The University of Virginia’s Institute for Environmental Negotiation awarded the 2006 Gerald P. McCarthy Award for Leadership in Environmental Conflict Resolution to the Virginia Office of the Chesapeake Bay Program and the same award for lifetime achievement to James Garner, a former State forester and Nature Conservancy board member. The awards were presented on behalf of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute, a partnership program that includes the institute, the Virginia Department of Forestry and Virginia Cooperative Extension.
The Bay Foundation’s Virginia Office was recognized for its recent work engaging farmers, agribusiness leaders and others in the agricultural community to identify environmental problems related to farming and to work for mutually beneficial solutions. Upon receiving the award at the graduation dinner for the 2006 class of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute on June 1, Ann Jennings (pictured above with Jerry McCarthy), the Bay Foundation’s Virginia executive director, said, “We are very pleased and humbled to receive the McCarthy Award, for it represents the best in outreach, negotiation and problem-solving in the Commonwealth. We are truly honored.”
The McCarthy Award is given annually to an individual, organization, local government, agency, educational institution or community that demonstrates leadership in preservation and protection of the commonwealth’s environment; who supports collaborative problem solving through actions, contributions and/or educational programs; and who acts as a role model to other groups and individuals for the resolution of environmental issues.
In his letter nominating the Bay Foundation for its award, Dennis Treacy, former director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and current vice president for local, community and government affairs at Smithfield Foods, said, “Over the past three years, CBF has made a deliberate effort to reach out to Virginia’s agricultural community to better understand farm issues, to promote better understanding of bay issues among farmers, and to work collaboratively to solve water quality problems related to farming practices.”
Frank Dukes, the institute’s director, said, “The Chesapeake Bay Foundation deserves recognition for their efforts in Virginia to bridge long-standing divides and bring people together for a common goal. We are thrilled to recognize their leadership with the 2006 award.”
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers. Since the group’s founding 40 years ago, its goal has been to improve water quality by reducing pollution and protecting and restoring the Bay’s natural resources. The organization’s motto – Save the Bay – has been a rallying cry for that goal throughout the region.