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Board of Directors

The Friends is governed by a volunteer Board, consisting of 5 to 13 members. The Board meets monthly and welcomes visitors to these meetings. 

Monthly Board Meeting minutes available upon request. Email us at

These volunteers make up our current Board.

Pat Welle, President

Pat retired in 2019 from over twenty years in conservation in the Pacific Northwest. She spent many years working with farmers to reduce agriculture impacts to groundwater and restoring tributaries in the Columbia River estuary for salmon. Pat is also a photographer who recently completed two books on the Columbia River estuary and now resides on the shore of Willapa Bay. She is active in revegetation projects (including an acre of her property being planted to forest and pollinator meadow), and continually explores the bay and nearby coastal forests and wetlands, usually with camera in hand.

Sylvia Pelizza, Secretary

Sylvia Pelizza, Treasurer

Sylvia is a retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee having served 37 years at 12 different Refuges. She traveled across the country managing lands and waters along the northeast coast, in Florida’s everglades, in the pothole country of the Dakotas, in southwest deserts, in the Pacific Islands, and in the Pacific Northwest. Sylvia retired to the Long Beach Peninsula. Because of her commitment to refuges, she also serves on the board for the National Wildlife Refuge Association. 

David Campiche, Director

David is a multi-faceted individual: potter, writer, innkeeper (retired after 42 years), involved in various ecological groups, a chef and harmless miscreant. He loves the ecology of the Long Beach Peninsula and all aspects of flora and fauna and, of course, its old growth. This includes Willapa Bay as well as his devotion to all animals, big and small. David has been a part of the preservation of a number of vital landscapes and enjoys working with the Friends. He loves sharing a good bottle of wine and toasts to the preservation of our magical planet.

David Hoch, Director

Dave is a Friends member since 2006 when he and his wife Karen moved to the peninsula from Longview. They both joined the friends after being inspired by an animal skull presentation at the Ilwaco Saturday market. Both Dave and Karen have officially retired in 2020 from their day jobs. Dave has served on the board a few times over the years in different capacities and enjoys the camaraderie of the Friends group and is looking forward to another chapter in the ongoing story of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.

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