Lee Willbanks

Lee Willbanks

Brownville, Jefferson County

Lee and his wife Judy Drabicki have been residents of the North Country for almost 40 years. In those years they have come to know and deeply appreciate its many waters and their watersheds. They raised their children to enjoy and appreciate the unique beauty and special nature of the Tug Hill and surrounding region.

As the former Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper, Lee collaborated closely with other freshwater advocacy organizations and elected officials throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Region advocating for Plan 2014, a new water levels management plan for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to protect these unique waters.

In 2016 he was named a Freshwater Hero as a Citizen Advocate by Freshwater Future for “persistent and passionate advocacy on complex policy issues.” Lee remains actively involved in efforts to protect Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River and their watersheds, serving on the Steering Committee for the St. Lawrence River Institute’s River Strategy collaboration and as a member of the Great River Network. He serves on the board of Talking Rivers, a not-for-profit working to secure defendable rights for the St. Lawrence River, its tributaries and watershed.

Lee is counsel to the New York State Tug Hill Commission.