The Buzzards Bay Coalition shared a long list of achievements from 2010 and also announced a small change at its 23rd Annual Meeting.
It was a busy year as the organization took action in court and in the community on nitrogen pollution, opened the Buzzards Bay Center in New Bedford, and increased its membership to more than 8,000 members. The meeting, which was attended by some 100 people, also celebrated the work of community members with the granting of the 2011 Buzzards Bay Guardian Awards.
In addition to discussing achievements of the past, the meeting also looked forward as the membership voted to approve a name change from “The Coalition for Buzzards Bay” to “Buzzards Bay Coalition” in alignment with a new look and logo for the organization. “This is a subtle name change but one that puts our mission first in the mind of the public,” announced President Mark Rasmussen.
There were 3 recipients of 2011 Buzzards Bay Guardian Awards, the highest honor bestowed by the Buzzards Bay Coalition. Buzzards Bay Guardians must have demonstrated outstanding service in the cleanup, restoration or protection of the Bay as a citizen volunteer, an organization, or as a public official or employee. Most importantly, a Buzzards Bay Guardian is an unsung hero who deserves public recognition, not only for what they have achieved but also for inspiring others to make a difference. 2011 Guardian Awards were presented to William “Nick” Nicholson of Mattapoisett, Jonathan Ettinger of Boston, and the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary in Wareham.
Nick Nicholson is the superintendent of the Town of Mattapoisett Water and Sewer Department and was recognized for his leadership in the ongoing protection of aquifer lands in the Mattapoisett River Valley working both with the Bay Coalition and independently. For over three decades, Mr. Nicholson has been a leader in the protection of land to preserve clean drinking water and a healthy Bay.
Jonathan Ettinger is an Attorney with the law firm Foley Hoag LLC in Boston and has provided pro bono representation for the Buzzards Bay Coalition in the defense of the Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention Act. Mr. Ettinger continues to work with the Bay Coalition after six years including two trips to the US First Circuit Court of Appeals, the passage of four state laws, and two USCG rulemakings and his commitment has helped preserve critical protections against future oil spills in Buzzards Bay.
The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary in Wareham was recognized for their leadership role in the creation of the Great Neck Conservation Area in Wareham which consists of over 300 acres of conserved land on the shores of Buzzards Bay. Working with Mass Audubon and the Wareham Land Trust, the Society declined valuable development offers and conserved 95 acres of their land, forming the foundation of the Conservation Area.
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