Dennis Suszkowski

Obituary of Dennis J. Suszkowski

Dennis John Suszkowski, Ph.D., of Freehold, NJ and Naples, FL, passed away suddenly on Saturday, June 8. He was 69 years old.


Born in Point Pleasant, Dennis grew up in Manasquan where in 1968 he met the love of his life, Mary. Together, they raised their daughter Laura in Freehold.


Dennis, a marine scientist, found his calling while growing up at the Jersey Shore, and he sought a career that focused on oceans and estuaries. He received a doctorate in marine science from the University of Delaware, and also received baccalaureate and graduate degrees from Rutgers University and Stony Brook University, respectively. He has been the Science Director of the Hudson River Foundation for Science and Environmental Research, Inc., a not-for-profit organization located in New York City, for the past 36 years. Before his tenure at the Hudson River Foundation, Dennis had been the Chief of the Marine and Wetlands Protection Branch at the regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and before that was the Deputy Chief of Operations at the New York District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


Dennis was passionate about his work funding and supporting scientific research relevant to important issues that people care about. He worked with government agencies and organizations that use scientific information to conserve marine resources and conduct marine-related activities in ways that can improve both the environment and the economy. Dennis served on several advisory boards, including those at Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute and Stevens Institute of Technology’s Center for Maritime Systems. He also served as a member of the Policy Committee of the NY/NJ Harbor & Estuary Program. He chaired several advisory groups, including a Hudson River Estuary advisory committee that advises the Commissioner of the Dept. of Environmental Conservation in New York State. He was an adjunct professor at Monmouth University.  He was awarded the 2016 Distinguished Service Award from the Hudson River Environmental Society and received the “Hero of the Harbor” award from the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance for his work related to New York Harbor.


Dennis loved his family with all his heart and enjoyed spending time with each and every one of them. They in turn enjoyed spending time with him, because he made every moment seem so special and fun. He had many hobbies, his favorite being fishing, especially with his son-in-law, brother-in-law, grandchildren, and niece. Dennis and Mary fell in love with Naples and Southwest Florida over 20 years ago. He truly enjoyed having a home in Naples, and had so much fun exploring the Everglades, the Gulf of Mexico, and fine dining with Mary.


In addition to Mary, his wife of 49 glorious years, he leaves behind his adoring daughter and son-in-law, Laura and Dave Detrick, Newark, DE; his cherished grandchildren, Caroline and Christopher; his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Peggy and Joseph Scalise, Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ; and his niece, Alessandra Scalise, New York, NY.


Visiting will be held at the Higgins Memorial Home, 20 Center Street, Freehold on Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m.  The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated at Saint Teresa of Calcutta Parish, St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church, 424 Lincoln Ave, Avon-by-the Sea on Friday at 11 a.m.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Hudson River Maritime Museum, 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston, NY 12401.