Peter Neill

Director, World Ocean Observatory

PETER NEILL is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. Throughout his career, Mr. Neill has contributed to organizations devoted to marine affairs, education, and culture. He was President of the South Street Seaport Museum from 1985-2004; he is a past President of the Council of American Maritime Museums and the International Congress of Maritime Museums; he is a co-founder of The Sound School, New Haven, Connecticut and The Harbor School, in New York City, two innovative public high schools that use the marine environment as a context for teaching and learning. He contributes to a number of environmental blogs and has appeared in numerous television documentaries on The History Channel, Discovery, and National Geographic Society productions. His other publications include novels (3, 2013; A Time Piece, 1970; Mock Turtle Soup, 1972; Acoma, 1978); non-fiction (Maritime America, 1988; Great Maritime Museums of the World, 1991; On a Painted Ocean, 1998); and most recently The Once and Future Ocean: Notes Toward a New Hydraulic Society (Leetes Island Books, 2016); as well as numerous anthologies and articles on maritime history and art. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books (, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. Peter has dedicated his career to marine affairs. He lives in downeast Maine with his partner Mary.