Four individuals were honored for their efforts to protect the Charles River at Charles River Watershed Association’s (CRWA) 48th Annual Meeting on Wednesday, March 26th, 2014. Held at the Boston Marriott Newton with spectacular views of the Charles River, approximately 100 people attended the event to celebrate CRWA’s 2013 accomplishments and hear the organization outline its goals for 2014.
For 2013, CRWA presented the Ginger Lawrence Volunteer Award to two CRWA volunteers. Newton resident Nathan Phillips was honored for his role as a field sampler in CRWA’s Benthic Macroinvertebrate Sampling Program, as well as his efforts to eradicate invasive weeds, and map and document hand-pulling efforts in CRWA’s Invasive Plant Removal Program. Needham resident Maury Eldridge also received the award for his role as CRWA’s “unofficial photographer.” Mr. Eldridge’s images depicting the upper Charles River and its wildlife are frequently used on CRWA’s website, as well as in electronic and print newsletters, annual reports and handouts.
Commissioner Kenneth L. Kimmel of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP) received CRWA’s Rita Barron Public Official Award in recognition of his leadership in the State’s Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI) to improve water management, and in Massachusetts becoming the first state in the nation to ban the disposal of commercial food waste. Mr. Kimmel was recently selected to be the new President of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization in Cambridge.
CRWA presented its Anne M. Blackburn Lifetime Achievement Award to Julia Blatt, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance. A longtime advocate for the protection of rivers in the Commonwealth, this year Ms. Blatt’s work included lobbying to improve the Water Infrastructure Bill, as well as critical work on the State’s Sustainable Water Management Act. She has spent countless hours advocating for sound science, protective streamflow standards, sustainable water allocation, and fisheries’ protection in the Commonwealth’s rivers and streams.
CRWA’s 48th Annual Meeting also featured a keynote by Boston College Law School Professor Zigmunt J.B. Plater, an attorney in the famous snail darter case of the 1970’s. In his keynote, Professor Plater detailed the famous legal fight to protect the endangered snail darter, whose existence was threatened by a Tennessee Valley Authority’s proposed dam on the Little Tennessee River. His work on this case became the Supreme Court's first interpretation of the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
For more information on CRWA or the 48th Annual Meeting, please visit www.charlesriver.org.
About Charles River Watershed Association:
Charles River Watershed Association’s mission is to use science, advocacy and the law to protect, preserve and enhance the Charles River and its watershed. One of our country’s first watershed organizations, CRWA formed in 1965 in response to public concern about the declining condition of the Charles River. Since its earliest days of advocacy, CRWA has figured prominently in major clean-up and watershed protection efforts that have dramatically improved the health of the Charles.