A guardian of Fire Island steps back

Over 20 years, Gerard Stoddard has earned a

Photo credit: STEVE PFOST/ Newsday

Newsday, July 19, 2011

In 1987, Gerard Stoddard was on the board of the Fire Island Association when he was made chairman of a committee charged with finding a president for the organization.

They searched, but no one volunteered. So Stoddard stepped forward. “Nobody would do it,” he said. “I found it fascinating.”

More than 20 years later, Stoddard has earned a reputation as a tireless protector of Fire Island’s shores and the interests of its residents — by partnering with the National Park Service, lobbying politicians and shepherding the association’s day-to-day operations.

In May, Stoddard, 76, of Ocean Bay Park, stepped down as president — though he remains on the board as a director emeritus. Many extol his passion for the island and his ability to advocate for its residents.

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