On May 24 – 25, 2016 in Annapolis, Maryland, the Choose Clean Water Coalition presented Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and philanthropist Jennifer Stanley of Town Creek Foundation with the 2016 Environmental Leadership Awards. The awards honor individuals in the Chesapeake Bay region who lead efforts in education, outreach, conservation, and contributions towards clean water.
Through their dedicated efforts in cleaning up the local rivers, streams, and waterways, communities in the surrounding areas are now seeing positive outcomes in the Chesapeake Bay. More recently, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science released its report card on the Bay – giving it a “C”. For the first time in 13 years, the Bay saw an uptick from its “D” range. Although this may not sound like a moment to celebrate, results are leading scientists to believe that we are now seeing the Bay move toward restoration.
However, clean water advocates could not have accomplished this without leaders from Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia and across the Bay and its neighboring watersheds. More specifically, leaders like Senator Barbara Mikulski and Jennifer Stanley dedicated many years advocating to ensure the recovery of the Chesapeake Bay.
Senator Barbara Mikulski, alone, has spent over three decades serving Maryland. Growing up in East Baltimore, Mikulski is passionate about protecting crucial water systems and its infrastructure. Over the years, Mikulski fought to protect federal grant funding, investments in water and sewer infrastructure, and drinking water supplies for communities throughout Maryland.
Furthermore, Jennifer Stanley is a longtime conservationist, volunteer, and philanthropist. Through her passion for education, Jennifer founded and spent thirty-five years directing the Oxford Kids Camp, a summer program in her home community. Additionally, she founded and directed the After School Program at the Oxford Community Center for underprivileged children. In 1982, Jennifer and her husband Ted Stanley established the Town Creek Foundation where they became leaders for protecting the environment and conservation efforts.
Although we know that there is much more work to do, we recognize that the set foundation and goals we’ve accomplished today would not have been possible without leaders like Senator Barbara Mikulski and Jennifer Stanley. Moving forward, as we continue to work to ensure that all communities have access to clean water, it’s important to remember the fruits of your labors may be reaped two generations from now. So you should trust, even when you don’t see the results. Let’s keep fighting the good fight!