|Environmental Awards Nominations, 2010
Produced by the Sonoma County Conservation Council, www.envirocentersoco.org
Organizations are listed for reference, only. Endorsements not intended, explicit or implicit.
| ENVIRONMENTALIST OF THE YEAR
Initiated in 1975, this award is granted to persons who are recognized by the SCCC as having made an exceptional contribution toward a green cause - especially over the last year.
|Anthony Hanrahan, Founder, GreenFutureNow.net, Sonoma
Nominated by: Elli Larrieu
Anthony Hanrahan has dedicated all his time and resources to developing and maintaining this environmental website, Green Future Now, which is outstanding. Dedicated to raising awareness of the growing problems facing our environment and creating and sharing solutions to meet those problems, it is a source for information related to Climate Change and a platform for other organizations to find and collaborate on green projects and ideas.
|Mary T. Crowley, Founder, Project Kaisei of Ocean Voyages Institute
Nominated by: Ann Matranga
Mary Crowley founded Project Kaisei in 2008 to raise awareness about the garbage dump in the Pacific Ocean, to understand the scale marine debris in the ocean and its impact, and to introduce strategies for prevention and cleanup. This nomination honors Mary's 30+ years of work to create an international network of ocean activists including marine scientists, sailors and ocean travelers. Working with her allies worldwide, she drew attention to Project Kaisei's August, 2009 mission to document debris in the North Pacific Gyre. The voyage was covered by media outlets included CNN, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, and newspapers, web sites, and television reports in more than 30 countries. Here at home Mary ought to be heard and saluted as a local hero who is dedicated to the health of the marine environment. "Kaisei" is the name of the brigantine ship that has become an icon of the cleanup cause. Its name means Ocean Planet in Japanese. Mary is a role model for young people in counties like Marin and Sonoma who seek exciting, effective ways to dedicate their lives to protect the oceans that are essential to life on our planet.
|Tanya Narath, Director, Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy
Nominated by: Joanne Dranginis
Tanya Narath is the Executive Director, CEO and a Fellow of the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy. Tanya is on the Board of Directors for the Arts and Ethics Academy and is a member of the Pacific Region Advisory Council for the National Parks Conservation Association. She is the Chair of Santa Rosa’s Community Advisory Board and its Housing Allocation Plan Subcommittee. She previously served on the city’s Green Building Policy Advisory Committee. She has been an active member of the Friends of SMART for several years, serving as its chair in 2008-2009 and volunteering for the Measure Q sales tax campaign. She was honored last year by the National Women’s History Project as one of 100 women “Taking the Lead to Save our Planet”. Under her leadership, the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy has graduated almost 300 fellows from its leadership training program and has produced numerous public education events on topics related to sustainable communities. By educating local leaders on the importance of creating more sustainable public policies, Tanya and the Institute are playing a leadership role in helping Sonoma County become more environmentally sustainable and socially equitable for a healthy and vibrant community.
|Jay Halcomb, Chair, Sierra Club Redwood Chapter
Nominated b: Jana Selph and Keith Kaulum, Sierra Club
Jay has been a tireless force for the environment in Sonoma County for more than 15 years. He has served as a Sierra Club leader both for the Redwood Chapter and on the Sonoma Group Executive Committee, working on many Issues including SMART, Dutra, the So. Co. Timberland Ordinance, water issues (TMDLs), and the County landfill. He participated in key battles to preserve forest and old-growth habitat in Sonoma County, particularly protesting the CalPERS funded "Preservation" Ranch development, which would convert West County forestland into boutique vineyards. He has also helped lead the fight against the Bohemian Club’s proposal to increase logging of redwoods near Guerneville. This effort has recently resulted in litigation against the California Dept. of Forestry by the Sierra Club and others. After becoming the Chair of the Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club two years ago, he has taken the lead in many of the very difficult and frustrating conservation battles which frequently arise. In all he has maintained a high level of professionalism and courtesy, giving the volunteers of the Sierra Club the stability and inspiration they need to keep up the good work.
Jane Nielson PhD, Sonoma County Water Coalition (SCWC),
Nominated by: Stephen Fuller-Rowell, SCWC, 544-8109; and Susan and Ursula Baur, Kathy Pons, Magick, Brenda Adelman and Janus Holt Matthes.
Jane Nielson is an unsung hero. In 2003, Jane was one of the co-founders of the Sebastopol Water Information Group (SWiG). At the request of the Sebastopol City Council Water Subcommittee, SWiG is helping develop a program for quantifying and managing water conservation and energy issues related to water, thus helping the City meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals. As a board member of the Open Space, Water and Land Use (OWL) Foundation, Jane is an active participant in the search for realistic management of water resources in the Santa Rosa Plain. Jane brought to the Sonoma County Water Coalition (SCWC) a passion not only for environmental issues, but also for scientific integrity and logical consistency. This contributed to Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA)'s long-overdue course correction in 2009. With a PhD in geology and experience from her United States Geological Survey (USGS) career, Jane provides pro bono geological reviews and generous financial support for many groups. Her advice has resulted in the re-writing or withdrawal of nine flawed draft EIRs. As a co-author of "The American West at Risk", Jane is now gaining nationwide recognition. Jane does not seek the limelight and deserves local recognition for her solid work.
|Ken Wells, Chair of Sonoma Conservation Action Board of Directors, President of Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition Board of Directors, Vice President of Sonoma County Trails Council and Sierra Club Rep to the Sonoma County Local Task Force For Solid Waste
Nominated by: Amie Glass, Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy
Ken supported, coordinated, and helped the effort to stop the recent divestiture (sale) of the Sonoma County landfill, one of our greatest environmental victories of 2009. He spent most of the year on this project, starting with holding the first landfill forum in February 2009. During the course of the year he easily logged 300 hours into the campaign. Ken’s ability to succeed in this effort is no doubt due to his 20 years of experience in the waste management world. But Ken’s environmental commitment is not limited to 2009 or waste. He is also Chair of Sonoma Conservation Action Board of Directors, President of Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition Board of Directors, and Vice President of Sonoma County Trails Council, where he has served since 1992.
|Janis Grattan Watkins, Attorney, Provencher & Flatt Associate, Santa Rosa
Nominated by: Warren Watkins
Janis has been a successful civil attorney for 30 years in Sonoma County. Her experience had not included environmental law, but she took on this complicated area and played a leading role in a major environmental victory in Sonoma County. Representing a Healdsburg citizens group, Healdsburg Citizens for Sustainable Solutions (HCSS), Janis, along with an office colleague with environmental experience, entered the controversial Saggio Hills development battle. And won! --- against a battery of very experienced city and developer attorneys. Saggio Hills is a proposed high-end hillside resort/mega-mansion expansion over a 258-acre oak woodland. Despite months of hearings, the EIR never addressed the mandate to consider feasible, environmentally superior alternatives to the proposed project. Nor did it study vistas from the adjacent public park. Janis took the brave step of signing the petition challenging the defective EIR, exposing her good name to public criticism. But most significantly, she agreed to do legal work pro bono or the citizens group. Setting aside the balance of her legal practice, Janis for months wrote legal briefs for the citizens’ case. Most local activists know the case was convincingly won late last year. This precedent-setting victory will serve notice to developers that citizens care about the environment in Sonoma County.
| OUTSTANDING ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAM/PROJECT
Initiated in 2006, this award is granted to programs and projects that are recognized by the SCCC as having used special innovation and insight to teach students - young and old, about the environment.
|Moms for Clean Air, Board of Directors: Sheri Chlebowski, Ilka de Gast, Cat Canto, Heidi Rhymes, Julia Luna, Wendi Baum and Chrissy Minick
Nominated by: Susan Kirks, Paula Lane Action Network
Moms for Clean Air has been a powerful force in the continued opposition to the proposed Dutra asphalt plant in Petaluma. This group of women, mothers who care deeply about our environment - past, present and future - have been moving speakers, writers and advocates in public settings. They continue to conduct extensive and exhaustive research on air quality issues related to health and well being and integrate this information with other areas of environmental importance, including water quality, parks and open space, impacts to wildlife, and climate change. The Moms have become involved in City and County parks and recreation and open space issues and continue to advocate for the optimal quality of life for people of all ages and backgrounds, especially the most vulnerable members of our population - children. For Sonoma County in particular, this group represents substance and hope for our environment, wildlife, families and children, and the request for integrity in the public process.
| Petaluma Wetlands Alliance - Wetlands Education Program
Gerald Moore and Mary Edith Moore, www.petalumawetlands.org/HTML/schools
Nominated by: Robert Speckels, Janeann Erickson and Diane Hichwa, Madrone Audubon Society
Petaluma Wetlands Alliance sponsors and provides Wetlands Education for school children of all ages. Docents reach more than 900 schoolchildren yearly. Outdoor education is offered at Shollenberger Park and Petaluma's Wetlands adjacent to the Petaluma River, Adobe Creek, and Ellis Creek. Students learn: what watersheds are, how wetlands are a part, and their importance. They learn about species of wildlife that reside in or migrate to our wetlands and how they nourish themselves. They learn about the relationship between the River, marsh ,wetlands, and upland habitats to Sonoma Mountain. Students integrate their experience at their own pace and learn about watching and recording species, habitats, birds and wildlife in them, and the differences among fresh, brackish and salt-water habitats. The program is innovative and updated to reflect current events and environmental interests. It is well-researched as science and environmentally based but provides holistic learning. Art projects reflect student experiences and favorite memories. Many children bring their families to the Park and wetlands for walks and appreciation of nature. PWA's commitment to this comprehensive program and ongoing support through wildlife protection and habitat restoration, are prime examples of caring deeply about enhancing awareness of nature and it's diverse environments.
|daily acts, Trathen Heckman, Executive Director
Nominated by: Amie Glass, Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy
daily acts was nominated for this award in 2006 but did not receive it. It is important to honor and recognize them this year, because in 2009 they succeeded in getting their sustainability message beyond the typical environmentalist circle and onto the campuses of two city halls in Sonoma County- Petaluma and Cotati. In doing so, Daily Acts empowered hundreds of community members and government representatives to create green and edible landscaping – a message that is now not only getting widespread publicity but also getting systemic support in these communities! daily acts’ mission is to transform our communities through inspired action and education which builds leadership and local self-reliance. Since their founding in 2002, daily acts has provided environmental education for tens of thousands of individuals through 91 workshops, 85 tours and events, 191 presentations, 21 publications, and 130 media pieces. daily acts educates the public about self-reliance through greywater and rainwater catchment, water conservation, growing and processing food, natural and green building, and small scale animal husbandry. These programs empower individuals and households to reduce their ecological footprint, pesticide use, greenhouse gas emissions, and water use, to preserve healthy soil and habitat, and to connect with nature. Please honor them by giving them your vote!
|ERNESTINE I. SMITH LIFETIME ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT
Initiated in 1994, this award is granted to persons who are recognized by the SCCC as having devoted a major part of their lives working for the conservation and improvement of the natural environment.