ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST DERY BENNETT, 79

just_in1Environmental activist and former American Littoral Society executive director Derickson ‘Dery’ Bennett of Fair Haven has died at the age of 79, the Asbury Park Press reports.

The newspaper says he died Tuesday. No details were given immediately.

Bennett ran the American Littoral Society, the Sandy Hook-based coastal conservation group, from 1968 until 2003, the Press says. It quotes Tim Dillingham, the society’s current executive director, who called Bennett “probably one of the best advocates that the nation’s coast and ocean has ever had.”

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“I think we’re still feeling the impact of his work on clean water and open spaces and public access along thebeaches,” he said. “Probably his longest lasting contribution is that he mentored a whole generation of coastal advocates.”

The Star-Ledger ran an excellent profile of Bennett in 2007.