MVC water expert Bill Wilcox will retire

Bill Wilcox, Martha’s Vineyard Commission water resources planner, announced he plans to retire in June after a 37-year Island career in teaching, science, and public service.

“It’s time,” Mr. Wilcox said. “I don’t have any immediate plans. I’m just going to try to depressurize. We’re staying here. My wife and I grew up here so we’re going to be sticking around. Maybe do a little traveling, those kinds of things that people often talk about doing.”

Mr. Wilcox is well-liked and widely respected. An Edgartown native who now lives in West Tisbury, he began his career as teacher at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. He has worked in soil conservation as an extension agent, and as the MVC water resource planner part-time or full-time since 1990.

Much of his work focused on preserving the Island’s salt ponds. “The most important thing I’ve done is the water-sampling program that we’ve carried out for the last 15 years,” he said.

The data collected gives planners a solid scientific basis for improving the health of the ponds. “The immediate benefit is that it allows the estuary program to have as big a database as they can have to evaluate these ponds, so they get it right.”

Mr. Wilcox is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and Columbia University.