FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Photo credit: Dominique Joseph
CRWA Honored MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack at 53rd Annual Meeting
NEWTON, MA [March 29, 2019] -- Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) honored Massachusetts Secretary and CEO of Transportation Stephanie Pollack and several of the state’s leading environmental activists for their work in protecting and improving the Charles River at its 53rd Annual Meeting on Thursday, March 28 at the Newton Marriott.
“My favorite part of the job is hearing what the Charles River means to each person,” said executive director Emily Norton. “That’s exactly what the Annual Meeting allows us to do--connect with the people behind these stories, talk about how we’re going to keep protecting this thing that we all love, and honor those who have dedicated their time and careers to doing so.”
Many came to show their support, including State Senator Jamie Eldridge, Watertown Town Councilors Caroline Bays, Susan Falkoff, and Vincent Piccirilli, and Newton City Councilor Andrea Kelley.
Secretary Pollack was honored with the prestigious Anne M. Blackburn award for her many years of work dedicated to the environment. As MassDOT Secretary, Stephanie has brought environmental and sustainability issues to the forefront of the State’s transportation agency. As the agency lead on the I-90 project, her transparency, openness to resident and advocacy group concerns, and concern for the river and environmental impacts led to a robust process and outcome in terms of opportunities for parkland access, riverbank restoration, stormwater improvements, and fish and wildlife habitat. Stephanie also served on CRWA’s Board of Directors from 2006 to 2014, and led a distinguished legal career at Conservation Law Foundation and Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy.
Matt Shuman, Watertown Town Engineer, was recognized with the Rita Barron Public Official Award for his efforts with the Edenfield Avenue Green Street project. Matt was deeply involved with the design and engineering of the tree trenches and bioswales that were introduced into the public right of way. The project not only acts as a traffic calmer, it treats a substantial amount of polluted storm-water runoff, recharging it into the ground rather than sending it into the Charles River.
Frances Gershwin of the Muddy River Maintenance and Management Oversight Committee was this year’s recipient of the Citizen Activist Award for her advocacy, community organizing and active efforts to revitalize the Charles River.
Diane Hall and Robert Sproull were presented with Ginger Lawrence Volunteer Awards for going beyond the call of duty in donating their time and effort to advance CRWA’s mission to protect, preserve and enhance the Charles.
Tashaina Huezo-Santiago accepted the inaugural Young Leaders Award on behalf of the Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation Green Team, for their hard work in restoring Sherrin Woods, one of Boston’s rare urban wild spaces. Working with Boston Parks, the Green Team helped transition this area from a forgotten dumping ground into a neighborhood amenity and healthy, thriving urban pocket forest.
Charles River Watershed Association uses science, advocacy, urban design and education to promote resilient communities and a healthy river ecosystem. CRWA was formed in 1965 in response to public concern about the declining condition of the Charles River. Since its earliest days of advocacy, CRWA has figured prominently in major clean-up and watershed protection efforts that have dramatically improved the health of the Charles.