Elizabeth Thorndike Environmental Leadership Award Recipients

Genesee RiverWatch is pleased to announce its 2022 Elizabeth Thorndike Environmental Leadership Award recipients – Roy Wood and Helen Dumas. The awards are given to individuals, organizations, projects or events in recognition of significant contributions to our mission of “championing solutions that improve the water quality of the Genesee and initiatives that connect people to the River”. Nominations were solicited in in the fall of 2022 for review and selection by the Board of Directors of Genesee RiverWatch. The awards are given in honor of Elizabeth Thorndike, longtime supporter of Genesee RiverWatch and one of the founders of its predecessor organization, the Center for Environmental Information.

Award winners have demonstrated success in (1) improving the water quality of the Genesee River Basin; (2) creating environmental, recreational, and economic assets for their communities; and/or (3) connecting people to the river by encouraging them to explore, experience, and celebrate the river.

A separate category of the awards recognizes volunteers whose work on behalf of Genesee RiverWatch has significantly aided us in furthering our Mission.

Roy Wood

L to R:  C. Michael Haugh-President, Board of Directors; Roy Wood-Award Recipient; George Thomas-Executive Director

The Award presented to Roy Wood represents our appreciation for Roy’s work with our Citizen Monitoring and Genesee River watershed wastewater treatment plant data. His analysis was instrumental to our efforts to develop a proposal to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for reducing phosphorus discharges from wastewater treatment plants. That proposal is under active discussion with DEC, which represents a great first step to reduce the water quality impact of these plants.

Helen Dumas

L to R: George Thomas-Executive Director, Helen Dumas-Award Recipient, C. Michael Haugh-President, Board of Directors

Our second recipient, Helen Dumas, is a Genesee Land Trust staff member and its Genesee River Alliance Coordinator. She was presented with this Award in recognition of her work in helping to build the Genesee River Alliance into an effective organization to promote interest in the Genesee River within the City of Rochester. As Coordinator, Helen brought together a diverse group of people and organizations, most of which were already working on River projects, resulting in a collaboration to strengthen existing efforts and fill planning gaps, while also raising awareness of each other’s efforts. “Helen’s leadership in this work is changing the narrative around the Genesee River from a polluted and divided place to an asset with significant opportunity to bring together all facets of our community to enjoy and protect into the future.”

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