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Adrienne Esposito, Citizens Campaign for the Environment

Adrienne Esposito is the executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment. Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) was formed in 1985 by a small group of concerned citizens who recognized the need to provide public involvement to advance stronger environmental policy. CCE continues to work to empower the public by providing members with opportunities to participate in the political process and thereby advance a strong environmental agenda. CCE engages in extensive education, research, lobbying and public outreach.

What influenced you to do what you do?
I grew up on the south shore of Long Island with one foot in the water and one foot on the land. A crab trap in one hand and a fishing pole in the other. My childhood was filled with simple outdoor things such as swimming in the bay, learning to “jump the waves” in the ocean, fishing, digging for muscles, sunbathing, and blueberry picking in the Pine Barrens. Living by the water and appreciating the outdoors provided the opportunity to connect with nature and develop a respect and love for our earth. That love of nature turned out to be a life-long passion.

What inspires you?
It sounds cliché, but it inspires me to help people. Many say the public is apathetic. That is not true. I have found that the vast majority of people care about our environment, our future and our world. The problem is the public no longer feels empowered. They feel government is a giant bureaucracy that no longer listens to the voice of the public. One critical component of CCE’s work is to empower the public, to put the voice of the public back into the ears of the elected officials.

Who’s your female role model and why?
I would have to give a shout out to Jane Goodall. She was my first role model. She was intelligent and passionate about her work and yet she always exuded a depth of compassion and wisdom that was inspirational.

What is your greatest achievement?
In 1985 I helped start CCE in my living room. There were about nine of us. We were young and enthusiastic, and we had no idea the amount of hard work that was ahead! But we worked hard and built CCE into a bi-state organization with 120,000 members.

What would you like our donors to know about you and your mission?
CCE has a terrific, dedicated staff who understand the need and value of protecting public health and our environment. Now more than ever we need to fight for clean water, healthy air and to stop climate change – and we will not give up.

Check out their website at to learn more of the incredible work they do.

Long Island Community Foundation | A Division of The New York Community Trust
900 Walt Whitman Road | (Rt. 110) Suite 205 | Melville, NY 11747
P (631) 991-8800 | Directions | Staff | Comments on the Website

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