Jones River Watershed Association Presents River Rat Award
On Sunday January 20 the Jones River Watershed Association held its 27th Annual Meeting. The program featured a presentation by Karen Vale, Coordinator for the Cape Cod Bay Watch Campaign on “Why Cape Cod Bay Watch and What the Future Holds Considering Impacts from Pilgrim and Climate Change” which included new information on the unprecedented occurrence last week of an endangered Right whale and newborn calf loitering near Pilgrim Power Station. The program also included the presentation of the JRWA Champion of the Environment Award. Each year the Jones River Watershed Association presents our Champion of the Environment award to a community member who has shown leadership, dedication and steadfast service toward improving the health of the local environment. We fondly refer to these champions as “River Rats”. The permanent plaque of past Rats hangs on the wall of the Jones River Landing and the names reflect the depth, breadth, and strength of our local environmental community. The 2012 award is a bit of a departure. For the first time, this year’s award went to someone who doesn’t live within the watershed. Although considering the amount of time they spend here we like to think of it as their second home and they are absolutely members of our community.
This year’s River Rat award was presented to the staff of the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration. DER has been working with us in the watershed since the mid 1980’s and the first “stream teams”. They have set up staff gauges throughout the watershed and trained our volunteers to read them. They have been instrumental in making some of our greatest projects successful. They funded and initiated the original reconnaissance of Wapping Road Dam. That effort was responsible for the attention and credibility that the project received – eventually leading to a hugely successful restoration. Their work has led to funded projects in Pine Brook, Tussock Brook, Silver Lake, and up and down the Jones. Even when they aren’t physically here they are always available on the phone providing guidance, expertise, and enthusiasm that makes our work more productive. Plus…they do this state-wide! They are environmental heroes throughout the Commonwealth.
It was our honor to present this award to the staff of the Division of Ecological Restoration. We look forward to a long and continued partnership with these adopted members of our community. Also presented were the all new Cape Cod Baywatch Life Preserver Award to Meg Sheehan for her tireless efforts and contributions to the Campaign and the Great Blue Heron Award to Wendell Cerne for his extensive service to the organization. For more information please visit our website at www.jonesriver.org or call 781-585-2322.