Maija Niemisto: A step off the boat

Maija Niemisto is a director of education on the Clearwater, America’s environmental flagship. But when a stranger comes to the side of the ship, it heralds a discovery about her city and herself.

Maija was born to a family of musicians in the heartland, far from the sea. Minnesota was her first hailing port. School, university and adventures took her to Finland, Wisconsin and Lebanon. After receiving her B.A. in International Relations and Environmental studies, she followed the smell of sweet salt air and ran away to see the sea aboard her 28-foot sloop. In 2008, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater appeared on the horizon and she jumped at the chance to combine her interests in music, sailing, teaching, science, water ecology, environmental advocacy and pumping the bilge.