SIX RIVER STEWARDS HONORED AT CRWA ANNUAL MEETING
Newton, MA - In celebration of its 35th anniversary, CRWA honored six outstanding stewards of the Charles River during its annual meeting at the Newton Marriott on November 16th. Cited for their exceptional efforts on behalf of the Charles, award recipients included Massachusetts Community Water Watch, Mike DiBara, Roger Frymire, Cambridge Water Department, Vincent Merrill, and a design team at Paratore Hartshorn.
CRWA’s highest honors, the Anne M. Blackburn Award, was presented to Massachusetts Community Water Watch for masterminding the largest river cleanup event ever to take place on the Charles last April 15th. Over 800 volunteers converged on the Charles and hundreds of bags of trash were removed as a result of the group’s efforts. Accepting the award for the Water Watch, staffed by volunteers for AmeriCorps, was Erica Wood who organized the event in cooperation with CRWA.
Michael DiBara of Shrewsbury, former Charles River Basin Team leader for the Executive Office for Environmental Affairs, received the 2005 Award, established to honor individuals who make significant contributions toward making the Charles swimmable and fishable by the year 2005. DiBara was recognized for his leadership in securing $50,000 in state funding to restore fish ladders in four dams from Watertown to Wellesley. The repair of these fish ladders is vital to restoring fish migration routes and maintaining a healthy river ecosytem.
CRWA’s Citizen Activist Award went to Cambridge resident Roger Frymire for his independent work in collecting over 200 water quality samples and identifying the 16 "dirtiest pipes" in the Charles River Basin. Frymire also was responsible for discovery of sewage discharges in Newton and near the Lechmere Canal in Cambridge, which eventually were fixed.
Because of its "exceptional commitment to watershed protection," the Cambridge Water Department was the recipient of CRWA’s Public Official Award. In handing the award to Watershed Manager Chip Norton, CRWA Executive Director Bob Zimmerman cited the department’s noteworthy accomplishments in water quality monitoring, hazardous materials emergency planning, securing conservation restrictions, and working with businesses on stormwater management.
Special Recognition Awards were presented to the graphics design firm of Paratore Hartshorn of Boston, and to long-time CRWA member Vincent Merrill of Lincoln. Mark Hartshorn, Vince Paratore, and Sarah Merrigan were lauded for countless hours of design services donated to CRWA, most recently for their work on the new Charles River Canoe and Kayak Guide. They also have spruced up CRWA’s annual report, new member mailings and Run of the Charles T-shirts. Eighty-eight year old Lincoln resident Merrill helped found CRWA in 1965, served as its first president, and has been a dedicated supporter ever since.
CRWA welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors: Virginia M. Lawrence of Boston, director of Development for the NE States for Coordinated Air Use Management; William D. Rieders of Wellesley, senior management consultant at Integral Inc., and William J. Tedoldi of Needham, president of Proventure Business Group.
Keynote speaker was writer Dianne Dumanoski of Newton, author of Our Stolen Future and former environmental reporter for The Boston Globe. Her thoughtful and provocative talk was titled, "What Are We Saving Anyway?"
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