Jackson, executive director of the Elizabeth River Project in Portsmouth, was recognized for her leadership and vision in creating partnerships between public agencies, private businesses and nonprofits to restore the heavily polluted Elizabeth River.
Jackson received the award at the graduation dinner for the 2008 class of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute, held June 5 in Charlottesville.
“Ms. Mayfield Jackson and her partners at the Elizabeth River Project have had the audacity and courage to envision a clean Elizabeth River when all evidence would have argued otherwise,” said Frank Dukes, director of the Institute. “In just over a decade they have transformed the river from an embarrassment to a national model. They have done so by enlisting partners from all sectors, by looking forward, and by inspiring actions from schoolchildren to large industries.”
The annual award is given to an individual who demonstrates leadership in preservation and protection of the commonwealth’s environment; supports collaborative problem-solving through actions, contributions and/or educational programs; and acts as a role model to other groups and individuals for the resolution of environmental issues.
At the same event, a Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to the family of Kathy Rae Frahm, former policy director for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, who died unexpectedly in September.
The Gerald P. McCarthy Award for Leadership in Environmental Conflict Resolution was created in 2004 to honor McCarthy, its first recipient, and his contributions to protect and promote environmental literacy and mediation in Virginia. McCarthy is executive director of the Virginia Environmental Endowment.