Friday, October 12, 2018

PA Sea Grant Program Receives John C. Oliver Award From Tom Ridge Environmental Center Foundation In Erie

The Pennsylvania Sea Grant College Program Friday received the John C. Oliver III Environmental Leadership Award, presented by the Tom Ridge Environmental Center Foundation.
The Foundation will also recognize Isabelle Southard of McDowell High School with the 2018 Mixed Media Student Art Award and the Water/Sand Wheelchair Award to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Named for John C. Oliver III, the first Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the first Board Chair of the Friends of TREC, and a lifelong environmental leader with the Western PA Conservancy and other groups, the award recognizes significant environmental leadership in the Erie, Pennsylvania region.
“Together, with our partners at TREC, DCNR, and other regional programs, our efforts help community leaders make better decisions for healthier waters, communities and the environment,” said Sarah Whitney, PA Sea Grant Director. “On behalf of the staff and advisory board, I would like to thank the TREC Foundation Board for this award and recognition.”
For 20 years, PA Sea Grant has been working in the Lake Erie and Susquehanna and Delaware River watersheds to help ensure healthy communities, vibrant economies, and a diverse and sustainable environment.
The Pennsylvania program is one of thirty-three national Sea Grant programs, which promote the ecological and economic sustainability of our nation’s coastal and watershed resources through science-based extension, education, and research.
“Pennsylvania Sea Grant supports science-based research to expand our understanding of aquatic ecosystems, coastlines, and watersheds, all identified as priority concerns for the Commonwealth,” said Sean Rafferty, Research Director for PA Sea Grant. “Through our research and outreach programs, PA Sea Grant offers solution-based results that contribute to enhanced water quality and the local communities.”
Through the years, PA Sea Grant has worked to improve Presque Isle Bay, conserve ecologically sensitive lands, restore degraded streams and increase access to fisheries, develop response and management plans for aquatic invasive species, better understand harmful algal blooms, provide hands-on education for teachers and students, and much more.
PA Sea Grant staff, many of whom work at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, collaborate with a variety of regional and national partners on issues like coastal erosion, impacts of a changing climate, the economic value of PA Lake Erie’s sport fishery, plastic and microplastic pollution, and environmental threats to drinking water and the potential negative impacts to human health.
The effort is a collaboration between NOAA, Penn State University, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Past winners of the John C. Oliver Award include-- Purple Martin Conservation Association (2017), S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie Fishing Club (2016), Harry Leslie, former Operations Manager, Presque Isle State Park (2015), Naturalist Gerald “Jerry” McWilliams (2014), Environment Erie (2013), Sister Pat Lupo and Dr. Ed Masteller (2012), Dr. James K. Bissell, Curator of Botany and Director of Conservation at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (2011), Jean Stull Cunningham (2010), (no 2009 award), Biologist Dr. Robert W. Light (2008).
For more information on the program, visit the Pennsylvania Sea Grant website.
Visit the Tom Ridge Environmental Center Foundation website for more on their programs and the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.

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