Steven Paul Balzano, age 61, of Clinton Twp., NJ passed away on Friday, May 22, 2020 at Kindred Hospital in Dover, NJ.
He was born on April 30, 1959 in the Bronx, NY, son of the late Patrick and Providence D’Angelo Balzano. He spent his childhood on Long Island with sisters Janet and Julie, graduated from Herrick’s High School and then traveled to South Africa exploring and installing telecommunication towers. Upon returning, he attended SUNY Agricultural and Technical College where he earned his Associate in Applied Science while working at a local animal hospital. He then attended and graduated from Syracuse University with his Bachelor Degree in Environmental Science and Forestry. He lived on Cushetunk Mountain with his family in Clinton Twp., NJ since 1999, moving from Newton, NJ.
Over the years Steve made significant contributions to the organizations he was a part of. He taught High School Science in Syracuse, NY, then went on to teach in the Department of Education at the Bronx Zoo, later working in the Department of Ornithology where he and his wife met and fell in love. He traveled to remote locations of Southeast Asia surveying for endangered Javen Rhino and Hornbills. His work in conservation biology continued as he relocated to St. Catherine’s Island, GA as a Zoologist for New York Zoological Society’s Endangered Species Breeding Facility where he was involved with developing critical survival programs for cranes, storks & lemurs and the first recorded hatching of a Maleo in captivity.
Steve and Sharon married in 1988 and began their life together filled with many adventures in Mexico, Central & South America and Southeast Asia. Settling in Newton, NJ. Steve worked as an Environmental Consultant for TAMS, then independently as ERS Consultants, and with Amy Greene Environmental Consultants. During that time, he was awarded recognition for his outstanding contributions to the Mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for his work. Later moving to Clinton, NJ he worked for Parsons/WSP representing in his projects a continued commitment to environmental planning and stewardship. Steve also directed the foundational science and planning for the Regional Master Plan for the New Jersey Highlands.
Steve’s vision, leadership and technical innovation were instrumental in the development of theCedar Bonnet Island Habitat Restoration and Management Plan facilitating collaboration between NJDOT, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NJDEP and U.S. Army Corrps of Engineers resulting in restoration of wetlands and public access to Cedar Bonnet Island for future generations to experience. This project was awarded a FHWA Environmental Excellence Award for outstanding contributions to environmental stewardship above and beyond traditional project outcomes. It exemplifies just one of many of Steve’s contributions demonstrating a bridge between science, planning, natural resource conservation and sustainable development.
Steven was the loving husband of Sharon Coe, celebrating 31 years of marriage and proud father of children Brianna and Brendon. He cherished family celebrations, vacation adventures and trips to Little Italy. Celebrating life; holidays, birthdays and graduations, he shared his passion for cooking with the family, he always went the extra mile. Steve had a close-knit group of friends with whom he shared a brotherly bond and great accomplishments. He had a love of his family and community, gardening, exploring, cooking, tropical fish and his beloved dogs Ziva, Ellie and grand-dog Diesel.
Steve was a leader, a thinker, a doer. He always tried to find the best path forward, not always the easiest. If you were lucky, you would find yourself beside him to share in the journey, as a partner, a friend, a father, a leader, a mentor. He made the world a better place and will be sadly missed.
Due to the current restrictions regarding Coronavirus, a celebration of life will take place at a later date. Arrangements by Scarponi-Bright Funeral Home in Lebanon, NJ.
Memorials can be made in Steve’s name to the Wildlife Conservation Society by clicking on the link below. Please click on ‘tribute giving’ and the donation will be designated to Southeast Asian conservation efforts. https://www.wcs.org/support
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