Granite Staters Receive Earth Day Honors with Prestigious Regional EPA Environmental Award
Release Date: 04/17/2007
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017
(Boston, Mass. – April 17, 2007) – Two New Hampshire citizens, plus three groups working in the Granite State will be honored on Wednesday, April 18 in Boston’s Faneuil Hall as EPA presents its annual Environmental Merit Awards for 2007.
The merit awards, recognizing significant contributions to environmental awareness and problem solving, include a top honor for two New Hampshire awardees – a lifetime achievement award. EPA is also recognizing three groups that are making significant impacts on environmental quality in distinct ways.
Given out by EPA since 1970, the merit awards honor individuals and groups who have shown particular ingenuity and commitment in their efforts to preserve the region's environment. This year's competition drew 54 nominations from across New England.
“Our Environmental Merit Awards are among the highest honors EPA can bestow to recognize environmental accomplishments,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England Office. “I offer my gratitude to these citizens for their extraordinary contributions in protecting our shared environment. Their work reflects the best attributes of New Englanders, working to find solutions to tough environmental issues.”
The New Hampshire Environmental Merit Award winners were among 29 from across New England. Awards were given in the categories of individual; business (including professional organizations); local, state or federal government; and environmental, community, academia or nonprofit organization. Also, each year EPA may present lifetime achievement awards for individuals.
The Environmental Merit Award Winners from New Hampshire are:
Lifetime Achievement Environmental Merit Award:
Tudor Richards’ career as an ardent advocate on behalf of New Hampshire’s environment stretches back to his arrival in the state in 1946, and includes as impressive array of accomplishments throughout the subsequent sixty years. In 1948, he began a long association with New Hampshire Audubon that remains strong to this day. As a newcomer, his leadership skills were not overlooked, and he was elected Vice President for five years before assuming the position of President, which he would keep for another fifteen years. Under his leadership the organization would come to purchase the 6,000 acres of land, which is now known as the Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge of the Silvio Conte National Wildlife Refuge. He played a key role in pushing many legislative actions though, such as the New Hampshire Birds of Prey law, the creation of the Loon Preservation Committee, and the passage of the endangered species program, to name a few. Tudor’s love for birds has also shown throughout some of his work. He has updated and helped publish several seminal and historically important ornithological works including the Charles F. Goodhue’s manuscript, Fifty Years among the Birds of New Hampshire. To this day, Tudor has maintained his love and interest for the environment around him, and kept up his keen interest in birds of the White Mountains. He has been instrumental in recording some of the first breeding records of several species in northern New Hampshire. Amid his many accomplishments, Tudor has been an inspiration to countless birders and naturalists in New Hampshire, across New England and throughout the United States.
Marjory M. Swope
After spending the last 25 years devoting her time to environmental protection and education in New Hampshire, Marjory Swope (“Marge”) is retiring as the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissioners (NHACC). Marge has advised hundreds of conservation commissioners throughout the State and has been a tireless advocate for the protection of New Hampshire’s wetlands, farms and forestlands. Marge has been highly influential on numerous projects that furthered New Hampshire’s environmental protection goals and has testified on behalf of NH’s conservation commissions on important environmental legislation. Marge has been effective in supporting conservation initiatives at the municipal level and works diligently to make NH Association of Conservation Commissioners annual meeting and conference for over 200 participants a fun and educational experience for her commissioners each year.
Environmental, Community, Academia, and Non-Profit Organizations:
Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership
The Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership was formed in 1994 to promote creative solutions to help protect key natural habitats and resources in the Great Bay area of coastal New Hampshire -- a large recessed estuary 15 miles from the NH coast that drains seven major rivers and receives tide flow from Maine. The Partnership consists of many local partners including nine principal partners and three of the state’s largest conservation groups. Working to save the Great Bay’s outstanding wildlife resources from the accelerating rate of development pressure, the Partnership has focused on conserving land and is responsible for protecting seventy-two properties totaling 4,710 acres in the Great Bay region since 1995. In 2006 alone, ten properties totaling 680 acres were protected, including the Langley Bison Farm, a fifty-five acre parcel in Durham with over 3,450 feet of tidal frontage.
New Hampshire College and University Compliance Assistance Cooperative (NHC3UA)
This Cooperative network emerged as a result of the U.S. EPA’s enforcement initiative against colleges and universities, seeking compliance with numerous environmental laws that are applicable to the school sector. Unbudgeted expenses to conform to these statutes have caused an economic strain on New Hampshire educational institutions that are already financially challenged. As a result, Dartmouth College and the University of New Hampshire developed NHC3UA to assist the member institutions belonging to the New Hampshire College and University Council. The NHC3UA identifies specific federal, state and local regulatory requirements that apply to each institution by conducting on-site environmental and occupational health and safety audits. It is anticipated that the three-year project will result in substantial cost savings to these institutions by avoiding large fines or the necessity of hiring individual consultants to provide legal or technical assistance.
Portsmouth Abbey School
Brother Joseph Byron led an effort at the Portsmouth Abbey School to install the first large scale wind turbine in the state. This was no small task since he needed the support of the school, the neighbors, Narragansett Electric and many other stakeholders. Through patience and perseverance, he was able to gain the necessary institutional and financial support, which resulted in the wind turbine starting up in the spring of 2006. The project accounts for about forty percent of the school’s annual electric demand, and will save them approximately $150,000 per year and pay for itself in four years. It will also result in fewer emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide, thereby reducing New England’s dependence on fossil fuels.
More information: Environmental Merit Awards (epa.gov/ne/ra/ema)
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