Three individuals and one organization received Sustainable Raritan River Awards at the 11th Annual Sustainable Raritan Conference and Awards Ceremony at Rutgers’ Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering in Piscataway on Friday, June 7, 2019. The annual awards recognize outstanding achievement in efforts to revitalize, restore and protect the Raritan resources and promote the area as a premiere place to live, work and raise a family.
“It has been tremendously gratifying over the course of the last decade to have the opportunity to recognize local individuals and organizations who make a difference every day in the quality of life and the condition of our environment here in the Raritan Watershed. These awards are a chance to acknowledge and thank these quiet heroes as they inspire all of us to do what we can to protect the Queen of Rivers,” stated Michael Catania of Duke Farms, one of the judges for these awards.
The Sustainable Raritan Awards, established in 2010, promote innovation and energize local efforts to restore and protect the rivers, streams and habitat of the Raritan River and Bay. The awards highlight extraordinary accomplishments and inspire other groups and individuals across the watershed to achieve comparable levels of excellence.
“Congratulations and a hearty thank you to the 2019 Sustainable Raritan River Initiative awardees for their dedication to improving the ecology of this great River, from its headwaters to its confluence with Raritan Bay,” said Greg Remaud, NY/NJ Baykeeper.
This year’s recipients are:
- Public Education Award – Michele Bakacs, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers University
- Citizen Action Award – Susan Edmunds, Mill Brook Guardian
- Stewardship Award – Doriann Kerber, Councilwoman, Borough of Milltown
- Leadership Award – Walter C. Lane, Director of Planning, Somerset County.
- Citizen Action Award – James Lemieux, Student, Raritan Valley Community College
- Government Innovation Award – Monmouth County Division of Planning – Naval Weapons Station Earle Partnership. (award received by Linda Brennan of Monmouth County Division of Planning and Dennis Blazak of NWS Earle)
“New Jersey should be very proud of the incredible work being done in the Raritan Basin. It’s an honor to help recognize a select few of the many talented people and organizations dedicated to a brighter future for our river and its communities,” noted Bill Kibler, Director of Policy at Raritan Headwaters.
The Awards Committee for the 2019 awards included, Michael Catania, Executive Director of Duke Farms, William Kibler, Director of Policy for the Raritan Headwaters, and Greg Remaud, NY/NJ Baykeeper. All three of the organizations that they represent are members of the Sustainable Raritan River Collaborative, a growing network of over 130 organizations, governmental entities and businesses in the Raritan River region working together to balance social, economic and environmental objectives towards the common goal of restoring the Raritan River, its tributaries and its estuary for current and future generations.
Award nominations are accepted throughout the year. To learn more about the Awards, the Sustainable Raritan River Collaborative, or Rutgers’ Sustainable Raritan River Initiative, visit www.raritan.rutgers.edu.