Captain Joel Fogel is the chairman of the Philadelphia chapter of the Explorers Club. A member of The Explorers Club since 1972, Fogel was recognized by the Chapter for a lifetime of exploration, including significant work in evaluating water quality and promoting clean water, as well as his tireless support of the Chapter as Explorer of the Year in 2004. Fogel has been head of the Environmental Affairs for the Philadelphia Chapter of The Explorers Club for the past 10 years. He also is President of the Waterwatch International and sits on the advisory council of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority's Groundwater Advisory Committee. This year, Captain Fogel was nominated by ACUA for the CNN Hero of the Year Award for his clean water projects around the globe. He was nominated this year for The Lowell Thomas Award for humanitarian work in Ethiopia during an anthropological expedition in 1973. His other awards include two Presidential Commendations for environmental work and a Carnegie Hero Award nomination for the rescue of a young woman in 1986 when her car went into the bay on Christmas Eve.
Since the 1970s, he has led nearly two dozen major expeditions around the world, working with the Smithsonian Institute, National Geographic and The Explorers Club. He carried The Explorers Club flag on a 1973 expedition to Ethiopia's Omo River to film tribal groups for the documentary A Voyage to the Stone Age; on a 1986 archaeological survey along the Maroni River in the Amazon Basin; and on the 1987 Yangtze River Geological Expedition in China, which was documented in the book, Riding the Dragon's Back (MacMillan Press). Captain Fogel is also the recipient of five national American Ironman titles from various competitions with the USLA (United States Lifesaving Association).
He has led expeditions to monitor water quality on Russia's Volga River, on the Mississippi and along the U.S. east and west coasts. His most recent explorations have been notated in the award-winning anthology by noted Canadian author, Jason Schoonover entitled, Adventurous Dreams, Adventurous Lives (Rocky Mountain Press). Fogel is a 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain, an officer in the United States Merchant Marine Service, a licensed pilot and a Certified Basic Flight instructor. He lives in Somers Point with Coty, his wife of 42 years. They have a son, four daughters and eight grandchildren.