising and budgeting in support of the Center’s annual budget.
• serve as a spokesperson able to clearly articulate a compelling case for support to a variety of audiences, particularly town officials, community leaders and major donor prospects.

The full-time position reports directly to the President, is a member of the Coalition’s senior management team, and supports an Onset Advisory Committee comprised of members of the Board of Directors and community leaders. The ideal candidate will have more than 5 years of on-the-water boating, nonprofit or recreation program experience, a proven track record of success managing programs of equal or greater size, excellent interpersonal and communication skills; and a passion for the environment and Buzzards Bay. A Master’s Degree is preferred.

The position is based at the Coalition’s Onset Bathhouse and is administratively supported from the organization’s headquarters in New Bedford, MA. Boat and equipment storage and maintenance space is provided at the organization’s field operations facility in Marion.

Preference will be given to applicants willing to relocate to the Wareham area and remain living in the area while holding the position.

The Coalition is an equal opportunity employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates.
Employer Contact Information
Buzzards Bay Coalition
Mark Rasmussen
114 Front Street
New Bedford MA 02740
United States

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