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Nonprofit Honors Former River Basin Execs

PHILADELPHIA, October 10, 2014

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary bestowed its Jonathan Sharp Lifetime Achievement Award on two former leaders of the Delaware River Basin Commission on Thursday during its annual fundraiser, the Experience the Estuary Celebration.

Over 300 supporters watched as Jennifer Adkins, executive director of the PDE, presented the awards to Carol Collier and Robert Tudor at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, just steps from the Delaware River estuary.

Both Collier and Tudor left the DRBC earlier this year after a combined 28 years.  Collier is now a senior advisor for watershed management and policy at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.  Tudor has since retired.

“We are honored to recognize Carol and Bob for their leadership in managing the water shared by over 15 million people, or 5 percent of the American population,” said Adkins.  “At the DRBC and throughout their careers, their dedication to using science and collaboration to improve the health of the Delaware River and Bay has made a lasting impact on our region, and those of us who have had the pleasure of working with them.”

In their respective roles as executive director and deputy director, Collier and Tudor provided leadership for the DRBC to address complex, interstate water management issues.  Working with the five commission members, consisting of the governors of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, along with the federal representative from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or their appointed alternates, Collier and Tudor drew on their respective prior experiences at the Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.  Both also played crucial leadership roles in the creation and evolution of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary as the National Estuary Program for the Delaware River and Bay.

“Let me tell you, it’s no easy feat to get four states to agree on one plan, but we managed to do it many times,” said Tudor.  “To think that we now have long-term plans for the region’s natural resources, its water — even its mud … it’s just a testament to the professionals involved, but even more so the public.”

Many of the DRBC’s achievements affect residents every day, especially if they live, work, or travel on the Delaware River, Delaware Bay, or their tributaries.

“One of the things I’m most proud of is the protection of the high water quality of the whole non-tidal river through the DRBC program called Special Protection Waters,” said Collier.  “This protection, together with a plan to clean up the estuary’s PCBs, could improve the lives of millions, especially if they’re no longer forced to limit the number fish they eat due to pollution.”

“I have dedicated my career to keeping the Delaware River clean, and I look forward to continuing this work at The Academy,” Collier added.

The PDE’s Science & Technical Advisory Committee selects each recipient of its Jonathan Sharp Lifetime Achievement Award.  This committee consists of 20 experts who advise the nonprofit’s science director, Dr. Danielle Kreeger.  She, in turn, uses their input to direct a team of environmental scientists.

The Jonathan Sharp Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes people for advancing science and management of the Delaware River Basin.  Its namesake is Dr. Jonathan Sharp, a professor emeritus at the University of Delaware whose research team published over 45 studies and reports on the Delaware River estuary.

Dr. Sharp was the first to receive this award in 2011.  Collier and Tudor bring the total number of recipients to five.  Other recipients include Michael N. Castle, a lawyer and former legislator from Delaware, and Dr. John Kraeuter, a visiting scientist at Rutgers University.

Sponsors for the PDE’s Experience the Estuary Celebration include DuPont, Exelon Generation, PSEG Nuclear, LLC, and over 20 other agencies and businesses across the Delaware Valley.

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, a National Estuary Program, leads science-based and collaborative efforts to improve the tidal Delaware River and Bay, which spans Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

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