At its quarterly business meeting last week, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) presented the Commission’s seventh William W. Jeanes, Sr. Award for Environmental Excellence to The Nature Conservancy for its past and current work to protect water quality in the Susquehanna watershed. Mark Bryer, director of the Conservancy’s Chesapeake Bay Program, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.
“The Nature Conservancy’s mission and commitment to conservation truly exemplify the meaning of the Williams Jeanes award,” said SRBC Executive Director Paul Swartz. “Mr. Jeanes devoted his life to land conservation and the protection of the Chesapeake Bay. His efforts included a constant vigilance over the quantity and quality of water flowing downstream from the Bay’s largest tributary, the Susquehanna River.”
For forty years, the Conservancy has worked to conserve natural resources in the Susquehanna River Basin, including protecting more than 25,000 acres of lands throughout the Susquehanna basin, many of which are located in headwater areas critical for providing clean and abundant water.
“We’re fortunate to have the Susquehanna River Basin Commission as our partner and honored to receive this award named for Mr. Jeanes,” said Bryer, “It’s especially gratifying that our work with the Commission carries on his pioneering efforts to protect the Susquehanna and our great Chesapeake Bay.”
The Conservancy currently is partnering with SRBC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a low flow management study to identify flow-sensitive species and estimate required flows needed to sustain aquatic species and habitats throughout the Susquehanna basin. This study, in turn, will help inform the Conservancy’s partnership with SRBC and the state of Maryland to assess the relationship between river flows and the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
Swartz said, “The Conservancy’s commitment to great science combined with its professionalism and vast experiences as a non-profit organization adds tremendous value to our Susquehanna basinwide low flow study, and other partnership projects in Pennsylvania and Maryland.”
The Conservancy’s other Susquehanna watershed efforts include advancing the conservation of rare species and habitats, including serpentine barren habitats with globally rare plants in Cecil County, Md., wetlands with bog turtles in Lebanon County, Pa., caves with thousands of bats, including the federally endangered Indiana bat in Mifflin County, Pa., and vernal pools with rare amphibians in Cumberland County, Pa.
Past recipients of the Jeanes Award:
2009 (Spring) – Robert E. Hughes, Ex. Director, Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation
2007 – R. John Dawes, Administrator, Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds
2006 – Homer (Skip) W. Wieder, Jr., Sr. Vice President Emeritus, Geisinger Health System
2005 – PPL Project Earth
2002 – Harry Barnes, Program Coordinator, BOCES in New York
2000 – Dr. Betty Conner, League of Women Voters
William W. Jeanes, Sr. Award (www.srbc.net/jeanes.htm)
William W. Jeanes, Sr. (native of Wayne, Pa., 1909-1987) co-founded the Upper Chesapeake Watershed Association in 1952 and served as its president for eight years. Jeanes led the association as an intervener during the relicensing proceedings of the four hydroelectric dams on the lower Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Susquehanna River Basin Commission (www.srbc.net)
SRBC, headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa., is the governing agency established under a 100-year compact signed on December 24, 1970 by the federal government and the states of New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland to protect and wisely manage the water resources of the Susquehanna River Basin. The Susquehanna River starts in Cooperstown, N.Y., and flows 444 miles to Havre de Grace, Md., where the river meets the Chesapeake Bay.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
The Nature Conservancy
(614) 717-2770 x130
(614) 787-5545 (cell)