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Sustainable Monarch Names First Executive Director

North Platte, Nebraska: Marcus Gray has been named the Executive Director of Sustainable Monarch (, the organization that advances market-based solutions to landscape-level conservation and highlights voluntary environmental stewardship activities by communities. Gray will give specific attention to building the program’s network of communities, partnerships with diverse stakeholders, enhancing development efforts and conducting outreach to promote science-based conservation of butterflies and the habitat on which they depend.

Gray brings extensive experience with butterflies and pollinators, where he spearheaded the successful Monarchs In The Rough initiative for golf courses with Audubon International. He formerly served as the inaugural executive director at the North American Butterfly Association. Previous employers include USDA-APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) and Resource Conservation and Development Councils in New Jersey and Virginia.

Sustainable Monarch is a not-for-profit organization which works with communities to protect the native plants butterflies need and promote economic development through milkweed-based products and activities. We are partnering with other organizations to encourage sound stewardship of natural resources and establish a network of reserves managed specifically to support monarch breeding and migration. Sustainable Monarch’s mission is to fuel the monarch migration by creating novel solutions that benefit local communities.

“We are thrilled that Marcus will be leading our conservation and restoration efforts.” says Sustainable Monarch Founder & President, Debbie Dekleva. “Marcus has the experience and passion for butterflies needed to move our programs to the next level.”

Raised in central Virginia, Gray holds a Master of Science in Wildlife Science from South Dakota State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Conservation from Maine’s Unity College.

Gray is excited to collaborate with stakeholders across North America to address complex butterfly habitat conservation needs while benefiting communities, stating, “Sustainable Monarch’s programs are poised to foster real change on-the-ground. Activities underway to scale needed economic development and long-term habitat protection up to the landscape level, is very appealing to me.”

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