Senior Water Resources Counsel
National Wildlife Federation
Melissa Samet is Senior Water Resources Counsel at the National Wildlife Federation where she oversees policy, project, and legal activities focused on reforming federal management of the Mississippi River, and rivers and wetlands nationwide.
Melissa has more than 20 years of experience in successful water resources advocacy, including obtaining fundamental reforms to the Corps of Engineers, stopping the Corps’ planned destruction of 200,000 acres of wetlands, ending navigation dredging on Florida’s Apalachicola River, and obtaining legislation to close the deadly Mississippi River Gulf-Outlet near New Orleans.
Melissa is the lead author of a Citizen’s Guide to the Corps of Engineers and has published numerous articles and essays on the Corps and water policy. In 2009, Melissa received a National Wetlands Award from the Environmental Law Institute. Melissa was a long-time co-chair of the Water Protection Network and continues to work actively as a member of the Water Protection Network Policy committee.
From 2001 to 2009, Melissa was the Senior Director of Water Resources at American Rivers where she directed their Corps of Engineers Reform Campaign and Natural Flood Protection Initiative. From 1994 to 2001, Melissa worked for Earthjustice where she was a litigating attorney and Director of the Marine Biodiversity Program. She also represented Earthjustice as a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDLs). Prior to joining Earthjustice, Melissa was a litigating attorney with the law firm of Shearman & Sterling. Melissa holds a law degree from the New York University School of Law, and an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont.